OPINION | Hybrid sorority recruitment offers best of both worlds

Ava Crowe, Contributing Columnist

Potential new members experienced the ease of hybrid recruitment and the authenticity of an in-person process. (Gabe Darley)

At Tulane University and many colleges alike, sorority recruitment can be an extremely high-stress endeavor for those going through the process for the first time, as well as for the active members. 

Prior to COVID-19 and the new Zoom reality, this process took place exclusively in-person, allowing for arguably more natural and authentic interactions. During in-person recruitment, sorority hopefuls fill the chapter’s houses and converse with the active members. 

This year at Tulane, students prepared for a fully in-person recruitment process for the first time since 2020. Following the rapid spread of COVID-19’s omicron variant, the university notified students that some sorority events could switch to a virtual format. It followed that the first two days of recruitment would take place virtually, and the last two would occur in person. 

During the in-person recruitment process it is easy to compare oneself to others, constantly wondering, “Am I wearing the right thing? Does she look better than me?” 

Participating in recruitment online in the early stages of the process may have allowed women to have the chance to focus on themselves and the conversations they had. This may have created a much more intimate environment that focused less on comparison and competition and more on individual experience. 

For many potential new members, the experience of Zoom recruitment was overwhelmingly positive. Students may be better able to focus on their own experience in the comfort of their dorm rooms.

That being said, the in-person aspect of recruitment may be incredibly valuable as well as it shows a glimpse into what each chapter is really about. This is why the hybrid recruitment process, while unexpected, actually ended up being ideal. 

Many may have found that this hybrid recruitment actually allowed for a more streamlined recruitment process with the ability to connect with the PNM’s one on one. 

With upwards of 900 girls going through recruitment this year, having each and every girl enter the house for the Open House round would have been overwhelming and made it difficult  to hear everyone talk. 

With over 30 people talking at full volume in one house, it can be almost impossible to hear what is said. Especially this year with the use of masks, PNMs and active members could not rely on reading lips. Being in person may have been more stress inducing for some, however it also allowed many to have more natural conversations. 

Former PNM Casey Wade said, “As a sophomore, I was apprehensive about going through the recruitment process. What changed my mind about the process was the hybrid style recruitment which made it much lower stakes.” 

“I don’t know if I would have rushed having to be in person with so many girls and now I’m super happy in a sorority I love,” Wade said. 

By hosting the initial days of recruitment online, the process may have allowed for those who were uneasy about the process to acclimate. 

Overall, some say that the hybrid recruitment made for a discombobulated experience. However, others may argue that this structure allowed for a more successful recruitment process and took away a little bit of the stress of a traditional recruitment experience. It seems there is no perfect solution.

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