Fall sorority recruitment begins today, ends Monday

12 sororities will host activities to encourage recruits

When Katie Davis arrived at Ball State University four years ago, joining a sorority was not a priority. But when her best friend convinced her to give it a try, she agreed.

Now, as a senior, Davis is currently the president of Pan-Hellenic Council, the organization that oversees 12 of the 15 active sororities on campus.

"I was artsy and unconventional in high school, but I wanted to get involved," Davis said. "So I tried it out and loved it."

Davis said sororities provide great leadership opportunities for those interested, as well as ways for women to connect with other women.

"You learn a great tolerance in dealing with different people," Davis said. "You learn social tolerance, social skills and leadership."

Lynda Malugen, advisor and director of Student Affairs, said women who are interested in being active in a sorority are often women who are looking for ways to get involved.

But Malugen said recent attention to sororities, such as MTV's summer program, "Sorority Life," could possibly influence women who have questions about sorority recruitment.

Davis stresses that not all sororities are like the Jewish sorority documented for the cable network's reality show, and women should not let the drama that unfolds on screen influence their decision about whether or not they should rush.

"The greek system on campus is more relaxed and laid back," Davis said. "You don't have to dress up everyday to be accepted. Each sorority has its own appeal for each woman."

According to Pan-Hellenic Council representatives, the discernment process is a mutual selection. Both recruits and chapters spend time together during the recruitment week to get a better feel for each other before any final decision is made or bid is handed out.

"You have to think about where you can see yourself - not only for the moment but for the next four years and past that," said Ali Kearns, vice president of risk reduction and education for PHC. "You look at who you can see yourself being friends with forever."

Formal fall recruitment begins tonight with three evenings of orientation. During the first round, Rho-Chi, sorority members who step back from their own chapters to assist recruitment, will take recruits to each of the twelve sorority suites to familiarize them with the different chapters involved in the Pan-Hellenic Council.

The recruits will also meet members from each chapter who will answer any questions they have about each sorority.

During the second round of recruitment on Saturday night, women are asked to narrow their choices from a possible seven sororities selected during the first round, to three groups by the end of the second round.

Saturday night each group will also perform a series of skits or songs for the women who will be present.

"It's very secretive," Davis said of the performances. "It's special knowing that (the skits) are completely ours."

For some sorority women, the secretive acts of the recruitment process cement their decision to join a particular sorority chapter.

"When I was watching the skit for the chapter I'm in now, I realized that I could see myself being friends with these women for the rest of my career at Ball State," said Amanda Heichelbech, vice president of recruitment for PHC.

The third and final round of recruitment includes preference parties, which are more formal and elegant than the skits and songs performed in round two.

"This night is more formal and emotional, because you connect with the women emotionally and begin to see the sisterhood within the sorority form," Heichelbech said.


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