Christmas came early this year for Florida Southern College’s 14 Greek organizations as over one hundred new fraternity and sorority recruits ran home for Bid Day on Saturday, Oct. 7. Laughter and tears of joy filled the air as each chapter welcomed the 2017 pledge class with open arms. The event marked the end of a week-long recruitment process, which allows FSC’s Greek chapters to supplement their membership. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) kicked off fraternity recruitment week on Sunday, Oct. 1, and the Panhellenic Council kicked of sorority recruitment on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
With over 35 percent of the FSC population involved in Greek Life, recruitment week is by far one of the most popular weeks of the Fall academic calendar. Each chapter spends months preparing events and activities designed to show potential new members (PNMs) the values of their organization. However, although all FSC Greek Life participates in recruitment, FSC’s sorority and fraternity organizations differ in the way they handle the process.
The Interfraternity Council has a more relaxed recruitment process than the Panhellenic Council, and gives potential new members more freedom and autonomy during the rush process. This year, potential recruits were given the opportunity to participate in fun campus activities including Nerf wars, bonfires, and human foosball.
“The [fraternity] recruitment events are more laid back and provide the environment to get to know the brothers,” Sigma Alpha Epsilon member and senior business major Austin Crotteau said of the fraternity recruitment process. “Students interested in fraternity recruitment can attend events with different organizations. At the end of the week, students going through the process pick which brotherhood is best for them.”
FSC’s 7 sorority chapters use a mutual selection process to match PNMs with each chapter. Throughout recruitment week, PNMs learn about each organization’s values, philanthropy and sisterhood by attending timed open house events. Sorority recruitment events get more formal after each round, and PNMs are encouraged to wear outfits that show off their unique personalities. As rush progresses, PNMs and sororities list their choices in order of preference. The entire process is designed so that PNMs are matched with the sorority that is best fit for them.
“The hardest part of recruitment is not being invited back to certain houses that you thought you would fit into,” PNM and freshman nursing major Brooke Pion said of the recruitment process. “But then it’s also rewarding because you’re put into the other houses that you didn’t really think of and you begin to fall in love with them.”
Although sororities and fraternities differ in the way they handle the recruitment process, they both foster a sense of community on the Florida Southern campus. Many students choose to participate in the recruitment process to become a part of something bigger than themselves and to make lasting bonds.
While waiting outside of a recruitment event, Freshman psychology major Anna Coffman talked about why she decided to undergo the recruitment process.
“Coming from a far-away place, I think Greek Life is a good way to have a support system on campus,” said Coffman. “The process is amazing and you get to meet a bunch of new people.”
Many chapters inducted their new members on Sunday, Oct. 8; however, the 2017 pledge class now has a long journey ahead before they will be initiated as members of their new organizations–a process that many current Greek members find the most fulfilling.
“The most rewarding part about recruitment is being a part of the development of the new members,” says Sigma Chi member and senior business major Tristin Idlette. “Over the time of their new member process they truly define themselves and to be there when they do it is more than anything I could ever ask for.”