Recruitment is the most important time of the year for sororities on any campus at any school. This is the period where we potentially welcome new members into our organizations. Usually, we compete with other sororities on campus, but this year our biggest competition was the pandemic.
This is my third year as an active member of Phi Sigma Sigma, and every recruitment period I have been a part of has been in person. The connection you make with potential new members is important, and I was so worried about making that connection over Zoom. My biggest concern was if the new group of women would genuinely know where they belong and if they would find their home.
During the week of Sept. 21, the sororities on campus participated in a virtual recruitment.
In my head, I imagined virtual recruitment being a lot easier because it was online, but I found it was just as much work as it would be if recruitment was in person.
We spent days preparing for virtual recruitment. There were festival inspired videos, pictures, and edits floating around Instagram. It was almost obnoxious, but we couldn’t rely on just our winning personalities and smiles. We took on a completely different marketing strategy that was out of our comfort zone.
Taylor Vasquez, Phi Sigma Sigma’s sophomore membership recruitment chairwoman, spent days working closely with Janeth Inatomi, a senior communications major with an emphasis in public relations, to create virtual backgrounds that fit the theme of recruitment and best represented us. They coordinated outfits, colors, and questions to make us look well put together through a virtual call.
During the three days of virtual recruitment, I established beautiful relationships. I laughed with women. I cried with women. I talked about my favorite movies and my favorite songs with women. I was shocked to say the least. This was the most emotionally impacted I have ever been at a recruitment.
It was a rough adjustment with classes being strictly remote. I am in front of a screen for eight hours of the day. With recruitment events added to my schedule, I was on my laptop for roughly 14 hours a day. To say I was exhausted is an understatement, but it was all worth it in the end.
The normalcy of recruitment brought me a sense of comfort. The stress from planning and discussing potential new members felt good. Speaking to all these incredible women and hearing their stories and learning all about who they are and what they stand for was the highlight of my experience. It made me feel like I was on campus, and that I had not been away from a lot of the people I care about for seven months.
As the week came to an end, each organization started posting their new members and it was a wonderful feeling. Despite the conditions caused by the pandemic, we were still able to make those connections and find the women meant to be our sisters. The Greek community on the University of La Verne campus is small, but it feels like one big happy family. I am looking forward to the next recruitment season.
Deja Goode, a senior journalism major, is arts editor for the Campus Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.