By Tess Koman
While last week’s Greek life recruitment proceeded seemingly as always, there were certain behind-the-scenes changes that allowed the process to be more satisfying for all of those involved.
In previous years, the sororities on campus have operated by eliminating potential new members based on straight release figures given to them by their national headquarters.
Director of Greek Life Timothy Dunn elaborated on changes to the Panhellenic recruitment system this year. “It now goes by priority preference,” he said. “With priority preference, it is based on both numbers and what the houses decided. This requires more of a match because not only does the house have to choose you, but also you have to choose the house.”
Dunn believes that ultimately this update is a better system for both potential new members and sorority sisters.
“In fact, our release numbers were the lowest they’ve ever been and the majority of the women who withdrew chose to eliminate themselves,” he explained.
Furthermore, this year’s release numbers were the lowest they have ever been in his time here at Union.
In addition, 112 of the 123 women who went through the recruitment process ended up in their first choice house, and those who did not receive a bid from their first choice received one from their second choice.
Recruitment Chair of the Panhellenic Council Jessica Nagourney ‘12 agrees with Dunn.
“I feel that recruitment was incredibly successful this year,” she said.
Nagourney attributes the success to last year’s Panhellenic Advisor Robert Haynes and the new Panhellenic Advisor Annie Plunkett.
“I think the new process is very fitting for our campus. Because we only have three sororities, the whole experience is very personal for each potential new member that participates. I have had [potential new members] coming up to me all week to say thanks for all the help we gave them,” she adds.
The Panhellenic Council President, Kelsey Mulvihill ‘12, agrees with Nagourney and also attributes the successful recruitment process to Jaclyn DeFranco ‘13.
“Each of the three Panhellenic sorority houses on campus did an outstanding job this year with their recruitment nights and welcomed several new members this past Friday at the Sorority Bid Day Luncheon,” she said.
However, differences in the sorority recruitment process are not the only Greek life changes happening on campus.
After a ten-year absence from campus, the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta (also known as Fiji) is returning. Both faculty and staff originally founded the Chi chapter of the fraternity in 1893 and alumni have started the push to revive it on campus.
“There are two professional gentlemen from the headquarters in Kentucky living in Schenectady and working here for six weeks during which they will do a recruitment-like process,” said Dunn.
The Fiji representatives plan on using Facebook events to raise awareness about recruitment and seek to attract male students who are looking for an opportunity outside of the fraternities in the Interfraternity Council and possess attributes that would make them a good fit for the house.
In terms of impetus to revive the Chi chapter, “[The Fiji alumni] approached us with $25,000 and a strong presence to get this going,” said Dunn.
These changes are significant to more than just alumni.
“People are looking on campus to find and become a member of a legacy,” he said.