When Julia Gutsch opened her invitation to become a new member to Kappa Alpha Theta, she was elated. The Panhellenic Council made it possible for Gutsch and about 150 women to finally find a new home away from home.
Sororities prepared for the most critical week of the year—recruitment week. Drake University held the four day recruitment process the second week of September. Potential new members at this time visited five sorority chapters, eliminating a house per night. On the final day of recruitment, potential new members received a bid from a house that was mutually selected and then joined their new sisters.
“What most people do not understand is the process that is taken for recruitment,” Panhellenic President Madeline Hasley said.
Recruitment planning has been going on since February. As someone who oversees the Panhellenic Council, Hasley has put in hours of work to make recruitment successful for women. The Panhellenic president coordinates with chapters to ensure everything runs smoothly and reviews the bylaws and constitutions so they are overall more inclusive.
When she was not conducting Panhellenic meetings, she was attending leadership conferences so that she could continue to learn better techniques. Hasley was assisted by a team of 12 other members, an adviser, and 25 Rho Gammas.
Rho Gammas were women in the chapters who had to be disaffiliated during recruitment in order to lead a group of potential new members.
“I had such a positive experience that I wanted to give back,” previous Rho Gamma Jessica Berei said. “We were there to help the women get to where they needed to be, but mainly to give an unbiased opinion especially when they couldn’t make a decision.”
The most challenging aspect of recruitment was the emotional toll that it had played. “The toughest part was seeing recruitment not have a positive impact on some people,” Berei said. “It was hard not being able to do anything about it.”
Hasley noted that it was not logistically possible for every woman to get a bid from their favorite chapter.
“I found my home easily,” Hasley said. “It’s hard to relate to certain women who can’t find what I found.”
Sophomore Julia Gutsch can attest to recruitment not working out. Gutsch had previously gone through recruitment as a first year, but ended up dropping out halfway through the week.
“I knew what to expect this year when going through recruitment again,” Gutsch said. “It’s a stressful week, but its a fun process and overall rewarding.”
Hasley and Berei both said the best part about their positions was seeing the women find the right chapter where they fit in.
Berei wanted to add advice for women that plan to go through next year. “Be yourself and do not be nervous,” Berei said.
Women go into recruitment hearing preconceived notions about the other chapters and try to fit in with the house they want to be in. “At the end of recruitment, you fit in where you fit in,” Berei said.
“One of the best parts about recruitment was seeing the potential new members receive bids from their favorite chapter,” Hasley said. “But the best was returning back to everyone where I found my home.”