As some University of Iowa FSL councils adopt hybrid recruiting models, the Pan-Hellenic Council will conduct virtual recruiting for the fall.
Students hoping to join a sorority typically endure long days in the sun and travel between chapter rooms in high heels, but potential new members will be part of the recruiting process from their dorms on Zoom this year, for the second consecutive recruiting season.
The University of Iowa Campus Pan-Hellenic Council, made up of 14 sororities, has announced a fully virtual fall recruiting plan in accordance with the most recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Pan-Hellenic Conference and of the increase in reports of COVID-19 in Johnson County on August 12.
In the council’s announcement, he cited the high transmissibility of the delta variant of the coronavirus and the difficulty of isolating exposed individuals or groups, as the reasons for his decision.
Allyson Farley, a member of the Pan-Hellenic Sisterhood Alpha Epsilon Phi, said she supports the council’s all-virtual model. She said she didn’t think it would be safe or inclusive to restrict recruiting to in-person interactions.
In her virtual recruiting experience, she said that she had “not lost any of the experiences of brotherhood or Greek life at IU throughout my recruiting.”
According to an email sent on July 30, approximately 373 students are registered for fall 2021 recruiting. Around the same time, in fall 2020, approximately 700 members were registered.
As of August 20, 687 potential new members were registered for the fall 2021 recruiting, according to information provided to The Iowan Daily.
The UI Interfraternity Council will use a hybrid recruiting model this year, with both virtual and in-person components, according to Will Hochman, acting chairman of the board.
The Greek Multicultural Council, made up of nine chapters representing the Latinx, Asian and LGBTQ + communities, has also moved to a hybrid model, according to the council’s website. Fall 2021 recruiting for the board will begin Aug. 30, according to the board’s website.
âHaving a virtual membership option creates more accessibility for potential new members,â Hochman said.
He added that the council’s decision is based on a concern for the health and safety of its members.
However, COVID-19 did not prevent students from participating in the recruitment process. Hochman said registrations for the Interfraternity Council recruiting had increased since the start of the pandemic.
At the same time last year, 92 students registered for fraternity recruiting. In August 2019, 53 students had registered, compared to 177 students registered for recruitment this year.
Hochman listened to student feedback on the virtual recruiting model, he said, and found the hybrid option more user-friendly for people worried about the spread of COVID-19.
Jacob Olson, president of Phi Kappa Theta, said he understands why the changes were implemented, but does not consider them necessary, given the high vaccination rates and the decision to restore full capacity at Kinnick Stadium and in the university dining halls.
Olson added that it had been difficult to maintain the popularity of recruiting events, describing the virtual experiences of potential new members as “like listening to a really short and boring lecture.”
Virtual recruiting âwas really tough,â Olson said, because people didn’t necessarily want to participate in a Zoom call.
Hochman said he predicted that a virtual recruiting model could remain an option for years to come.
âIt’s a lot easier to meet members and talk to people from the computer from the comfort of your home rather than going to recruiting events in person and feeling a little intimidated and having a lot of social pressure around this situation, âhe said. .
ââ¦ I would also say that when we come up with virtual aspects of recruiting, it really opens up the number of chapters a student can come across. “