By Grace Apostol
Elm Staff Writer
The Washington College Panhellenic Council announced via email that sorority recruitment would be pushed back three weeks due to an influx of COVID-19 cases on campus on Feb. 3.
Prior to this announcement, the WC Contingency Planning Group sent an update via email announcing “ new positive COVID-19 cases amongst the student population.”
In the Feb. 11 CPG update, it was announced that cases have gone down significantly.
“We had a total of six new COVID-19 cases on campus, down significantly from last week,” the email said.
The three sororities — Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Omicron Pi, and Alpha Chi Omega — were preparing for the recruitment process, originally to be held Feb. 3 through Feb. 6, when the email was sent.
AOII member and Vice President of Recruitment senior Haley Royce, who oversees planning events for her sorority’s recruitment process, is one of many members who are taken aback by this delay.
“I was so disappointed. Our chapter worked really hard to be ready for recruitment and we were all ready to be done,” she said.
“I definitely am glad it remained in person,” she said. “I was in the same position last year during virtual and it was really difficult, and our girls weren’t as passionate which makes it even harder. In-person is way better.”
For many students involved with Greek Life — including ZTA member and Student Government Association Parliamentarian and Chair of the Review Board sophomore Natalie Wisnowski — the 2021 spring semester proved difficult, considering that recruitment was held virtually the previous year due to the pandemic.
“Online recruitment was hard because even though I talked to all the sisters and got to meet as many people as I could, I still worried if I was missing out on an experience or even making the right decision,” Wisnowski said.
Another student, ZTA Vice President junior Julia Totis, shared similar sentiments, saying that, while she understands the delay, she remains hopeful that recruitment will be in-person.
“I personally don’t think it should be online, but if it has to be then I understand,” Totis said. “The whole point of formal recruitment is about connection. It’s incredibly difficult trying to talk to people on a screen.”
The pushback of recruitment is enforced by WC’s administration. The prevention of online recruitment was a decision made as a means of keeping the process safe and healthy.
AXO Social Chair sophomore Abigail Collins believes that in future years for recruitment, preventive measures to entail no pushbacks due to COVID-19 could be possible.
“I think next year if we could figure out a way to test everyone in sororities and the people signed up for recruitment, it could add an extra layer of safety,” she said.
The new dates for recruitment are Feb. 17-20 and are still in-person, according to the Panhellenic email sent on Feb. 3.
“We have four days for recruitment consisting of Sisterhood night, Philanthropy Night, Preference Night, and finally, Bid Day,” Collins said.
As these dates approach, many current and potential members are filled with excitement.
“Recruitment is such an amazing, scary, exciting experience, going through rush is one of my favorite college memories,” Royce said. “Emotions run high, but, at the end of the day, everyone is so passionate about their organizations and Greek life as a whole it makes it all worth it.”