Provided by Nu Phi Chi
As COVID-19 continues to prevent groups from safely hosting large gatherings, CSU Bakersfield’s Greek life takes their fall recruitment to Zoom Sep. 1-4. With three sororities, four fraternities and three honor societies, students were invited to sign up for recruitment week and find their Greek family.
Normally recruitment week would involve potential pledges meeting each of their qualifying organizations at face-to-face social events. These meet-and-greets occur over three days, followed by the new pledges receiving an invitation to join their prospective organizations on day four.
The CSUB Greek Life website describes the stages of the recruitment as:
Open House: Any CSUB student was invited to pay the $15 fee and meet each of their qualifying organizations. This is just intended to give potential pledges an overview of what the chapter is about.
Invitational Information Sessions: The Greek chapter issued invites to potential pledges. The session focused on giving the new recruits a chance to get “a deeper look into each organization”.
Establishing Preferences: Each Greek organization will be invites desired new recruits back today to hear why they should join the chapter. This is where pledges begin deciding which one to join, as they only visit two of the qualifying chapters at this stage.
Bid Day: To finish off recruitment week, tomorrow each organization will send out their bids for each recruit they chose to offer membership. Recruits then will choose whether to accept the bid or not, or even between organizations if they receive more than one bid.
This fall, recruits meet the Greek chapters through Zoom meetings. Active members note this is not all bad though, as the events are primarily active members chatting with new recruits.
Julia Gaworski, a junior communications major, has enjoyed this year’s recruitment process. As an active member of Gamma Phi Beta, she has been to both face-to-face and digital recruitment events.
“I’m really happy with how it has turned out this year; it’s close to the same feeling we get with face-to-face. We are still running the same format,” Gaworski said.
Gaworski isn’t alone in this stance either, with Nu Phi Chi member Anissa Vasquez finding advantages in having recruitment week over Zoom.
“I really enjoyed getting to fully meet each and every girl that came out. From my experience, it was really difficult to actually connect really well in person. Through Zoom, I met these wonderful ladies, constantly seeing their faces. I would have been all over the place trying to connect with them and get to them [in person],” Vasquez, a sophomore history major, said.
Vasquez, having also experienced recruitment face-to-face last spring, was glad that they could still work in some of the magic and mystery typically expected of Greek recruitment events. Having experienced being surprised with her own bid during her recruitment week, she recognizes that there is something special about finding out what organization picked them.
“We did a Zoom video call. From there, we as sisters went into 3 different breakout rooms; from there, all of the girls who received bids from one of the sororities entered our breakout room. That’s how they were surprised with their virtual bid and learning which sorority they got their bid from,” Vasquez said.
New members were quickly greeted by their returning sisters in each of their respective sororities, excited to welcome them into what will become a second family for many.
However, new pledges weren’t totally deprived of the traditional face-to-face fun of joining their Greek organizations either. Some sororities, like Nu Phi Chi, opted to deliver bid day gift baskets to each new member to celebrate.
“It was all safely conducted. We followed social distancing rules, and stayed 6 feet apart. It was really fun and very cute to give them a little something that they could have to remember from their recruitment and bid day,” Vasquez said.
While the fraternities have not commented on how they are navigating this year’s recruitment week, the overall energy level among Greek life members is charged with excitement. COVID-19 may prevent face-to-face mixers, but it did not stop participants from making the best of a temporary situation.