Chi Omega, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi have all picked up new pledge classes. Pi Phi boasts 20 new members, and Chi Omega and Kappa each have 18. The Hillsdale College chapters welcomed their new members home on Jan. 17.
“They’re great girls,” said junior Rosie Ellison, president of Pi Beta Phi. “I was impressed everyday of recruitment with everybody who came through the houses. It’s just so much fun to see how everybody really finds the house that fits them best, and that also means that every house got an awesome group of new members.”
Junior Anna Goodwin, president of Chi Omega, expressed excitement about Chi Omega newest batch of members, as well.
“I love them,” Goodwin said. “They’re a bunch of really great girls. I loved looking around on bid night and seeing how different everyone was. Even on the night when they were all pledging in, wearing their super nice outfits, they were all just so different, and that makes me really happy.”
For Hillsdale sororities, January recruitment is formal. The rush process lasts three days, and the women receive their bids on the final day.
“The first day is open houses,” said Rebekah Dell, assistant dean of women and panhellenic adviser. “That’s just a general overview of the chapters and what the chapters are about and what they would say are their defining characteristics.The second day is more of a sit-down dessert environment that encourages more discussion.”
The final day, according to Goodwin, is the most crucial day in the recruitment process.
“The third day is make or break it,” Goodwin said. “We dim the lights and make it very comfortable for them to be there, and we have an honest conversation. We don’t want any of the girls to be fooled by anything. We want them to end up in the house they’re meant to be in, to end up in a house that they’re going to enjoy. We want to make sure that they’re making the right decision. We want to be as open and honest and real with them as possible and have them be open and honest and real with us because it’s important. Recruitment is about putting your best foot forward, but it’s not about putting on a fake face.”
While January recruitment is the primary time for pick-up, it’s not the only opportunity for women to receive a bid, though students are more likely to receive one in the spring.
“If you really want to go through, January is the time to do it,” Dell said. “Don’t count on a fall opportunity, but fall opportunities will exist.”
In the fall, the smallest two chapters have the opportunity to extend invitations to membership to eligible women.
“Every fall we will look at our new membership numbers, and the smallest two chapters will be able to invite women to join their chapter until they reach the number of members that the largest chapter has,” Dell said. “We will still have opportunities to join every fall, but the numbers will probably be less.”
Greek life has impacted the lives of many women on campus. Both Ellison and Goodwin cite their times in their respective houses as opportunities for growth and learning.
“Pi Phi has helped me grow a lot,” Ellison said. “College, for everybody, is a time of tremendous growth and change. It has been for me, and Pi Phi has been the best place for me to do that because I have my sisters, and they’ve loved me through stuff, and they’ve helped me through stuff and supported me.”
Goodwin said her sorority taught her the importance of sisterhood.
“Coming into college, you really think you’re invincible,” Goodwin said. “Being a part of a sorority helped me realize how much I need people, and sisterhood has taught me how important community is and how to love others.”