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Women from Hillsdale Col­lege’s three soror­ities Pi Beta Phi (left), Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Chi Omega (right) are com­peting this week in their annual Greek Week. Jessie Fox | Col­legian

Freshmen women who return to Hillsdale’s campus early in January will be the first to par­tic­ipate in a new socially-dis­tanced sorority rush process. 

Soror­ities will adjust their recruitment process this year to accom­modate those with con­cerns about COVID-19, according to Asso­ciate Dean of Women Rebekah Dell. The Greek orga­ni­za­tions will hold an in-person, socially-dis­tanced recruitment week with a remote option available to par­tic­i­pating stu­dents. 

“Our first pri­ority will be keeping in-person activ­ities as has been con­sistent with the college’s approach this fall,” Dell said in an email. “We under­stand some stu­dents may be sick or in contact iso­lation and are preparing a fully digital version of recruitment and can move to an all-remote recruitment format if the con­di­tions require.” 

The recruitment process will still take place over a period of three days, but each day there will be mul­tiple rounds of recruitment to ensure there are fewer women in the sorority houses at one time. Some events which nor­mally take place in the sorority houses have also been relo­cated to alternate spots, according to Dell. 

Several factors con­tributed to the changed recruitment process this year. 

“We have and will con­tinue to consult Pan­hel­lenic Nationals rec­om­men­da­tions, the support of college admin­is­tration, and local chapter advisors while being mindful of current health department and CDC guide­lines,” Dell said. 

Despite these new changes, Chi Omega Recruitment Chair and senior Anna Katherine Daley said she thinks the process of matching women to the right house will still be effective and mean­ingful. 

“Whether recruitment is virtual or not, I don’t foresee any dif­fi­culty in each house finding the women they want to call sisters and each woman finding their home too,” Daley said. “Thank­fully, since Hillsdale prac­tices deferred recruitment, Greek women and women con­sid­ering Greek life have plenty of time to get to know each other in more informal ways throughout the fall semester.” 

Kappa Kappa Gamma Recruitment Chair and senior Samantha Roon said that she wants to give women “as normal of an expe­rience as we can.”

“For girls that are in person, we will follow all pro­tocols — masks, social dis­tancing, small group size — that are nec­essary to be safe,” Roon said. 

Though the new restric­tions will provide some chal­lenges, Roon said she will make them work for the sake of the new members. 

“We are con­fident that regardless of the sit­u­ation, a potential new member will interact with enough members and get suf­fi­cient insight into Kappa that she can make the decision that is best for her,” she said. “It is my job to make sure this is pos­sible, and it will be a lot of work, but the prospect of wel­coming new members makes it com­pletely worth it.” 

Dell said that these new pro­ce­dures will not impact the number of women recruited and that the soror­ities have shown a com­mitment and will­ingness to adapt to changing sit­u­a­tions. 

“The goal has been to retain the key content and spirit of recruitment while working within current con­straints,” Dell said. “The soror­ities have been flexible, under­standing, and willing to put in the hard work and I am con­fident that will remain con­sistent throughout the process.” 

Should the soror­ities have to switch to an all-virtual recruitment, Dell has already for­mu­lated a plan.  

“Virtual recruitment will operate much like in-person, but will be hosted over Zoom,” she said. “We will use the breakout feature for small group and one-on-one con­ver­sa­tions. The chapters will also utilize videos and pos­sibly other digital formats to relay infor­mation to the women par­tic­i­pating in recruitment.”

Chi Omega member and senior Saige Con­nelly said recruitment chairs are doing their best to make sure women can come into the sorority house on the third day of recruitment. 

“That’s the day that everyone decides what house they want to be in,” she said. “We want to make sure girls get to go into the actual house and see that sorority before they make a final decision.” 

Despite these new changes, Con­nelly said the most women in the sorority feel there will still be a healthy number of prospective new members. 

“I think we’ll have a lot of girls show up. I’m not sure how socially-dis­tanced recruitment will affect their decision, but the girls in the house are pretty opti­mistic about it,” Con­nelly said.