Greek recruitment dates moved, chapter leaders not involved in change

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Girls prepare to open their bid cards during sorority recruitment in 2015. ZACH TAYLOR / THE DEPAUW
Girls prepare to open their bid cards during sorority recruitment in 2015. ZACH TAYLOR / THE DEPAUW

Senior Nichole Dyer was excited to take part in her final sorority recruitment, but that won’t happen anymore.

The dates of formal greek recruitment for both Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic chapters has been moved to begin the Thursday after winter term ends, and will conclude the Sunday before classes start for the spring semester.

“I am sad about it because it’s my senior year and I will not be able to take part in the process of getting new sisters,”

Dyer said. Dyer will be going to India for an off campus winter term, and will not make it back until the third round of recruitment.

In the past years IFC recruitment began the weekend before spring semester and ended the following Saturday. Panhellenic recruitment would start the first Thursday of the semester and end on Sunday.

An email was sent by Campus Living and Community Development to Greek chapter presidents on Saturday, August 19. At the bottom of the three page email there is a paragraph stating recruitment will take place for both IFC and Panhellenic starting on Thursday January 26 and will end Sunday January 29.

In addition to this change, alternative recruitment, or any recruitment outside of formal recruitment, will no longer be allowed.

In an email from the Interim Director of the CLCD and Director of Community Standards, Meggan Johnston said the change was made because the current recruitment schedule was “not supportive of the academic environment,” along with being a distraction from the School of Music and sporting events. Johnston wrote “The goal of this change is to reduce the impact that recruitment has on the academic experience, while still providing a positive recruitment experience for the students who choose to participate.”

“I personally disagree with the change,” said DePauw’s president of IFC, senior Luke Hartline. Hartline said he understands the reasoning behind the change, but is frustrated about how the decision was made.

Hartline said DePauw’s Greek community was not consulted about the change before it was made. “Our opinions really weren’t taken into consideration,” Hartline said, “It would have been nice to consult the Greek community directly.”

For Alpha Chi Omega President Ellen Tinder, she is concerned about students who will be taking part in a winter term and how they will be able to be included in the process, particularly people who will go abroad because they occasionally return later than normal. “Our women going abroad… we’re a little confused about what their role is.”

Johnston said students who will miss formal recruitment because of abroad winter terms or other reasons will still be able to go through some form of recruitment, but those accommodations have yet to be decided.

Johnston wrote “we will provide alternate options for potential new members whose academic or athletic commitments do not allow for their participation,” and the CLCD plans on working with student leadership to decide what will be the best options.

When it came to making the actual decision, Greek student leaders were not contacted. “I was never involved in the formal decision process,” said Panhellenic president, senior Grace Anshutz. Anshutz said she was never a part of any formal conversation about changing recruitment dates, but she had plenty of informal conversations about the decision.

“While I would have liked to have been involved in the conversation, I understand there are so many changes going on within the University, so that at the end of the day decisions had to be made,” Anshutz said. Hartline also said he was not consulted about the change before it was made in any capacity.

“Ultimately, with support from divisional leadership, we made the change this summer because it was clear to us that we could not, in good conscious, go another year of receiving this feedback without addressing it head on,” Johnston wrote, “Our number one priority needs to be the academic experience.”

IFC and Panhellenic recruitment are traditionally run on different schedules. IFC recruitment begins with first round on the Saturday and Sunday before spring semester starts, with second and third round held on the Friday and Saturday of the following weekend. Recruitment culminates for men on Saturday night when they receive their formal invitations from fraternities, an event known as “bid night.”

Hartline expressed disappointment in moving IFC bid night to Sunday instead of Saturday. “It’s completely getting rid of our traditional bid night,” Hartline said.

Sigma Chi president Nick Polanco shared Hartline’s sentiment. “I think getting a bid to a Greek chapter is a great experience,” Polanco said and added bid night will “adversely be affected by this change.”

Panhellenic recruitment begins the Thursday after classes start and ends on Sunday. Sororities hold a “work week” or “polish week” in the days between when students come back on campus after winter term until Thursday. “Work week” varies between chapters, but the time is spent preparing and practicing. The period is also used for alternative recruitment for student athletes and women who have a reason for missing one of the three rounds.

“I don’t think they gave us enough time,” said Delta Gamma president Mallory Benson, “I don’t think DePauw did enough research or talked to enough students to fully understand what Greek chapters do to prepare for recruitment.”

Johnston wrote she is confident chapters will be able to have a successful recruitment and said,

“Positive culture change sometimes necessitates that we move away from doing things the way we have always done them. This change is a meaningful commitment to our academic environment and I believe it is worth the effort.”