Every fall, all Panhellenic sororities participate in formal recruitment, but some chapters participate in a year-long informal recruitment and install new member education programs in order to maintain chapter membership.
“Retaining members is a big part of Greek life,” said Membership Vice President for Gamma Phi Beta, Jaclyn Yetter.
After recruitment, sometimes new members decide that Greek Life is not for them, Yetter said. Continuous Open Recruitment is an opportunity for chapters to fill those spots.
Chapters partake in continuous open recruitment when their chapter total is below the average chapter total among all of the Panhellenic sororities, said Katie Dunlap, the Continuing Recruitment Chair for Delta Gamma.
Unlike formal recruitment, not all sororities participate in continuous open recruitment.
Panhellenic sororities have to retain a certain number of women set forth by Fraternity and Sorority Life, Dunlap said. When chapters are not at chapter total, they have an opportunity to add more women to their roster.
Continuous open recruitment begins the week immediately after bid day in the fall, and sororities can invite potential new members to their chapters and see if they would fit in with their chapter.
If the potential new members went through fall recruitment and were released from the program, then they were put on a list to receive information about the chapters that participate in continuous open recruitment.
“The chapters are responsible for reaching out to these women and inviting them to the events that they are holding,” said Dunlap.
Unlike Panhellenic sororities, Eta Iota Sigma does not have a set quota, a number of women they need to have in their chapter.
Eta Iota Sigma is a non-profit organization, eliminating the need to take a certain number of women, Lacey Hood, the Eta Iota Sigma president said.
“We believe the more the merrier, but we are also looking for quality not quantity,” Hood said.
Although only a few chapters participate in continuous open recruitment, Panhellenic sororities and Eta Iota Sigma provide new member education programs.
“We put a lot of emphasis on our new member program,” said Yetter. “We try to give our new members as much support as they need to make them feel comfortable in sorority and Greek life.”
Eta Iota Sigma has new member meetings very similar to Panhellenic sororities. Members are taught the history, colors, symbols, leadership positions and songs. The new members are required to memorize the information and take a new member test before they are inducted at the end of the semester, Hood said.
Additionally the new member programs provide new members a chance to build strong relationships with the actives.
“We also set them up with big sisters and a family within our sorority that help act as role models and give them strong friendships to lean on,” Hood said.
“Sisterhood can mean something different for any member,” said Yetter. “For me, I know that they are going to be there for me through anything. It’s about knowing that you have a place and that you matter."