Sorority recruitment at Murray State University is going partly online due to the coronavirus. Greek Life Coordinator Kimberly Newbern said the first three days of recruitment will be completely virtual, using Zoom.
“So basically what happens is each chapter will have their own individual link... And then the PNMs [potential new members] will be with their Gamma Chis, their recruitment counsellors, in their selective rooms so that they can check in during each day,” she said.
Newbern said the PNMs will be dispersed to those different links, depending on what their recruitment schedule looks like. She said once the PNMs have clicked into a chapter’s Zoom link, it will be up to the chapter to put them into breakout rooms so they can have separate conversations. Breakout rooms allow Zoom meetings to be split in up to 50 sessions.
She said PNMs will report to Wrather Auditorium in shifts on Preference Day, the last day of formal recruitment. From there, they will go to the sorority suites of their top selected organizations. Newbern said they are looking at a virtual or in-person option for Bid Day.
The virtual option would include emails to PNMs who received bids, telling them to report to a certain location on Bid Day. Newbern said Gamma Chis from each chapter will have their own designated link, which they will send to PNMs when they show up to accept their bids.
“We will then tell them [the PNMs] to wait about 30 or so minutes and you should receive an email from a Gamma Chi. That email will provide them with a link and when the PNM enters that Zoom link it will be all the Gamma Chis that are basically her new sisters,” she said.
During recruitment, all Gamma Chis are disaffiliated from their organization so there is no bias among PNMs in choosing an organization.
But Newbern said she is pretty sure people will vote for an in-person Bid Day. In that case, she said it will have to be “one chapter at a time” and closed to family and friends.
“It would just be Panhellenic members that could be present because of capacity. But we would stream it so family and friends could watch,” she said.
Newbern said almost 200 people have registered as potential sorority members. She said that number is “just a tad bit down” from last year.
Newbern said things will have to be different for fraternity recruitment as well. She said fraternities typically serve food and play contact sports to get to know PNMs. This fall, food is a no-go and they will not be able to play certain sports.
“I’m still getting their plans in to approve. You’re going to see things like golf and corn-hole and things like that, that are less contact.”
Newbern said the Murray State Greek Life office is suggesting sororities and fraternities consider a hybrid method with a limited audience for events this semester. She said the office is asking for events involving contact to be modified or completely changed. The office is also asking Greek Life organizations to not host food-related events.
“If you’ve got things like Watermelon Bust where they’re rolling around in the mud, that can’t happen,” Newbern said.
Murray State has 11 sororities and 14 fraternities governed under the Murray State Greek Life office.
Sorority recruitment is Aug. 20 to Aug. 24. Fraternity recruitment is Aug. 24 to Aug. 28.