Around this time each year, many college campuses prepare for formal spring sorority recruitment, with Gannon University being no exception. This year’s theme for spring recruitment was “We Are All Tied Together”, symbolized by bows, and spanned the length of January 24-27. Each of the five sororities on campus, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Phi Sigma Sigma, put their best feet forward in order to attract potential new members, or PNMs.
The first event of recruitment was a Meet and Greet in Yehl ballroom. Each sorority set up a presentation and a table of assorted meaningful items in order to introduce their organization to PNMs. This was designed to give girls a taste of each group and see if they find any sororities that match up with their values.
The second event consisted of Palumbo rounds. During Palumbo rounds, all of the PNMs were put into small groups and taken to different rooms in the Palumbo Academic Building. Each sorority was in charge of a room and sets up a small event with food, decorations and games. By splitting up the PNMs and putting them in small groups, the PNM can easily talk to girls in each sorority and not be as intimidated.
The following day, the PNMs ranked their top choices for sororities. Likewise, the sororities voted on which girls they would like to see again. If the two matched up, the sorority invited the PNM to house rounds. During house rounds, the sorority allowed the PNM to take a tour and visit their house. This round was a lot more relaxed than the previous two rounds and current sisters can get to know the PNM on a more personal level. After house rounds, the sorority ranked each PNM and invited them to a preference round the next day.
If a girl is invited to a preference round, there is a good chance she might be extended a bid, or a formal invitation to join that sorority. Preference rounds are normally the most formal and “serious” round of spring recruitment. Typically there is some kind of ritual and testimonies from sisters talking about how sisterhood impacted their lives. After the PNM completed preference rounds, she ranked her top two sororities, and the sororities voted on the PNM. If the two match up, the PNM is given an opportunity to sign her bid.
On Bid Night, the PNM is officially united with the sorority and begins her journey as a new member. Similarly, the Rho Gams, anonymous helpers for PNMs, are reintroduced into their sorority. At this ceremony, the PNMs start the process of becoming an official sister.
Having gone through spring recruitment for my own sorority the previous year, it’s interesting being on the opposite side of the spectrum. When I was a PNM, I had no idea how much work the sorority puts into recruitment. Sororities have retreats, or training sessions to educate sisters about their behaviors during recruitment. Also, sisters have to provide food, decorations, and entertainment for the PNMs. As a PNM, I had no idea how much planning and coordination went into formal recruitment. Luckily, the sorority’s hard work paid off, and they eagerly welcomed the arrival of their newest members on Bid Night.