During the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 4, sororities and fraternities at Allegheny College welcomed new members in the middle of a pandemic. The week was not the same as the years before, but fraternities and sororities did things to make the new members’ day special.
AJ Yarborough, ’22, talked about how Phi Gamma Delta’s week went.
“I’d have to say recruiting while working around (COVID-19) was pretty difficult,” Yarborough said. Fraternities had to be careful in how they recruited since in-person events were not possible due to the requirements of (COVID-19) safety. To combat this, they had to get creative.
“We had a few events, like our virtual bonfire on Zoom,” Yarborough said. “That was pretty successful.”
The brothers of Fiji were still able to hold events to educate possible new members on Fiji’s philanthropies. Being able to use Zoom helped the brothers reach out to new members and made education possible.
Fiji’s pledge ceremony was also a little different from years past.
“We simply used a larger venue, less initiated brothers were present, and we followed all mask and distance guidelines,” Yarborough said.
Following guidelines and keeping everybody safe was very important this year. The brothers were able to figure out how to welcome new members while following safety precautions.
“We even had one of our new members pledge through a video call,” Yarborough said.
The new pledges were also very mindful of being safe during this time and Fiji is very happy with how their week went, according to Yarborough.
“Overall, we welcomed two gentlemen into our brotherhood, and we couldn’t be happier with them,” Yarborough said.
Phi Delta Theta went through the process of getting new members earlier than everyone else.
“Most recruitment was done in the spring. We had one virtual event where we played Jackbox games and reacquainted ourselves,” Harley O’Brochta, ‘23, said.
The fraternity did a lot in the spring through formal recruitment.
“We had to readjust our procedure. We had a hand-held thermometer and kept a list of brothers that were in attendance,” O’Brochta said.
The brothers were careful and mindful of following the safety rules put in place.
“We are ecstatic,” O’Brochta said. “We got 5 new members.”
The fraternity was able to welcome who they wanted to from the spring and they couldn’t be happier.
Tri Delta had a similar fall recruitment experience .
“During recruitment we had some virtual events like self-care night and St. Jude night over Zoom,” Maddie Arbuckle, ’23, said.
The sorority was able to educate their potential new members on their philanthropy and what the sorority stands for via Zoom.
The sisters of Tri Delta also had the opportunity to meet the potential new members virtually.
““Being able to have that face-to-face time was also achieved through virtual meetings,” Arbuckle said. “This is important so the active members and the possible new members could get to know each other and feel comfortable with one another, according to Arbuckle.
Tri Delta also participated in Run Out.
“We divided into smaller groups all over campus to welcome our new pearls and it went really well,” Arbuckle said.
By splitting into smaller groups, they were able to follow the guidelines in place but still experience the day.
“Recruitment this year was obviously different, but we had so much fun thanks to everyone’s hard work,” Arbuckle said.
Tri Delta welcomed two new members into their sisterhood.
Kappa Alpha Theta did things a little differently as well. For Bid Week, they hosted various events
“We did a socially-distanced TikTok competition and a campus tour competition,” Ella Horner, 23’, said.
The sorority did events all over campus to ensure safety and a fun time.
“We rented the Murray tent and had a photo op and did some dancing and getting to know the new members there,” Horner said.
Being outside helped keep everyone safe and distanced while being able to celebrate and take pictures to remember the day.
As the day winded down, Theta also did something a little different.
“We watched a movie later on in the night through Netflix party,” Horner said.
Using different forms of safety, the new members were given as normal of an experience as they could from the sisters of Theta.
Fraternities Phi Kappa Psi, Delta Tau Delta and Theta Chi did not participate in fall recruitment this year. They are focusing on getting a bigger pledge class come spring.
“We are focusing on having a safe and great spring recruitment,” David Roach, Delta Tau Delta, ’22, said.