The start of spring semester usually ushers in a wave of Ohio State students flooding the Ohio Union, hoping to make good impressions on sororities and fraternities. But this year, potential pledges will replace formal outfits and sorority house socials with Zoom calls.
This year, like many major events, spring recruitment will be virtual.
Ryan Sheffield, president of the Interfraternity Council and member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, said recruitment differs among chapters in the organization, but many are using Zoom or other platforms such as Discord, to hold events and get acquainted with potential new members.
“Chapters have done video games with [potential new members]. Chapters have done virtual house tours,” Sheffield, a third-year in business, said. “We’ve been fortunate that the chapters have been pretty resilient.”
Sheffield said the timeline for recruitment varies among chapters, but some have already started. He said recruitment typically lasts two to three weeks.
“Some chapters might decide to extend their recruitment past what they currently have planned based on student interest,” Sheffield said.
The Panhellenic Association does not start recruitment for its member sororities until Jan. 29, Alex Moreno, vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Association and member of the Alpha Phi sorority, said.
“Every chapter will be doing the same thing,” Moreno, a third-year in strategic communication, said.
During the first weekend of recruitment, potential new members will create an account and avatar using a software called Degy World, Moreno said. Potential new members will use this to meet and communicate with active members from different chapters.
“[It is] kind of like Sims almost,” Moreno said. “Each person will have pretty much the same looking avatar, you can customize it a little bit. Each chapter will have the same colored top, things like that.”
Moreno said sororities will eventually switch to using Zoom to meet with members personally.
Kenneth Vo, president of the Multicultural Greek Council and member of the Lambda Phi Epsilon international fraternity, said recruitment timelines and requirements vary by individual member chapters, but will all be on Zoom.
Vo, a fourth-year in chemical engineering, said the Multicultural Greek Council is trying to find ways to connect new and active members during recruitment to make it more welcoming.
“A lot of these spaces get uncomfortable sometimes, especially since we don’t know anyone,” Vo said. “We want to make sure that they are coming into these spaces knowing that they are safe to contribute in any way that they want possible or to their best capacity.”
The deadline for recruitment registration with the Panhellenic Association is Monday. Students interested in recruitment for Greek Life organizations in the Interfraternity Council and Multicultural Greek Council should look for deadlines provided by individual chapters.
Those interested in participating in recruitment can find information and resources on the Panhellenic Association’s, Multicultural Greek Council’s and Interfraternity Council’s respective Instagram pages and websites.