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The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Greek life membership takes a hit after change in recruitment style

Chi Omega
Members of Chi Omega posing for a group photo here on campus on bid day 2023.

Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Ceres Women’s Fraternity, and Alpha Omega Epsilon (AOE) recently underwent a partially structured recruitment style. Recruitment was held Aug. 24 through 28, which was two weeks earlier than usual, but that wasn’t the only change.

Four of the sorority chapters on campus tried a new recruitment style, partially structured, with this new style the College Panhellenic Association (CPH), the unifying and governing body for sororities, are hoping to include the smaller chapters in recruitment to build up Greek life numbers in all chapters. In the past, Greek life used fully structured recruitment, which only included the two larger chapters on campus, Chi Omega and Alpha Xi Delta.

“At first, we were not very open to the idea of switching from a formal recruitment style to a Partially Structured Recruitment style,” said Emma McMillan, Alpha Xi Delta Recruitment Chair. “We thought that it would take away from our fraternity’s traditional values. Now, that we have participated in the Partially Structured recruitment style, we noticed that we really enjoyed the change of pace and setting.”

With holding recruitment two weeks earlier than usual, not as many people heard about recruitment. There were 54 total girls who signed up, 24 got bids (an invitation to join a chapter), and only 2 of the 4 chapters got new members.

“Due to the earlier date, we had less people sign up for primary (structured) recruitment,” said Ashton Pauling, Chi Omega Recruitment Chair. “I think it was good that we tried the earlier date, but it was proven later dates work better for our campus.”

The new recruitment style was meant to build numbers, but instead it tanked them. Instead of helping all four of the chapters gain new members, it recruited less members for Chi Omega and Alpha Xi Delta, and Ceres and AOE did not. did not receive any new members.

“Due to the much lower turnout for primary structured recruitment, initially our fall new member class was about half the size it usually is,” Pauling said.

“In previous semesters we would receive 1 new member, but this year we received none,” said Destiny Graphenteen, Ceres Women’s Fraternity President.

In previous years, Ceres and AOE did continuous open bidding (COB) recruitment, instead of a structured recruitment style. When doing COB, the chapters put on small events for potential new members to see what the other members are like, and to see if they would be a good fit in the chapter. COB would cause the chapters to gain one or two new members to keep growing their chapters, but this year they tried structured recruitment to hopefully gain a few more new members.

Partially Structured Recruitment is the blend of fully structured recruitment and COB, there are 4 days, the first two consist of a more casual setting, getting to know the potential new members by doing crafts with them. The 3rd day is more professional and a little bit more structured and the 4th day is very professional and very structured. Throughout the process potential new members will go to each chapter and talk to people to get to know them and learn more about each chapter to find which chapter they would like to join. At the end of the weekend, we have “bid-day” which is the day the new members get their invitation to join the chapter they were invited to.

Ceres had not completed structured recruitment in three years, along with every member having to learn to correctly complete recruitment, they also had to find ways to get more girls interested in joining their chapter.  “Partially structured was easier for us to learn, but it didn’t seem very organized – the potential new members seemed over it by the last day of recruitment.” said Destiny Graphenteen.

AOE also had not completed structured recruitment in three years, “We liked partially structured recruitment,” said Fiala Herceg, Alpha Omega Epsilon Recruitment Chair. “It was a good way to get back into formal recruitment.”

With all these mixed reviews, the Greek Life adviser, Katie Yunker, is overwhelmed with the data from the “post satisfaction survey” that was sent out. This survey is used to collect and look over the overall thoughts of partially structured recruitment. When going through the information collected, the national and university CPH boards will then decide what is going to change or remain the same for next year’s structured recruitment.

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