Friday, September 5, 2014

Savannah's Side: Sorority Recruitment

In which I, Savannah, tell you a little bit about the personal doings of some of the aspects of my life that don't get as much airtime on the blog! 

Hello, everyone! Long time, no... write.

I've been meaning to update for a while now, but unfortunately, my schedule is keeping me pretty preoccupied... I'm currently in the thick of Panhellenic Formal Fall Recruitment at the University of Washington, during which I will be spending my time directing women undergoing the process, and counseling them on how to make the most of it, as a Recruitment Counselor!

Basically, in simplified terms, Formal Fall Recruitment (commonly termed "Rush," though we like to stay away from that word nowadays because of potentially stressful connotation) is the period during which women have the opportunity to get to know the 17 sororities on the UW campus, before school has officially started. It takes about a week, with women visiting and getting to know every chapter, and slowly whittling down their choices of the places they'd like to continue visiting, until they have selected their final three choices during Preference Round. After that, the sororities extend bids to the women they'd like to invite to be a part of their chapter!

(At least, that is the ideal situation. There's a lot more to go into involved in the "mutual selection process," with each sorority narrowing down the women they'd like to extend invitations to at the same time the women are making those distinctions for themselves, but at its most fundamental level, that's how Recruitment works!)

Confusing, I know. My job during all of this frantic business, is to tackle just that: confusion, on the part of the women who will potentially be the new members of the chapters they're visiting (hence their title, "Potential New Members," or "PNMs"). Also, homesickness, stress, disappointment, etc. Basically, as a Recruitment Counselor, I'm... counseling them through Recruitment. 

Not just on an emotional level, though. I'm also going to be living in the residence halls during the process, with PNMs who are staying on campus instead of commuting, and I'll be working alongside Panhellenic to monitor the sororities to make sure they don't go against the rules of Recruitment in any way, as well. I'm also helping running the computer system into which girls input their selections for each stage of the process, and I'll probably handling other odd jobs, too!

In order to be the best asset to these young women during the process, and present the most neutral and objective sounding board for assisting them in their decisions, I'm currently "disaffiliated" from my sorority; meaning, I won't be able to tell anyone which sorority I belong to, nor will they be able to talk about me, nor will any of my sorority sisters be able to contact me in any way (and vice versa) until I run back to my house on Bid Day (the day the sororities extend their invitations to the new members, and the Greek Community basically erupts into one great big party!).

It might sound a little lonely for me, because I suddenly have to go a week within spitting distance of the people I love, without getting to really acknowledge their existence, but fret not: I get to hang out with the amazing women in my Greek Community who have also made the decision to be Recruitment Counselors! I have two specific partners with whom I will be working most of the week, whom I already have come to know pretty well... Miko and Carley are the Beyonce and Michelle Williams to my Kelly Rowland.

In total, I'm incredibly excited for the opportunity to explore the general awesomeness of my Greek Community from another angle during the Recruitment process, and I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week, and especially Bid Day, on the 12th!

Until then, however, I'll relish my free time... especially because I've prepared for that time by downloading Isla and the Happily Ever After, Girl on a Wire, and Heir of Fire onto my Kindle Paperwhite already! So, be expecting to hear from me later about how my time on the streets of the Greek Community goes... I look forward to being able to write again soon!

Formal Fall Recruitment is a pretty action-packed time for the Greek Community here at UW... even during our downtime, we can still hear sororities practicing their Preference songs and Open House door chants through open windows! However, the rewards I have gained from being a member of my sorority - and the Greek Community in general - have truly shaped the direction I'm taking my life, and I strongly encourage all college-aged women to GO GREEK! 

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