Scenes from the second day of Sorority Recruitment on S Miledge Avenue in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, August 11, 2019. The day included 8 parties of the first round, meaning the potential new members (PNMS) got to visit the rest of the houses. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, https://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

The University of Georgia Panhellenic Council sends recruitment updates to Katrina Long “every other day.” As vice president of recruitment for UGA’s Delta Delta Delta chapter, Long has a variety of responsibilities, the most relevant of which is that she is in charge of planning sorority recruitment during a pandemic.

With COVID-19 updates coming from the university on at least a weekly basis, student organizations, including Greek life, have to update how they will operate in the fall semester.

When Panhellenic announced their “hybrid” online and in-person recruitment plan, for example, masks were “strongly encouraged” for all potential new members. Masks are now required during recruitment events, Long said.

As part of COVID-19 precautions, the number of people allowed in sorority houses is limited. The national Tri Delta organization will only allow current members — those who do not live at the house but are members of the sorority — to be at the sorority house during the preferential round. Usually, potential new members could be at the house in rounds one and two.

During the preferential round, women visit their top two sororities. There will be eight smaller groups of women visiting Tri Delta this year as opposed to three groups in previous years. Bottled water will be the only beverage provided as opposed to previous years with snacks and other beverages.

Bid day is the last day of recruitment when potential new members are accepted into their sorority. Long said that there will be four “waves” when new members have a scheduled time to go to all Panhellenic sorority houses. There is also a scheduled time when the members have to leave the sorority house.

At the Tri Delta house, there will be a one-way path throughout the house to promote social distancing. There will also be extra reusable masks in case members forget them.

Members of Tri Delta will also be taking potential new members’ temperatures and providing reusable cloth masks for members involved with recruitment. These masks are personalized and have three delta symbols in the bottom corner.

Long also said that Panhellenic has expressed the need for “contingency plans” in case the semester does move to a virtual platform.

Some sororities did not comment about their specific plans for the in-person portions of the recruitment. Alpha Gamma Delta president Natalie Siegman said that her sorority is still “receiving Panhellenic’s guidance” and following its recommendations. Delta Phi Epsilon and Alpha Delta Pi did not comment about plans for the fall semester. The Red & Black reached out to 11 other sororities and didn’t receive a response about their recruitment plans.

The Interfraternity Council, the board that oversees 26 fraternities on campus, finalized summer recruitment guidelines on June 4. IFC allowed “traditional summer recruitment” under public health guidelines and restrictions.

Individual fraternity chapters were permitted to hold in-person summer recruitment events. Summer recruitment social events and gatherings were required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and gathering restrictions in addition to rules from the Greek Life Office and the IFC.

Chapters hosting in-person social gatherings and recruitment events are required to have gatherings of less than 25 people in a single location and maintain 6 feet between individuals as per the social distancing guidelines provided by the state. If a chapter is in violation of this, they would be fined $5,000 and be subject to a written complaint to its “respective national organization.”

The $5,000 fine would be paid to the IFC scholarship fund, which provides need-based scholarships for IFC members. The amount of the fine would increase to $7,500 and $10,000 for a chapter’s second and third violation. IFC president Brennan Cox said one fraternity had to pay the $5,000 fine as of July 30. He did not say which fraternity was fined.

IFC also finalized guidelines for formal recruitment in mid-July. The recruitment process has been adjusted to conform with social distancing guidelines, gathering restrictions and COVID-19 considerations.

Bid cards and recruitment orientation will be distributed in a “virtual format” according to the official IFC formal recruitment schedule. Those who receive bids will receive a link to accept their membership into the fraternity.

Round one of IFC recruitment involves a meet in greet in Ramsey Student Center on Aug. 16 and open fraternity house tours on the following day. Potential new members will receive time slots to attend the meet and greet. Masks are required for all participants.

Round two on Aug. 19 and round three on Aug. 22 involve invite-only events, where chapters can invite potential new members to their events. Formal recruitment events must conclude by 5 p.m on Aug. 19, and out-of-town events may be held on Aug. 22.

Aug. 23 will be the last day of formal recruitment, and any chapters actively recruiting will be able to host events throughout the day. Potential new members who did not yet sign their bid card must do so by 8 p.m that night.

The Multicultural Greek Council is also hosting part of its recruitment online. There are 13 organizations under the council, and president Anusha Khan said each organization’s rush will look different.

Every organization is required to limit attendance, hold an equal amount of online events as in-person recruitment events and provide online information about the new recruitment process.