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Scenes from the first day of sorority recruitment on S Milledge Avenue in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, August 10, 2019. (Photo/Caroline Barnes, https://carolinembarnes.wixsite.com/photography)

University of Georgia Panhellenic recruitment will be partly in-person and partly online this year. On June 23, Panhellenic’s Vice President of Recruitment Jenna Wilson released a video outlining a “hybrid” version of sorority recruitment to account for COVID-19 considerations.

There were 1,523 potential members registered as of June 30. The number of registered members is increasing daily, according to Panhellenic President Jennings Brooks.

This hybrid recruitment process will require sororities to hold in-person and virtual events. During its in-person events, recruitment will proceed “in accordance with directions from the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Public Health,” Brooks said in an email to The Red & Black.

“Panhellenic will strongly encourage masks to be worn by all participants,” Brooks said in the email. 

The biggest changes are in recruitment’s commencement and its first and second rounds.

Rather than be held in a space on campus, new member orientation will be issued online in two parts to potential new members, or PNMs. On July 25, PNMs can meet virtually with their recruitment counselors, known as Gamma Chis, who will guide them through the recruitment process.

From July 29 until Aug. 13, there will be a 19-day sorority preview where PNMs can view a daily video which highlights the values of a new chapter at UGA. Viewing these videos is not required.

There will be required sorority introduction videos, however, which highlight the philanthropic efforts of each chapter and their active members. These will be completed through modules with the guidance of Gamma Chis, according to Wilson’s video.

Round one of recruitment will begin on Aug. 14. PNMs will create a video submission to chapters in this round. More details will come from Gamma Chis, Wilson said in the video.

Round two will be the first opportunity for PNMs to interact with chapters directly via video conference. These meetings will be held on Aug. 16 and 17, with more individual information from potential new members’ Gamma Chis.

Round three will occur on Aug. 18 and 19, where PNMs will have the chance to interact in person in a “space on campus” according to the video. The preferential round will be Aug. 22 and will take place in the sorority houses. Bid day, which will also be in person, is scheduled for Aug. 23.

The UGA Panhellenic Council followed guidelines from the National Panhellenic Conference and had guidance from the Panhellenic Recruitment Contingency Committee to determine how to plan recruitment with COVID-19 accommodations, Brooks said.

“We determined a hybrid recruitment of both in-person and virtual interaction would provide the best experience for all parties while also maintaining the health and safety of all participants,” Brooks said in the email.

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