New Panhellenic Council members ZOOMed home after a week of virtual recruitment


Courtesy of Tara Rossignol

New members of Alpha Sigma Tau meet virtually for recruitment instead of the traditional rush week.

The Collegiate Panhellenic Council held its first ever virtual Zoom recruitment on Aug. 10 -15. The process is typically held in-person for potential new members who wish to join one of the five CPC sororities on campus.

Although recruitment looked different this year, Jessica Litolff, a senior accounting major and CPC president, reported that there were no drastic changes in the amount of women who sign up each fall.

“191 women were signed up for recruitment this year,” shared Litolff.

Litolff described how recruitment was held this year, considering visiting the sorority houses was not an option.

“Every morning potential new members (PNMs) would meet with their recruitment counselors on Zoom where their schedule for the day was emailed to them,” said Litolff. “PNMs would then go to individual Zoom calls for each sorority. Every sorority was able to do speeches, videos and create breakout rooms where PNMs could take one-on-one or two-on-one time with chapter members. At the end of the day, PNMs would call their recruitment counselors, then make selections with an Office for Student Engagement staff member on Zoom.”

The university was among multiple colleges in the state that decided to convert to an all-virtual experience.

“We held a mock recruitment with the College Panhellenic Council at McNeese State University,” mentioned Litolff. “Many of the chapters held mock recruitments over Zoom with other chapters across the United States and with alumnae.”

With Zoom being a foreign territory for CPC, Litolff narrated the preparation the council took to ensure a smooth recruitment process.

“A lot of pre-recruitment meetings and mock recruitments,” shared Litolff. “Normally we have one pre-recruitment meeting in the spring semester and one the week before recruitment. This year we had pre-recruitment meetings every other week.”

Leslie Pina, a senior marketing major and president of Theta Phi Alpha, shared how her chapter learned from working with McNeese.

“The university’s Panhellenic actually was contacted by McNeese’s Panhellenic to host a Virtual Mock Recruitment through Zoom,” said Pina. “From there, they asked who would be the host for each chapter. McNeese showed us a video to show us how to enter potential new members into break out rooms to make it easier to get to know other girls.”

Litolff described how the council came together to run a virtual recruitment behind-the-scenes.

“We had to adjust the way we advertise and reach potential new members,” said Litolff. “As a community, we had to work together to figure out how to make every aspect of recruitment virtual and how to make it successful for every chapter. Chapters that are Continuous Open Bidding (recruiting after formal recruitment) must continue recruiting virtually, so there have been changes to that process as well.”

Although many sorority members were skeptical about a virtual recruitment, Pina shared that it went well for her chapter.

“This recruitment was very successful for us all,” said Pina. “We did have technical difficulties on the first day, but after that, we got used to it and it went pretty well.”

Bid Day is an event that signifies the end of recruitment and the celebration of new members joining their sororities. The CPC mandated that Bid Day also be held virtual to abide by the university’s safety guidelines and procedures. 

“It was very different, but we still managed to get to know our new members well,” said Pina. “It was also shorter than a regular Bid Day. What I was sad about was that these new members are experiencing their first Bid Day in front of a screen, but I know that many of them are making the best of it.”