re·cruit·ment [ri-kroot-muhnt] noun
Definition: The process of identifying and hiring the best-qualified candidate to join an organization.
In the University Greek world, however, recruitment takes on a whole other meaning.
For the past few weeks, I prepared for and participated in my first ever Panhellenic recruitment at the University of Florida for my sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi. Needless to say it was one of the most confusing, exhausting, and rewarding experiences I have yet to endure.
It started out with us learning how to walk and to talk properly, and how to appear absolutely perfect and graceful, despite your agony of the terrible heat and your hurting feet in high heels. We then moved onto the smell of hairspray filling the room as we all tried out different hairstyles that would make us look flawless, all while making sure our outfits were “GATOR” blue and orange, and not a shade darker or lighter.
We discussed the qualities and types of girls we wanted to join our sorority and set those guidelines that would help us decipher if we were truly connecting with a potential new member during a 20 minute short girl flirting conversation during each round.
So far I had never been the type of girl who was all “Ra Ra” for my sorority, for the thought of calling 200 girls my sisters scared me, and because of the fact that almost all fraternity men disgust me. However, despite the superficial and judgmental process of recruitment, what I did gain was an amazing bond to this group of girls and finally my admiration to Aephi and all that it stands for.
It took two full weeks of spending almost every waking moment with the same wonderful people, sharing my experiences with them, and seeing a room full of girls cry when I sang at our preferentials ceremony for me to finally see why my sorority is so special. We weren’t looking for girls who had the fanciest clothes, or who were the tallest and the prettiest. Instead, we were looking for girls with big hearts who wanted to contribute their knowledge, intelligence, and experiences to better our sorority and community. These qualities speak volumes, and is exactly the reason why Aephi continues to prosper and hold one of the best sisterhoods at this university.
Regardless of the stressful hours we stayed awake and the anxiety of recruiting the best new pledge class, I loved recruitment because I became closer with many of the girls and gained amazing friendships that will continue to grow each day. Our new pledge class is also AMAZING, if I do say so myself. Recruitment was definitely one of those experiences where I had to accept being vulnerable, and I couldn’t be happier that I can now add this to the list of “stepping out of my comfort zone situations.”