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Greek life adjusts recruitment and initiation process amid pandemic

Recruiting and initiating members into Seton Hall’s Greek life is normally a time filled with face-to-face contact and social interaction, but due to the pandemic this year's events will have to take place through an increasingly familiar medium—online. 

Ashley Bernhammer, a sophomore psychology major, is the vice president of membership recruitment elect for Seton Hall’s chapter of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.

Bernhammer, who is heavily involved in the process of recruitment for her sorority, said Alpha Omicron Pi recently underwent their fall recruitment process for continuous open bidding and that the day was “completely different.”

To make the online process less overwhelming, Bernhammer explained that her sorority had limited the number of girls active on a Teams call so it is easier for the girls rushing to meet others and learn about the group.

Although it can be difficult to make activities interactive online, Bernhammer said that “the people who run Bid Day do a really good job at making members feel welcome.” 

Sororities have also been hosting “Meet College Panhellenic Council (CPC)” events online that allow students to learn more about the organization prior to rush. Alpha Omicron Pi has participated in two of these events. Several other sororities on campus were also involved.

The online events present basic information to students to help them decide whether they want to rush and to learn more about the sororities and fraternities.

Bernhammer said that experiencing recruitment and rush online is difficult as being personable with people and having conversations is part of the fun.

“It’s fun to get to talk to people face-to-face,” Bernhammer said. “It’s really hard to get to know someone over a computer.” 

Allison Gennette, a junior public relations major and a sister of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, said her sorority was able to hold its Bid Day last spring before COVID-19 hit, but its initiation was pushed off until this fall. The six-week process where members learn about the sorority was delayed due to the pandemic.

Gennette said that Zeta Tau Alpha is preparing for spring recruitment by practicing what will occur so that the members will “know what it looks like ahead of time and it will run smoothly.” 

Gennette also explained that events regarding recruitment in the spring will be held virtually.

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Valerie Iosim, a sophomore psychology major and also a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha, underwent recruitment last spring before COVID-19 abruptly sent students home.

“Through the pandemic, everyone made sure to still make us feel involved and at home,” Losim said. “Even though the pandemic set us back a little bit, everyone was always so inclusive of us and made us feel so comfortable.”

Alexa Toohey can be reached at


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