Sororities abstain from Facebook

  • Marquette sororities begin their recruitment process this week.
  • Recruitment counselors are selected to help guide students through the process.
  • In order to stay unbiased, these counselors cannot divulge their sororities and must maintain as little contact as possible with their chapters.
  • All members of sororities are required to delete their Facebook pages until Bid Day so as not to influence interested students.

To the average college student, the idea of staying off Facebook for nearly two weeks is almost unfathomable. For members of Marquette's sororities, it is simply a necessary part of the recruitment process.

Recruitment week begins Wednesday for the campus' five social sororities. There are various events throughout the week, starting with tomorrow's informational meeting in Weasler Auditorium and culminating in a bid day Sunday when students find out which sorority they are invited to join.

The sorority chapters and the Panhellenic Association take specific actions to try to ensure students interested in sororities are not influenced by anything other than their own feelings when considering which chapter to join.

For recruitment week, the Panhellenic Association executive board selects some women to serve as recruitment counselors for students interested in joining a sorority.

These counselors need to be able to serve as unbiased guides, so they enter a process called disaffiliation.

"Recruitment counselors are a really crucial part of the experience for the girls," said Rebecca Prybell, vice president of communications for the Panhellenic Association.

Through disaffiliation, recruitment counselors try to eliminate as many ties as possible to their sororities so students they assist have no idea what chapters the counselors are a part of.

"We want them to be totally unbiased in their decision," said Alanna Stillo, a recruitment counselor and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. "We want girls to figure out what sorority they want to be in based on their own true feelings."

Students also need to be able to converse openly with their counselor without worrying what the counselor's sorority affiliation is.

"(Students) want to be able to talk to someone they can trust," said Chrissy Gratz, vice president of membership for the Panhellenic Association and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. "They need someone they can talk to openly about (picking a chapter)."

Counselors cannot wear their chapter letters around campus, Stillo said. And they must follow a "two-Greek rule," meaning they cannot be in a group with more than two other members of sororities at a time.

They also try to limit their interaction with sorority members as much as possible, Stillo said.

Recruitment counselors began disaffiliating on Dec. 1 and continue to do so until Bid Day, Jan. 25.

All members of sororities are required to delete their Facebook pages during the recruitment process. Counselors had to be off the Web site on Jan. 12, and other members of sororities had to be off this past weekend. All can rejoin Facebook after Bid Day.

Members have to leave Facebook so that students interested in joining sororities do not form judgments about chapters based on Facebook profiles and pictures, Stillo said.

"Initially, when Facebook was small, it wasn't a problem," Gratz said.

Because there are so many people and photographs on the site now, it would be harder for potential new sorority members to make unbiased choices if they searched sorority members on Facebook, Gratz said.

Chapters make sure members are off of Facebook, and the Panhellenic Association enforces the policy.

"There is a check (of Facebook)," Prybell said. "Chapters can get fined."

Prybell personally was not greatly affected by being off Facebook, but she said it can be a big deal for other members of sororities.

"I think it's a little bit of an eye-opener for the girls," she said.