Greek Life recruitment impacted by delay in spring semester

Sorority+recruitment+dates+have+been+changed+to+be+held+Feb.+1+through+Feb.+6.+

Sorority recruitment dates have been changed to be held Feb. 1 through Feb. 6.

Those in Greek life were looking forward to a more in-person recruitment experience after years of virtual settings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the recent threat of the omicron variant, recruitment is once again facing challenges after the delay to the start of Marquette University’s spring semester.

Interfraternity Council President Nick Orihuela, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the delay affected their social media campaigns and promotions for recruitment. For fraternities, Orihuela said recruitment week in the spring semester is held Feb. 7-11. Prior to those days, Orihuela said IFC likes to spread the word about recruitment.

“We have tabling events so that people can meet fraternities one on one, and have a more personal connection … I guess creating those types of experiences and also displaying our culture in any positive way, so that’s something we’ve been trying to work on,” Orihuela said. “And so now that’s pushed back.”

Orihuela said that it would have been nice to have these events the first week Marquette was originally going to be back, but he said now they are planning to host these events in a smaller time frame since their recruitment dates are remaining the same and fraternities are trying to fit everything in before Feb. 7.

“I’m hoping that our plan will be implemented correctly and efficiently, which will hopefully result in it being smooth, but unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic Greek life has, not necessarily been struggling, but having trouble getting its feet back on the ground in terms of numbers prior to the pandemic,” Orihuela said.

Junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and member of the Gamma Beta chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Rolando Flores said that this is his first year participating in recruitment and said he is excited to help in any way he can.

Although the recruitment dates for fraternities remained unchanged, Flores said the events that have been altered due to the delay in the semester are only to ensure the correct safety measures are being put in place to maintain a COVID-19 safe environment.

“I was looking forward to it so it’s a little unfortunate that everything has been pushed back,” Flores said. “I think that human interaction is a big part of these events so we hope not to go back to virtual, it’s just not the same that way.”

Marquette’s Panhellenic Council President Andrea Contreras, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the delay caused a pretty big shift in terms of sorority recruitment.

“Our original dates were exactly those dates that the school year got moved to, and so we had to push it back a week,” Contreras said.

Initially, sorority recruitment dates were scheduled for Jan. 15-30. The updated recruitment dates are now planned to be held Jan. 31 through Feb. 6. Contreras said bid day will be held Feb. 6.

Contreras said the dates being pushed back aren’t the only changes the council has had to deal with, they also had to cancel a lot of rooms they had reserved and retreats they originally had planned.

“So we’ve had to deal with external bookings that we’ve had to switch, which I think fully everything has worked out and we’ve been able to rearrange and stay afloat,” Contreras said. “It was definitely a bit of a scramble the first couple of days.”

Not only affecting recruitment, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the experience of Greek life on Marquette’s campus as it canceled, postponed or switched many events that were to be held virtually.

“Last year we could not recruit a pledge class because of COVID. Times were tough, but it seemed to only bring us closer together,” Adam Johnson, senior in the College of Engineering and president of Marquette’s Sigma Chi chapter, said in an email. “We believe that it is more important than ever to recruit a strong pledge class to help us remain an active and contributing organization on campus.”

In years past, recruitment has been mostly virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic so many Greek life members are excited for a more in-person experience this semester.

“This semester we will be hosting our formal at discovery world. For many of us, including myself, this will be the first formal that we have been to,” Johnson said in an email. “We remain hopeful that events will not be canceled or postponed due to COVID(-19).”

This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab. She can be reached at julianna.abuzzahab@marquette.edu