Like most Marshall student-led organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic paused member retention and growth, along with the cancellation of annual events and fundraising efforts.
Marshall’s Panhellenic Community struggled during the fall semester—their most crucial season. The fall is when their formal recruitment takes place and when they bring in the most new members. Marshall’s Panhellenic is made up of all the women from the four sororities on campus: Delta Zeta, Alpha Xi Delta, SIgma Sigma, Sigma and Alpha Chi Omega.
“We are hoping for either a hybrid, or full in person recruitment. Of course, we will encourage all attendees to get vaccinated before going through recruitment, or to wear a mask during the events if they choose not to be vaccinated. We are hoping Marshall’s numbers stay low, and we are able to put together a safe, but effective event,” Alyssa Aftanas, the Vice President of Recruitment for PHC, said.
Normal recruitment during the fall semester consists of four days where women rotate in and out of each sorority to meet the members and learn more about what each different chapter has to offer. These women, potential new members, are able to go through a mutual selection process to find their new sorority where they may be given a bid to join a certain chapter. If they choose to accept that bid then they go to Bid Day on Sunday to meet all of the chapter members and celebrate.
“I have very high hopes for a big turnout in the fall! Like I have mentioned, the world has been “shut down” for the last 2 semesters, so I hope we get people who are ready to get more involved with activities and the connections Greek life offers,” said Aftanas.
She is a rising junior from Winfield majoring in healthcare management. Aftanas went through recruitment in the fall of 2019. She said that her favorite part about the Panhellenic community and Marshall’s Greek Life is all of the friends she has made and new opportunities she has be given, one of which is her current leadership position.
“As a member of the Greek community, I have fell in love with Greek life and all it has to offer,” said Aftanas, “I wanted to be the VP of Recruitment to help with the growth of the Greek community and thought as the VP of Recruitment I would be able to encourage girls to go through recruitment to help them fall in love with it just as I did. I have loved serving in this position and am very grateful I was given this opportunity.”
Although they are still waiting on word from the university to determine what events they are going to be able to host this fall, Aftanas hopes to host a self-defense training in addition to the two informational meetings, Sorority 101 and 201, that are held each fall. They would like to have as many women on campus come to this training, whether they are interested in Panhellenic or not.
One piece of advice she wants to leave with incoming freshman or women already on campus that are considering joining the Panhellenic community is to not be afraid to meet new people and to try something new.
“Panhellenic is so excited to meet everyone, and encourages young women to step outside of their comfort zone and go through sorority recruitment,” said Aftanas, “It is an amazing opportunity that can open tons of doors, and offer growth within yourself.”