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Greek organizations to conduct virtual recruitment

Last year, fraternities and sororities at UNG conducted their annual spring recruitment as usual. Sororities marked Bid Day with a celebration. This year, the Panhellenic sororities and Interfraternity Council fraternities have adjusted their recruitment activities to a virtual setting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect last year's recruitment for fraternities and sororities at the University of North Georgia (UNG), it will impact the annual events this spring.

"For the health and safety of the students, we have determined spring formal recruitment will be virtual," said Aubrey Frazier, director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at UNG.

Panhellenic recruitment will be Jan. 7-9, while the Interfraternity Council (IFC), gender-inclusive, and culturally based fraternal organizations' recruitment events will follow in February.

Frazier said studies show colleges are able to retain students at a higher rate "when they feel that they belong." For some students, fraternities and sororities fill that role.

"UNG has so many great organizations to join such as the Corps of Cadets, Athletics, Multicultural Student Affairs and many others. They are all avenues for students to find their home away from home," Frazier said. "What makes fraternities and sororities unique is we offer a holistic involvement experience through leadership development, service and philanthropy engagement, and a heightened sense of belonging."

While activities were limited in the fall because of the pandemic, UNG's 18 sororities and fraternities met virtually and in-person by following COVID-19 safety guidelines. Groups also hosted some philanthropy and brotherhood/sisterhood events to maintain some normalcy.

This spring, fraternities and sororities have adjusted their recruitment schedules to a virtual setting.

"We learned from other schools who did fall recruitment virtually," Frazier said. "We also worked with UNG's IT department to set up the virtual meetings through Zoom."

During Panhellenic's structured recruitment, potential new members, or PNMs, will meet with representatives of five Panhellenic sororities via Zoom. In the session, female students learn about each chapter's values, philanthropies and sisterhood before they head into breakout rooms to speak with a couple of sorority sisters from a single organization.

"It is a lot of one-on-one and two-on-one interaction," she said.

On the second day, female students meet with a few sororities again followed by a maximum of two chapters on day three. Finally, the sororities offer bids or invitations of membership.

On Feb. 10, the eight IFC fraternities will follow a similar setup beginning with a Round Robin event. Students may meet all fraternities followed by a less structured process of events from Feb. 10-19 and Feb. 20-24. For example, two fraternities will have Zoom sessions from 6-9 p.m. one day followed by two different ones hosting sessions the next day. This allows the PNMs to visit each fraternity at least twice for a significant period of time. Interested men will need to register in advance.

"We are also encouraging the fraternity brothers to meet one-on-one with the PNMs to chat in person as they follow the safety precautions of wearing a mask and social distancing," Frazier said.

After each fraternity has two rounds of virtual sessions, recruits will receive bids from the fraternities interested in them.

Finally, UNG's gender-inclusive and culturally based fraternal organizations will have separate recruitment and intake processes for interested students. Students interested in one of the following groups can fill out an interest form: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc., Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi honor fraternity, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.

For more information, visit the Fraternity & Sorority Life website.

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