“I’m so excited I could cry,” says Shelby Sabel, a sophomore education major. “I made my choice because it just felt like home; it felt natural.”
Sabel is just one of over 100 women who found her new home during Panhellenic recruitment week, a collection of days filled with decisions and activities.
On Monday the fifth, Bid Day took place at Fortera Stadium on the football field. This was the time of final decision-making, where potential new members (PNMs) got to finally run home.
Each chapter arrived one by one, proudly displaying their letters and chanting spirited songs for their group. After assembling on the field, music roared from speakers as supportive crowds gathered in the stands.
“I’m so happy to see these girls experiencing this,” says Jessica White, a senior in Alpha Sigma Alpha. “Today is all about helping them find their home and building a community.”
“I was here just one year ago. It was the proudest moment of my life, running home,” said sophomore Hallie Dische. “There’s a good sense of community and everyone has each other’s backs.”
Once all 106 PNMs lined up on the track, every girl had their name announced to the eager crowds. After an enthusiastic chant pertaining to their chapter, the girls finally got to run home.
Panhellenic recruitment began on August 24th with orientation at Clement Auditorium. The night was packed with new information, such as a ‘do and don’t’ fashion show, a discussion of proper recruitment behavior and a program on wellness.
The PNMs also got to meet their Pi Chi, a current sorority member who distanced herself from her own chapter in order to unbiasedly lead new recruits through this recruitment process.
Friday the second through Sunday the fourth was all about getting to know each chapter and what they might be able to offer a PNM. After each night, interested recruits would submit their preferences to the Panhellenic Executive Board.
Activities and talks that demonstrated each chapter’s philanthropic ideals and values were the focus of each meeting, letting each PNM know exactly what they’d be reaching for.
After Monday’s conclusion, Lindsy Perry, Austin Peay’s Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Coordinator, described the arduous process. “We actually started prepping for everything last May,” said Perry. “The three weeks leading up to the event are continuous work”.
Panhellenic recruitment has its best days and some harder days.
After everything’s said and done, however, Perry doesn’t regret a single minute of work.
“It’s so fun to plan. I’m sad that it’s over! I want [each girl] to feel like they belong; this organization chose them as well.”