In-person recruitment events return to OSU’s Greek community

Sororities and fraternities outline their plans for incoming and second-year students to finally experience Greek life on campus.

Members of the Kappa Delta sorority at Oregon State University prepare for fall 2021 recruitment by showing off their pride during spirit week. Recruitment will take place in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic and Greek Life organizations say they are following and upholding the necessary protocols regarding COVID-19.

Luke Brockman, News Contributor

After students lost them nearly two years ago, in-person Greek Life activities are making their reappearance on Oregon State University’s campus, albeit with some “new normal” modifications.

Contingent with OSU’s vaccination program and the university’s policy on COVID-19 safety, fraternity and sorority recruitment events are set to take place in person this year—with a few virtual options for information sessions—in addition to in-person classes and other activities.

Maija Linh Pham, a START representative who also serves as vice president of finance and administration for the Collective Greek Council, can’t wait to regain the interpersonal aspects of meet-and-greet recruitment events that were lost in the entirely virtual experience last fall. However, she’s also confident in the ability to stay in person with the new protocols for stopping the spread.

“All of the Greek governing councils agree upon following OSU’s rules—I mean, we are student organizations—but as a larger body of students across the board, we are making sure we are mindful [of the guidelines in place] so that we’re not setting a bad example; making sure that we’re not the ones ruining things for everybody,” Pham said.

Julianne McKenna, the vice president of public relations for Collective Greek Council, said such mindfulness comes in part by the constant council meetings where the integration of COVID-19 safety guidelines has become second nature since the onset of the pandemic last March.

Greek Councils this fall are preparing for these status update meetings with regard to the ever-dynamic nature of the pandemic, how guidelines are being met within chapters, assessing what can be done better and reexamining updates from the county and the university. Read the joint statement from the fraternity and sorority Councils on COVID-19 safety on the website.

According to Sam Burgener and Brandon Hughes, the vice presidents of Recruitment Marketing and Programming for the Interfraternity Council, a factor to consider with this year’s Greek recruitment is the overflow of second-year students interested in Greek Life after a year where the activities and benefits of joining were neither safe nor certain.

Not only are there incoming students gearing up to join, but Burgener and Hughes said there are even more interested students who were deferred or chose not to join due to the pandemic.

Burgener and Hughes are also confident in the acknowledgement and ability of the Greek Councils to take COVID-19 safety seriously and uphold protocols, despite the expectation of hundreds more new recruits than average.

“We’re already seeing it with our summer recruitment,” Burgener said. “A lot of chapters are having a lot larger numbers, already… I really think we’re going to have a pretty large number [of recruits], like we haven’t seen in the last five years or so.”

The permanence of in-person campus activity hinges on keeping case numbers in the community below dangerous levels. OSU administration has encouraged students to take individual responsibility for hindering the spread of this virus, not only within the Greek community, but as a campus-wide body. Students can look up to their peers and superiors who are being responsible advocates for safety and community health.

Burgener and Hughes said students who are wondering what to expect during recruitment this fall can look forward to a more normal social environment within the constraints of OSU’s evolving COVID-19 guidelines.

Students should log into their student health portal and update their vaccination status, if they haven’t already. More information can be found on the vaccination requirements program webpage. This step is important for the purposes of joining a chapter, for tracing any positive cases that may occur on campus and for the effort of Greek Councils to stop the spread of Delta variant.

Fraternity recruitment events are taking place from Sept. 22 until Jump Day, on Oct. 1, when new members officially join their chapters. Expect masks and COVID-19 tracing measures, but check the @osugreeks Instagram page for more possible updates about Jump Day.

Sorority recruitment will take place from Oct. 2 through 11. Find more information on Instagram, @osupanhellenic.

The Go Greek BBQ took place on Sept. 20 from 4-6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Quad. Masks and social distancing were practiced, as is the standard for all in-person gatherings in indoor and outdoor public settings.

If you missed this event, which was an opportunity to meet representatives from all five Greek Councils and network with the Greek community at large, resources for connecting with the various chapters, both fraternity and sorority, can be found at Greek Life homepage, or on the Instagram account @osugreeks.