Recruitment for the fraternities might be lower than normal but that might not be a bad thing. COVID-19 has influenced most aspects of college life and Greek life is not an exception to this new truth. There are many new rules that have been implemented around campus events including limiting the size, requiring social distancing accommodations, and requiring pre-approval from the university.
Greek events need to now meet all these requirements and recruitment was no exception. Smaller group activities that can be done outside made the bulk of approved events while the rest was made up of online chat rooms where brothers and potential members could chat. These smaller group sizes lead to minimizing how many people can attend each event from both the potential new member side and the active member size. Ultimately, these reduced sizes lead to reduced amounts of bids, formal invitations to join a fraternity being sent out. Only 37 bids were handed out this fall recruitment from all the fraternities, according to the Interfraternity Council (IFC) this is a low amount.
“COVID has had a direct effect on all aspects of our lives. With the new rules for social distancing in small groups, it was more work for the fraternities to organize the activities.” Claimed Warren Rehberg, the VP of recruitment for IFC. Despite the difficulties that came from the COVID safety issues and the decrease in bids, Rehberg believes that this fall recruitment was still a success. He stated, “I believe that the most passionate people came out.”
With all the difficulties, people in attendance of the recruitment events would have to be dedicated to joining a fraternity to keep going back to them. Rehberg believes that retention rates will be high for all new members of fall 2020 recruitment, “[Retention rates of the new members] will be the real test, it’s going to be much better than before.”
The long-term effects are still to be seen of this semester’s recruitment, but this can have a lasting effect on all fraternity recruitment depending on the retention. COVID-19 may be causing a big effect on all school activities, but fraternities are finding a way to work with the rules.