New Member Experience
Recruitment can be both an exciting and nervous time for many who are looking to or are interested in joining a sorority! We as a Panhel community work to help and support to ensure all have the best experience and journey in looking for the most fitting chapter for each individual! Here are some words from our recently recruited sisters on their personal new member experience.
"Nervousness and intimidation were two feelings that accompanied the jitteriness before participating in the virtual recruitment process – although, there was absolutely no reason for that. My recruitment counsellor ensured the smoothest possible transition to an online recruitment platform. She, alongside active members of other chapters, answered every single question I had and gave me the reassurance I never knew I needed. I remember feeling worried about not being able to create profound conversations via Zoom. However, the reality of the virtual rush process surpassed that now-silly fear. Though it would’ve been incredible to experience the room-packed, and joyful ambience of in-person recruitment, the more meaningful atmosphere of uninterrupted quality time in a breakout room with an active member from each house was something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Talking with Amanda from KKG or Erin from AGD during recruitment, I knew for certain I wanted to be a part of a female-empowered community that already gave me a sense of stability, confidence, motivation and inspiration right from the start. Every single member of the Greek community has worked extremely hard behind closed doors to make the virtual recruitment process as smooth and fun of an experience as possible for PNMs — and it showed. I can confidently say that the virtual recruitment process is extremely successful and is the greatest opportunity for anybody to connect with like-minded women on each of U of T’s campuses. If anything, I wish I joined Greek life sooner, though I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am looking forward to all the Starbucks dates, in-person study sessions at Robarts and late-night kitchen avocado toast dance sessions with my sisters during a safer time — when COVID restrictions permit. From recruitment to now, I’ve found my sisters by chance, and my sisters by choice. My sisters are the most supportive, kind-hearted, loyal and selfless individuals in my life that I can always look up to, learn from, or go to when I need a good laugh. For all these reasons and more, I’m grateful to have found my forever home at Alpha Phi."
- Shea Garcia PC '20
Alpha Gamma Delta
"I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into when I signed up to rush for sororities. Since middle school, I’d been toying with the idea of joining a sorority, but it wasn’t something I thought I’d actually follow through with. Furthermore, all the Teen Vogue sorority recruitment tips I read in 2015 couldn’t have prepared me for doing rush virtually. While I was waiting to be let into the Zoom meeting, I wondered if joining a sorority was the right call for me; however, all my worries disappeared as soon as I entered the meeting room. Right from the start, I could see that all the active members were genuinely interested in getting to know the PNMs and hopefully finding their new sisters. Even though it was all online, talking to the actives and PNMs in breakout rooms felt so natural and easy, with conversation topics ranging from people’s dream jobs to their go-to Costco food orders. Additionally, as a first year, I really appreciated the opportunity to meet new people, and I even ended up connecting with some of the people I met after recruitment finished. Recruitment events and coffee dates started becoming something I looked forward to each day during recruitment season, and I knew I was going to miss it once it was over. If you’re considering going through recruitment even a little bit, I would strongly encourage you to sign up for it!"
- PC '20
Alpha Omicron Pi
"Going into this school year, I was nervous about how different and less connected to my friends and university I would feel. Being from the UTM campus which is already a small community, there also aren't as many clubs or vibrant social scenes like there are downtown. When I heard that the recruitment process for sororities would be virtual, I thought it would be such a great opportunity to connect with more people from UofT without having to commute or feel like the odd one out. When the first recruitment event came around, it was a good change from months of what felt like complete isolation to see and talk to new people! Everyone at every house was so bright, energetic and welcoming - I was thrilled at the potential to be part of their sisterhoods. The entire process being virtual was scary at first, but everyone adapted well - we 'visited' each house over zoom, saw presentations about finances, house tours, philanthropy and met girls a bit more intimately in breakout rooms. I didn't have many expectations going into the process, just an open mind and excitement for something new. Although some days were hard, discouraging and I almost wanted to stop the process, I am so grateful to have gone through with it and found sisters and bestfriends in AOII."
- Madison Etmanski PC '20
Gamma Phi Beta
"Being in a very competitive program on top of everything being online, I was quite anxious about how my first year at UofT was gonna go. When I heard about virtual recruitment, I was skeptical as I couldn’t understand how someone could form a friendship / run a sorority virtually.
Oh was I wrong.
Immediately after speaking to some girls at Gamma Phi Beta I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of. Everyone is so compassionate and empowering, and I was able to form some amazing friendships within the chapter although I haven’t met most girls in person! From virtual chapter meetings to virtual sisterhood events, there really is never a dull moment. Hearing all the sisters talk about their experiences pre-covid such as formals, socials and alumni events really gives me something to look forward to. Being a member of Gamma Phi Beta allowed me to grow as a person and become the confident young woman that I am today."
- Connie Fierro, PC ’20
Delta Delta Delta
"Going into virtual recruitment this year, I wasn’t expecting to feel as strong of a connection with the sisters from each sorority as I would in person. I expected the virtual format to include awkward breakout rooms, glitches, and everything that makes online classes objectively inferior to in-person ones. However, my assumptions were proven wrong, since upon going to my first event, which happened to be with Tri Delta, I quickly realized that virtual recruitment was nothing like online school. Although we all sat in different rooms, I could feel the strength of their sisterhood through my computer screen. With every gasp of excitement coming from active members overjoyed to be in each other’s breakout rooms, I not only became more comfortable with going through recruitment in this format, but was able to see myself on the other end of it. This pattern continued throughout the remainder of the events I attended. Technical difficulties were laughed off, and the awkwardness I previously feared had failed to ensue. At these events, I learned about each sorority’s philanthropy, and met both active members and PNM’s, some of whom ended up becoming my sisters! As I went through this process, the shift from an in-person to virtual format became less and less evident, as the sisters from each house were able to seamlessly adapt to our current circumstances. Congratulations to everyone for hosting such smoothly-ran recruitment events, and thank you for making this year’s recruitment experience so enjoyable!"
- Jessica Svab PC '20
Kappa Kappa Gamma
“Although recruitment this year was definitely an interesting process I’m so happy I stuck with it. As soon as I got the chance to talk to the girls for Kappa I knew immediately that this is where I wanted to spend my next 4 years of university, whether online or in person. During the recruitment process I had the chance to meet with an active Anusha and instantly had Kappa at my top. The welcoming and friendly environment that I got was enough for me to schedule 4 more coffee dates. On my next one I ended up meeting my big Mel. When we had our coffee date we actually ended up having more of a best friends who haven’t talked in awhile type conversation. I knew immediately that if I got the bid I wanted to go Kappa. Since then the new member experience has been so amazing regardless of it being online. I feel as if I’ve met everyone even though we haven’t gotten the chance. Going Greek has surpassed any expectations I had going in, not only have I made friends within my sorority but going through recruitment I was able to meet so many other girls from other houses who I’ve now become friends with. Going Greek isn’t just about your house it’s a whole community and I’d recommend to anyone looking to meet new people, get hand on experience with philanthropy/community work and, having all the support you could ask for.”
- Emily Painter PC '20
Pi Beta Phi
"My recruitment experience over the past fall was really well done! My RC was super sweet and organized and was there for me to answer any questions that I might’ve had and to encourage me to find the house that was right for me! All the houses did a great job of the online transition, and despite all the events being on Zoom, the experience allowed me to connect with other girls who were also going through the recruitment process as well as members in each house. The process was 100% worth it and I’m so happy to have had the chance to experience it and to have found my perfect fit."
- Mariah Brown PC '20