JCU’s Greek life recruitment after the pandemic


Sydni Bratthauar

Staff reporter Sydni Bratthauar reflects on her experience during John Carroll’s Panhellenic recruitment week.

Sydni Bratthauar, Staff Reporter

John Carroll University held their 2021 sorority Rush Week from Sept. 19 through Sept. 26. During this week, the five Greek life sorority chapters (Kappa Kappa Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Delta) chose new members to be a part of their family. I experienced Rush Week firsthand by participating in the recruitment process. I enjoyed the whole week and was happy to meet new people.

The first day of recruitment was on Sunday, Sept. 19. I had received a schedule of events and activities to participate in throughout the week a couple days before. The first event of the week was that day at 5 p.m. in the Dolan Auditorium. There were about 20 to 30 girls going through recruitment. The 2021 Panhellenic Council Executive Board and Mary Ann Hanicak, the Fraternity and Sorority Life Adviser, presented a PowerPoint presentation overview of what to expect during the week.

During this orientation meeting, Hanicak told us that this will be the first year that the recruitment counselors (the ones who will help you through recruitment) can tell their groups what sorority they’re in. She said that one of the rules used to be that the recruitment counselors had to keep their sorority affiliation secret to alleviate bias during the process.

“So, what [affiliation secrets were] saying is that we can’t trust other women to be ethical,” said Hanicak. “These women [recruitment counsellors] are trained to do nothing but assist the PNMs [potential new members]. They’re not telling them what to do or how to do it. They’re helping PNMs figure it out.”

After the orientation meeting, the recruits were led to each of the five chapters to get to know them a bit. Everyone in each chapter was absolutely fantastic. Once the meet and greet was over, we met up with our recruitment groups and our counselors. My group had Kelsey Mullan as a recruitment counsellor, and she did a great job answering my questions and making the whole process easier. The counsellors took us to Sutowski Hall, which is the Greek life dorm on campus, to take a tour of each chapter’s floor. At the end of the night, we then proceeded to rank the chapters after meeting them.

Our recruitment counsellors would then notify us the next day as to which chapters we got invited back to for the sisterhood rounds (the days of Sept. 20 through Sept. 24). You could only get invited back to up to four chapters. I got invited back to three chapters for the sisterhood rounds. The chapters held two sisterhood rounds, but you were only required to go to one; the sisterhood rounds were another way to get to know the chapters you were invited back to again and for them to get to know you more as well. The rooms that the chapters hosted their rounds in were nicely decorated with their colors, symbol, and Greek letters. I enjoyed talking to each chapter about anything and everything. The girls really want the recruits to feel like family.

After the sisterhood rounds, there was a break of one day in Rush Week before the final day, which was final preferencing and bid day. The recruitment counselors notified everyone who got invited back to up to two chapters. Once you find that out, you go to their final preferencing rounds (it’s similar to the sisterhood rounds, but more formal).  I attended two sororities’ final preferencing rounds. Both of their rounds were emotional in showing just how close their sisterhoods were.

Once final preferencing was over, I ranked the two chapters one last time and waited for bid day that started later in the evening. Now, there’s formal recruitment/bidding and then there’s informal recruitment through Continuous Open Bidding. Each chapter had a certain quota to meet during formal recruitment, which limited the number of recruits they could extend formal bids to. When we all gathered in the Student Center Atrium for bid day, we were all excited and nervous waiting to see if we got a bid or not.

Unfortunately, I did not get a formal bid. Hanicak explained the situation excellently, calmly, and supportively. She told me about the quotas for formal bidding and then she told me about Continuous Open Bidding. This was a way for the chapters to extend bids to girls informally, without having the formal quota limiting them, though each chapter is only allowed to have a certain number of girls until they reach full capacity, which fluctuates.

I was disappointed and sad that I didn’t get a formal bid, and I wasn’t expecting to get a bid at all through Continuous Open Bidding. However, the very next morning, Sept.27, the recruitment chairman of Kappa Kappa Gamma reached out to me personally, extending a bid. I was overjoyed and accepted.

When asked why JCU women should join a sorority, Hanicak answered, “It’s an additional leadership experience and it’s not just a group you join in college. It’s a lifetime membership in this organization that provides you lifetime real benefits.”

Going through Rush Week is a decision I will forever be proud of, even when I didn’t think I would get a bid. I would recommend Rush Week for any woman here at JCU.