From Themes to Philanthropy
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Student Life

From Themes to Philanthropy

From Themes to Philanthropy

When asked about the recent change in the Inter-Sorority Council policy regarding recruitment 2015, ISC President Julia Pedrick stated that she is very excited about the change and believes that it will be a great improvement to recruitment.

Vice President of Recruitment Patricia Lee Menges laid out the change in a letter to the members of the ISC community on April 27. Essentially, the themes round of formal recruitment has been replaced with a new philanthropy round.

According to Menges, the second round of recruitment is intended to promote “a shared community of standards and the values that define the experience of our women in both their own chapter and the larger Greek community.” Menges claimed that the value of this Round is often lost in the skits and that the experience of the PNM is “obscured by surface-level components that dilute the real meaning of why each sisterhood is unique.”

Pedrick explained that the change was the result of extensive thought and consideration. She stated that she personally emailed over twenty schools to gather information about their recruitment processes, attended the South Eastern Panhellenic Conference, and met many times with Menges, Assistant Vice President of Recruitment Margaret Haas, and the recruitment chairs from each chapter.

Pedrick pointed out that the change reflects the changes of most other large schools in the nation who have made the change to a “no frills” recruitment. The National Pan-Hellenic Council encourages this shift as it represents movement away from “flashy decorations” and towards more authentic conversation.

According to Pedrick, the new philanthropy round “comes preset with a theme, structure, and brand that is reflected at the local chapter and national level.” Pedrick believes that this new structure will be less financially burdensome than the themes round and will highlight the philanthropies of each sorority in a valuable way. The guidelines for the new round will be compiled by Pedrick, Menges, and Haas, who plan to take many of them from other schools.

Reactions to the change have spanned across a large spectrum of emotions. Third year Haley Widdowson claimed that the themes round, though the most fun, was “probably the most materialistic.” Widdowson commented, “While themes helped PNMs learn more about each chapter, it quickly turned into a popularity contest of who could sing the best, who had the funniest frat bros, and who wore the most sequins.”

Many sorority women are upset because they saw the value in the fun nature of the themes round. Themes had become the favorite round of recruitment for most UVA sorority women and a refreshing break from the formalities of other parts of recruitment. Each chapter had developed skits that they loved and felt represented their chapter well. Through this, chapters have also taken on traditions in the themes skits, songs, and costumes.

Fourth year Emily Blanton commented, “Themes was really where the individuality of each house came out and the girls were able to distinguish the houses after the monotony of round robins. I'm afraid that the round will now be partial to the house with the best or most successful philanthropy and maybe now the playing field is even less even than it was before.” 

One of the most valuable elements of the themes round was its ability to clearly portray the different personalities of each of the sororities. Second year Tory Steining said, “The themes round was a great way to experience the different personalities of all the sororities, so I hope that the new philanthropy round is able to capture that same spirit!”

As we look towards the future, I know that sorority women at UVA will make the most of this change, and we are all excited to give the girls of 2015 a fantastic recruitment.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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