I am a senior member of Delta Zeta at The University of Kentucky. Since March, the coronavirus has brought change to the whole college life experience. Members who lived in their chapter houses were forced out of their houses and had to abruptly end the year two months too early. This semester many members are still forced into a new reality of what being a sorority woman means during a global pandemic. I live in an off campus apartment so I haven't had the worry of living with 30 girls in a close proximity. COVID has changed the way sorority women get to live in the house. The protocols for the Delta Zeta in-house members have changed. All members in-house have to wear masks throughout the entire house unless alone in their rooms. They are suggested to not really eat in the dining room to avoid overcrowding. In-house girls aren't allowed visitors unless approved and that means all out-of-house girls are not allowed in the house at all unless it is approved. Not being able to go I the house as an out of house girl is pretty upsetting when I look forward to dinners with my sisters. It also stinks knowing I cannot even visit my little who lives within the house and spend time with her in her room. I often would study with sisters at the house throughout the semester so having the house taken away is upsetting but also understanding with the safety of my sorority sisters in mind.
The coronavirus has also brought change to the way the traditional recruitment process is done. Out of the safety of the Panhellenic community as well as the potential new members' recruitment and spirit week got moved to over video chat on Zoom. Spirit week being held on Zoom went smoothly and all members felt confident in their ability to still give potential new members a recruitment process as normal as possible. I do still feel bad that potential new members will not be able to experience the true recruitment process where they would get to sit face to face with sorority members and see the inside of the different houses. I still feel like the members of each sorority are going to make the potential new members feel just as good about recruiting over Zoom but it still makes me sad they do not get to go through what I did to join my house. I think that potential new members will still make really strong connections even in such a different way.
This year, sorority life is just going to look a little different than anyone is used to. This means more virtual events like philanthropy and sisterhood. This means having to use social media and video chatting to connect better with sorority members. I think although this year may not be what anyone expected being in a sorority in the Panhellenic community means that I will have people who will have my back and do there best to keep me healthy while still providing me the same experiences that I was given my last three years in a sorority. The Panhellenic community has already done an amazing job at adjusting to the craft world right now and I think they will continue to.