Panhellenic Recruitment Message to Families

The following message was sent to families of women registered to go through Panhellenic (sorority) recruitment in January.

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Dear Wake Forest University Family Members,

With the spring semester just around the corner, I am writing to share information about the sorority recruitment process and answer some frequently asked questions. Let me begin by first expressing my excitement for your student as they go through the process of exploring membership in a fraternal organization.

This is a thrilling yet challenging process, and I wish the best for your student. As you have heard, we have made some adjustments to the recruitment process due to COVID-19 and these changes will be indicated through the letter.

Virtual Sorority Recruitment takes place January 15-22, 2021. Students were informed on October 1st that this will be a fully virtual process and will not be permitted to move-in early. On January 15th, your student will meet with their Recruitment Counselor on Zoom to answer any final questions about the process; then at 7 pm, sorority recruitment will kick off with an assembly for our potential new members. Six days of events will follow, running Saturday through Thursday with virtual bid distribution on Friday, January 22, 2021. When your student meets with our chapters this will all be done using the Zoom platform and we have instructed them on the necessary steps they need to take to ensure their Zoom account works. Attached you will find the PNM Zoom Guide we have given to your student for them to understand how to set up their account.

To better prepare your family with all of the information that comes with Panhellenic Recruitment, the Office of Student Engagement will be hosting two Family Webinars before winter break. Our first webinar will be Wednesday, December 9th at 5:30 pm and our second webinar will be hosted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 at 5:00 pm. Please use the links below to register for either of the webinars:

Click here to register for our webinar on 12/9/20 at 5:30 pm EST. Click here to register for our webinar on 1/13/21 at 5:00 pm EST.

In order to participate in recruitment, a woman must have a firm, minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA and must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Wake Forest University or her transferring institution. We will verify academic eligibility in early January and notify via email those women who did not meet our minimum requirements. Your student will have access to her cumulative GPA faster than our office so please remind her to check WIN for her final GPA instead of waiting for notification from our office. There is an appeals process if your student has extenuating circumstances that resulted in a GPA below 2.5 or taking fewer than 12 credit hours; please note that it is very rare for an exception to be made. She may submit an explanation and documentation here. This appeal must be submitted within 24 hours of receiving notification of ineligibility, but she may also submit it prior to receiving notification if she has checked her grades before we do. If your student is ineligible for recruitment, she will also receive a $45 refund which is a reimbursement for the full virtual recruitment process.

Additionally, several chapters have made the decision to increase the minimum GPA requirement. Qualifying to participate in recruitment requires a 2.5 GPA, however, six of the chapters’ minimum GPAs range from a 2.55-2.8. If your student is below any of the individual chapter GPA requirements, she would likely not receive consideration in those sororities for membership. 

While recommendation letters are not required at Wake Forest, some women choose to send them to one or more chapters. If you are interested in sending in a recommendation, please refer to the information found on this webpage on the Panhellenic website.

The recruitment process is successful for the majority of women who participate. However, it is important to recognize that your student is exploring membership in organizations that are selective and looking for women they feel best fit their experience. In spring 2020, 501 women participated in sorority recruitment. Of those, 86% matched with a chapter, 16% withdrew themselves from the process (although they were still receiving invitations from one or more sororities) and 4.7% did not match with a chapter. While we are very successful at placing women in recruitment, it is important to keep in mind that not all women join their first choice chapter. It also means that the process is that much more difficult for those women who did not have a successful recruitment process.

The recruitment process can be an exciting, yet emotional time for many women. We urge every participant to keep an open mind throughout the process, and we appreciate the emotional support and stability you can provide as a family member. It will be especially important this year, when most women will likely participate from their home, that families discuss ways to support their students during this process.

Some of the women that withdraw from sorority recruitment midstream later regret their decision. You can help us by encouraging your student to see the process to completion. Not every woman will be invited back to her top sororities, but that doesn’t mean she cannot find great friends and sisterhood in the remaining groups. We often hear students that withdrew from the process reflect that they wished they had been more open-minded to the options available to them.

While we feel there is a chapter for everyone, our statistics show that 1 out of every 8 women does not have their expectations met. Therefore, it can be beneficial to discuss a plan in case your student experiences disappointment. Coaching your student to develop an alternative plan for campus engagement will help her build resiliency if the plan needs to be enacted. Asking questions such as “what areas of interest do you have at Wake?” and “what makes Wake feel like home?” can be good to start the coaching process. Often women develop their alternative plan around future sorority recruitment opportunities. For the fall, a few sororities may have membership spots available. We will know which have these openings by early September. Spring 2022 recruitment is also an option. Furthermore, we have over 200 student organizations to get involved in as well as a myriad of campus activities, committees and more. There will be a Virtual Spring Involvement Fair following the recruitment process if she is looking to explore other forms of engagement on-campus. She can also schedule a meeting with anyone in the Office of Student Engagement and speak with one of our staff about other involvement opportunities on campus. Contact information for our staff can be found here.

There are several important resources for your student during and after sorority recruitment. One of these is her Greek Recruitment Counselor (GRC). These undergraduate women serve as advisors to potential new members. These women are selected through an application process and receive extensive training in order to serve as an advisor for your student. Training begins the semester before recruitment and includes education about recruitment policies and procedures, as well information from the University Counseling Center. If a woman is upset or disappointed after recruitment, we encourage her to consult with her GRC who has been trained to help students manage a range of reactions they may experience. GRCs are knowledgeable about campus resources that may be helpful to your student. Lastly, we have asked each GRC to check in with members of their group at least three times before the recruitment process begins on January 15th. If for some reason their GRC has not completed these check-ins please have your student reach out to me so we can address this with their GRC.

Additionally, our Residence Life staff, Women’s Center staff, CARE Team, and Counseling Center are aware of which residents are participating in the process and will also receive updates when women are no longer participating in the process. If your student chooses to withdraw from sorority recruitment or is not matched to an organization, one of these community members will be in contact with her to offer the support of Wake Forest. Furthermore the Women’s Center will be offering opportunities for women to receive peer support post recruitment; more details will be released the week prior to recruitment about these engagement opportunities for women.

We encourage you to review the resources on the Wake Forest University Fraternity & Sorority Life website, particularly the parent and recruitment pages. You can also view the information booklet we provide to our women here. Additionally, the Wake Forest Family Programs Page has fantastic resources, including Information for First Year Parents. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the recruitment process, the sorority community or student organizations in general. We are here to help as much as possible.

Sincerely,

Shane Taylor
Assistant Director, Fraternity & Sorority Life
taylorsu@nullwfu.edu
336-758-4075

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