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Recruitment 2018 kicks off on Ole Miss campus

Recruitment 2018 is officially underway on the Ole Miss campus, with potential new members spending the next week acquainting themselves with active members in the hope of finding a home away from home in one of the many Greek organizations on campus.

While much of recruitment has stayed the same in recent years, College Panhellenic Council President Ann Weston Sistrunk said this year’s recruitment is different from those of the past, thanks to values-based recruitment practices adopted by the University. Values-based recruitment places an emphasis on the values of an organization, with much of the frills of the past – even language – stripped away, Sistrunk said.

“We want to encourage Potential New Members to make this most of this experience and learn more about our Panhellenic chapters and meet campus leaders and students along the way,” Sistrunk said. “The College Panhellenic Council also wants to remind community members that this process is for our students and for PNMs and active chapter members to get to know one another.”

For primary recruitment this year, 1,477 women signed up, a slight increase from last year’s 1,430. The structure remains the same as it’s been for years, with recruitment taking place throughout the week, an off day on Wednesday and Bid Day on Sunday.

The first round, Greek Day, kicked off on Sunday, with PNMs visiting every house. On Monday and Tuesday, during Philanthropy Round, the number of houses narrow down further depending on how a PNM ranks the houses they visit and how a house ranks a PNM. Thursday and Friday sees PNMs returning to a select few houses during Sisterhood Round, followed by Preference Round on Saturday. Each night, Sistrunk said, the goal of the organizations and the PNMs is to delve deeper into discovering where they belong.

This year’s Bid Day, as a method to control crowds and keep attendees safe, will involve the distribution of wristbands for entry onto Sorority Row and Rebel Drive. Bid Day, in which recruitment participants will gather to open bid cards and discover which organization they have been invited to join, will commence at 1 p.m. on Sept. 30 at The Grove. From there, each new member will receive a wristband for themselves and up to three additional guests, granting entry to either road, depending on where they receive a bid.

“Along with Panhellenic’s Bid Day program, each Panhellenic chapter provides their members with a Bid Day program that may include off-campus events, photos and fun with all of their New Members and active members,” Sistrunk said.

Former members of Greek life at Ole Miss remember a time when recruitment was called Rush, and new members were called pledges. Those days are long gone, however, thanks to a process Sistrunk said allows PNMS the chance to take recruitment more seriously.

“The implementation of values-based recruitment here at the University of Mississippi has allowed our members and PNMs to experience a recruitment that highlights each individual organizations values, mottos, and strengths as a chapter, rather than the frills and performances of a ‘traditional’ recruitment experience,” she said. “… Greek life offers opportunities for members to develop personally and professionally that should be taken seriously.”

In addition to women participating in CPC recruitment, men at the university will also be participating in Interfraternity Council recruitment. National Pan-Hellenic Council, the collection of traditionally African-American Greek organizations, will hold its recruitment later in the academic year.