The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Shedding light on UA’s Greek Life

How joining a University of Akron sorority can benefit your personal and professional Life.
Taylor Lorence
Delta Zeta sorority members at Bid Day.

Unless you are affiliated with a sorority or fraternity, Greek Life is a topic that the average person has little to no knowledge about. Our information and prejudices about sororities often come from dramatized movies and over-the-top sorority girls that share their lives online.

Unfortunately, these stereotypes overshadow the reality of what joining a sorority involves. The University of Akron recently had their 2023 Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment Weekend, a three-day event that I attended in hopes of gaining insight into UA’s Greek Life and how joining a sorority could be beneficial to a University of Akron student. 

Delta Zeta’s Bid Day Banners. (Taylor Lorence)

Akron’s Panhellenic Recruitment actually begins earlier than expected. The recruitment registration link opened July 1, allowing potential new members (PNMs) ample time to decide whether or not joining a sorority was the right choice for them. Throughout the summer, many of the sororities wrote postcards to the upcoming freshman, a new strategy Ben Collopy, the coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life, implemented in order for sororities to get their name out sooner. Marketing the sororities through social media posts and an extensive PR push were other actions used to attract the attention of PNMs and generate buzz amongst students. 

Once the school year starts, PNMs have the opportunity to attend a recruitment orientation. At this event, PNMs receive a closer look at sorority life and address topics such as Akron’s policies against hazing. If PNMs decide they are interested in becoming a member, they have the opportunity to participate in Recruitment Weekend.  

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The first day of this three-day weekend event began on Friday, Sept. 15, with the Sisterhood Round beginning at 4 p.m. During Sisterhood, each PNM goes to the five individual sorority houses and is given 30 minutes at each house to meet with as many women as possible, ask personal questions, and get an understanding of what each individual sorority is like.  

Day two, titled Philanthropy Round, began on Saturday, Sept. 16, and consists of PNMs returning to their top three sororities. During the 45-minute rounds, each sorority will highlight their philanthropy and financial efforts and give a house tour to the PNMs. After this, PNMs will narrow it down to their top two choices.  

The third day of Recruitment week included the Preference Round which began on Sunday, Sept. 17. During the Preference Round, PNMs will attend two, one-hour long parties at their top two sorority houses and gain an immersive experience into each sorority’s individual rituals and lifestyles.  

After the parties, Bid Day begins. On Bid Day, PNMs are told which sorority they have been placed in. PNMs do have the opportunity to accept or decline the placement.  

Even with a better perception of how Akron’s Panhellenic Recruitment works, there are still misunderstandings surrounding Greek Life. A common misconception about sororities is that the individual sorority members pick and choose which girls they want to become new members. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.  

Outside of Delta Gamma’s house on Bid Day. (Taylor Lorence)

At The University of Akron, Greek Life organizers use a computer-generated algorithm to place the PNMs in the different sororities. The algorithms choice is concluded based off numerous factors, including personality type, interests and the PNMs own sorority rankings throughout the weekend. The structured, data-based algorithm ensures decisions are unbiased and that favoritism doesn’t play a role in sorting the PNMs.  

“We try to put the PNMs best interests at heart at the end of the day,” stated Francesca Ciccarelli, Panhellenic president. “Chapters have absolutely no control over what members they do and don’t get, and the algorithm sorts the PNMs based off where it thinks they fit best.” 

Joining a University of Akron sorority has countless benefits. Collopy compares the three-day recruitment weekend to the typical three-round interview process that many people experience when applying for a job.   

“In some careers, you go through multiple rounds of job interviews,” Collopy explained. “The three-day weekend interview process is so similar to that and helps you get prepared for the professional world.”  

Skills such as learning how to engage in thoughtful conversations, pulling out new things in discussions and connecting with new people are components of Recruitment Weekend that could help tremendously in the workplace. Many members hold leadership positions in their respective sororities that give them a sense of how to be a leader and make decisions on behalf of an organization. You can also learn how to work with individuals you may not necessarily get along with and learn how to respect your peers in a group organization.  

UA sororities in particular truly value community and helping other organizations.  Each sorority is required to partner with a local nonprofit organization, who is the focus on their fundraising efforts throughout the year.  

“At the end of the school year, each sorority will donate their fundraising earnings to the nonprofit of their choice,” stated Collopy. “Last year, Akron’s sororities donated over $100,000 to their local nonprofits.”  

Akron’s Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment 2023 pamphlet. Courtesy of The University of Akron.

Along with members helping the community, joining a sorority can also enhance your personal life. 

“Being in a sorority opened me up to new experiences I wouldn’t get if I wasn’t a member,” stated Gracie Selva, a member of Delta Zeta. “I have met amazing people, attended events, and learned how to increase my sociability.”  

Whether you want to increase your social or professional skills, add an extracurricular activity to your resume or simply want to make new friends, joining a sorority can benefit anyone. Although Bid Day is over, UA participates in a Continuous Open Bid where students can apply to join a sorority at any time throughout the semester. Contact Ben Collopy at [email protected] if you are interested in joining Greek Life. 

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Taylor Lorence, Secretary
Hi, my name is Taylor Lorence. I am a 20-year-old junior at the University of Akron. My major is Public Relations, and my minor is International Business. This is my first semester joining The Buchtelite, and I am so excited! Fun fact: I have been whale watching in 3 different states: Alaska, Maine, and Massachusetts.
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