Rho Gammas assist in recruitment

Hannah Matro

It’s that time of year again – girls will be striving to become part of one of the sororities here on campus that fall under the Grand Valley Panhellenic Association.

The Grand Valley Panhellenic Association (GVPA) is the umbrella organization for eight sororities on campus – Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, and Sigma Kappa, according to their website.

The women within the Panhellenic community pride themselves on exemplifying and exhibiting values such as leadership through campus involvement, sisterhood rooted in values, traditions and friendships, service through volunteering and philanthropy, and scholarship through academic success, according to the Alumnae Panhellanic Handbook and the Grand Valley State University Panhellanic Association website.

These women at GVSU have chosen to support both the GVSU Children’s Resource Center and the Adopt-a-Highway program this year. The Association is in charge of organizing events for all the sororities to participate in during recruitment.

The Association is banking on record numbers of recruits this fall, according to Molly Goss, president of the GVPA.

“We are exceeding all of our expectations for the amount of women registered and our hope is that over the next two weeks the number of women registered continues increasing,” she said. “Right now we have seen a great number of women interested in going through recruitment and they are women of all ages – freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.”

To assist in the recruitment process, members of sororities choose to disassociate from their chapters for the purpose of assisting potential sisters. By disaffiliating, they give the recruits an unbiased view of Greek life. Women who take on this role are called Rho Gammas.

“Our role is to recruit women to go Greek by breaking the stereotypes they’ve heard of and introducing them to the great benefits of sorority life,” said Brittany Garza, who will be a Rho Gamma during recruitment season.

The recruitment process is pretty simple. “Each potential new member (PNM) gets the chance to meet every sorority on campus. They go through four ‘rounds’ of recruitment. The first round, they meet all the sororities, then reduce the number of sororities they go to after each “round,” making the selection process mutual between both the sororities and the potential members,” said Caitlin Kammerer, who is also a Rho Gamma during this process.

While the Rho Gammas’ main goal is to aid in the recruitment process and increase numbers, they’re also there to be guides and friends.

“A Rho Gamma, or Recruitment Guide, acts as a personal confidant to assist all potential new members throughout the recruitment process,” said Rho Gamma Amber Cullison. “Basically, it is our job to be an unbiased resource to ask questions, speak freely, give a shoulder to cry on, and just be there for girls in any way we’re needed.”

This can be a somewhat stressful and disorienting role, as sisters tend to not only live in close quarters, but become close friends. During the recruitment process, Rho Gammas can’t do much more than wave to their fellow sorority members if they see them on campus. If a woman planning to join a sorority saw her Rho Gamma being overly friendly with certain people on campus, it might take away from the Rho Gamma purpose, which is to offer an impartial view of what being in a sorority is like. They are cut off from every-day interactions, such as Facebook groups, as well.

This dissociation, however, is necessary to help PNMs (Potential New Member) through the recruitment process, according to Kammerer.

“PNM’s need Rho Gammas so they have a Panhellenic-educated, non-biased opinion to go to if they’re struggling with recruitment weekend and have any questions,” she said.

Though the Rho Gammas may have to go through slight discomfort and loneliness while apart from their chapter, it pays off.

“Being away from your sisters so long is a difficult task, especially in public. In the end, though, the experience of being a Rho Gamma gives us a greater appreciation for the recruitment process, and for our own chapters. As well as a chance to help the potentials during one of the most fun weekends of the year for sororities! Which, in itself, is extremely rewarding,” Kammerer said.

“Rho Gammas play a crucial role, not only in the effectiveness of helping potential new members, but also in the overall effectiveness of keeping our Panhellenic community strong. Without Rho Gammas, the individual chapters would be recruiting and girls might not realize all of their options for chapter choices,” Garza said.

Women interested in recruitment can stop by the next recruitment event, the Panhellenic bonfire Wednesday evening at 6p.m. at Robinson Field. Rho Gammas and other Panhellenic women will be at the event to meet women and answer any questions about sorority life.

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