Greek Life adjusts in response to COVID-19 limitations

By Christian McCarville

While many classes are online or offer hybrid options, a lot of students chose the option to stay home for the semester. This was a smart decision for many, as it ensures safety and saves money. However, this poses a challenge for many of Rider’s clubs and organizations, including Greek life.

It is now harder than ever for students, especially incoming freshmen, to get themselves involved with Rider’s many engaging organizations. For Greek organizations, recruitment is essential for maintaining a chapter’s growth and on-campus continuance.

Recruiting new members is one of the most exciting aspects of Greek life. As senior members graduate, new faces join the tight-knit community, forming new connections and friendships.

COVID-19 restrictions prevent large indoor gatherings, which makes it very difficult for Greek organizations to meet and interact with potential new members. Some organizations also have upwards of fifty members. This severely limits the number of ways these organizations can interact as a whole.

This semester, it is no surprise that recruitment will be done much differently. Some organizations have opted not to recruit this fall, while others have adapted their recruitment strategy.

Senior criminal justice major Jeylynne Rosas is a current sister of Chi Upsilon Sigma, National Latin Sorority Inc. She gave some insight into how her sorority is handling recruitment and chapter operations in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We do not plan on having new members this semester, but we do have a specific plan for recruiting women so that we could have new members in the spring,” said Rosas. “COVID-19 has negatively and positively affected our organization. Due to the pandemic, we were forced to think of alternatives to programming and recruiting. It did allow us to improve our creativity towards promoting our organization and reaching out to people online.”

Senior sports management and marketing major Samantha Pucci also commented on how her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, will operate during this unique semester. She is the current president of her sorority and has high hopes for recruitment despite the many obstacles posed.

“We do plan to recruit this semester by utilizing a Continuous Open Bidding format,” said Pucci. “This is typical in the fall semester since the National Panhellenic Council does formal recruitment in the spring and informal in the fall. I find that one of the biggest things this semester and carrying it through to the future is creativity. We have so many members of our organization that can be so creative when it comes to creating, planning and implementing while also taking advantage of social media.”

Both Pucci and Rosas focused on the importance of creativity during these times of uncertainty. With a heavy reliance on technology and social media, all of Rider’s organizations must use their creativity to stay active and get students involved.

Pucci also explained how her chapter supported one another in the months following the university’s switch to a remote format.

“When COVID-19 first emerged, being sent home and being away from our sisters was a challenge in itself, but what I found was the most challenging was ensuring we supported each other in every aspect,” said Pucci. “Finances, safety, health and overall well being were and are still top concerns for our chapter and I am always working to keep that in mind.”

While being physically distanced from one another, the sisterhoods and brotherhoods on Rider’s campus are truly put to the test during this ongoing pandemic.

However, many students believe these bonds are surely strong enough to prevail against the uncertainty of the fall 2020 semester.

“We also have been working hard to get organized and have a clear path of how we can overcome some of the more difficult challenges such as involvement, finances and the more fun pieces of being in a sorority that we are missing out on,” said Pucci. “I am looking to create a more relaxed and easy semester for our members while also keeping sisterhood alive and enjoying the reason we joined, for the memories and bonds created.”

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