For 2020 recruitment, the National Panhellenic Conference is encouraging potential new members and chapters to focus on being more inclusive by using pronouns during introductions.
Rho Gammas, who disaffiliate from their chapters to ensure unbiased tours and advice during recruitment, asked the women in their groups to identify their pronouns both when they introduced themselves and on their name tags.
“It’s important to normalize the process,” Rho Gamma Ciara Lynch said. “If it’s normal for a cis-gendered person to identify their pronouns, then those who are transgender or gender-nonconforming feel more comfortable about it.”
Panhellenic is also starting to follow a value-based recruitment strategy, Lynch said. She said it encourages PNMs to prioritize their values and the values of each chapter rather than its physical or social attributes.
“It is important to realize that not everyone comes from the same background or situation,” Lynch said. “Recruitment is open to everyone who identifies as female and we strive to make the most welcoming environment possible.”
Changes to recruitment strategy are not new. Panhellenic National Council has been implementing new rules of recruitment in chapters across the nation as a part of its strategy to be more inclusive, said Josie Myers, IU Panhellenic’s vice president for recruitment.
New rules included no longer doing house tours during the first two rounds of rush and no extra decorations in the chapter’s house during recruitment, Myers said. All chapters were also required to showcase their philanthropy organizations by showing a video.
The new rules are meant to ensure that PNMs are not distracted by the image of each chapter or the glamor of each house, Myers said.
“We really want each potential new member to find the chapter that fits their personality and their values the best,” Myers said.
It’s Panhellenic’s goal to make new members happier and retention rates are higher if new members fit in best with the girls of their chapter, Myers said. It’s important that realities meet their expectations.
It may take a while to see results, but the hope is that the chapters and members are better off at the end, Myers said.
“I do wish this system was in place four years ago when I rushed,” Myers said. “It would have been great to know about chapter values and how to know what is important to each chapter.”
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