Why Panhellenic sorority rush was held virtually, while non-Greek selective living group rush was largely in person

<p>A sign for Brownstone, a non-Greek selective living group.</p>

A sign for Brownstone, a non-Greek selective living group.

Both the Greek and non-Greek selective living group rush processes took place earlier this semester for sophomores and juniors. However, non-Greek SLG rush was mostly in-person, while rush for Duke’s Panhellenic sororities rushed completely virtually.

According to Emilie Dye, director for student engagement and leadership, this distinction was made largely due to the size of respective potential rush events. 

“Sorority recruitment involved over 500 students, both members and potential members combined,” Dye said. “Therefore, it was safest for all involved to have the process virtually. ​Given the size of some [non-Greek] SLGs compared to our Panhellenic organizations, in-person recruitment events were feasible under the COVID-19 guidance.”

Though transforming rush to an online event was a challenge, certain aspects of virtual events made things easier, Dye said. 

“Technology can always cause challenges,” Dye said. “We had individual participants who dealt with Zoom difficulties. But elements of the process were also made easier, with the use of a mobile platform and DukeGroups in new ways.”

Non-Greek SLGs and sororities follow a different set of restrictions on rush, according to Dye. While both groups must comply with University policies regarding recruitment, sororities must also follow the National Panhellenic Council’s policies and procedures. 

Sophomore Maddie Poole, who is now a member of the Panhellenic sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, said that she would have preferred to get to know potential sisters in person rather than over Zoom. 

“It's hard to say because no one wants to spend more time on Zoom, but I would have liked more time to spend with the sorority and been able to have more conversations with the upperclassmen in the sorority,” Poole said. “A lot of times it felt like we got to talk for like literally two or three minutes, and then you got kicked out in the breakout room and moved to the next one.”

Virtual rush did have one upside for Poole. “I think it was definitely nice to not feel like you were being just fully judged based on appearance or what you were wearing,” she said. “I think that was definitely a positive.”

Sophomore Adrianna Diaz, who is now a member of the Panhellenic sorority Delta Delta Delta, said that one upside of virtual rush was that it felt less formal. 

“I think the virtual aspects made it a lot more casual. It's just calling someone on the phone rather than having this whole pressure to look a certain way," Diaz said.

“Because rush was virtual and I didn't have time to discuss with other girls, I think it took a lot of the pressure off just because I didn't really know where people’s heads were at,” Diaz continued.

Diaz also appreciated that virtual rush was logistically easier. However, she said that she would have appreciated more advanced information on the procedural details of virtual rush.

“Everyone was a little bit thrown off at first when [rush] was moved virtual,” Diaz said. 

Sophomore Morgan Bedingfield, who is now a member of Maxwell House, enjoyed in-person rush events offered by non-Greek SLGs. Her rush experience consisted of a majority of in-person events with few virtual events. 

“Virtual rush might have helped my schedule a little bit but I don't think it would have been worth it just because I feel like being online is so different,” Bedingfield said. “I think sometimes it's much harder to pick up a vibe from online events.”

For Bedingfield, COVID-19 wasn’t a concern when it came to attending in-person rush events because most events were held outside, and non-Greek SLGs took extra care to be cautious about University restrictions. After a largely virtual year, in-person events were a welcome change for Bedingfield. 

“Just being in person and having those events to talk to people is really nice, and definitely a highlight after being online for so many things for the past year and a half or so,” Bedingfield said.

Ishani Raha profile
Ishani Raha | Senior Editor

Ishani Raha is a Pratt junior and a senior editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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