The changes to Panhellenic formal recruitment just keep coming. After moving from fall 2017 to spring 2018, Penn State Panhellenic has continued to make improvements to the recruitment process. Now Pi Chis are being affected, as they will no longer be required to disaffiliate during the recruitment period.
Pi Chis are sorority members who volunteer to lead potential new members through the formal recruitment process. Previously, they were required to disaffiliate from their respective chapters during recruitment, to avoid imposing their bias on the new members.
For the spring 2018 recruitment, they will be allowed to openly affiliate with their chapters. This means Pi Chis will no longer have to keep their chapter relation a secret and chapters will no longer have to wipe their accounts clean of specific members.
The idea to affiliate Pi Chis was presented at a Panhellenic Conference in Indiana last February.
“The Panhellenic conference is where they introduced us to the idea. A lot of colleges have started moving towards this trend. Namely, Purdue and Ohio State, which we reached out to and got a lot of helpful information about the benefits,” Panhellenic Council President Amanda Saper said.
While the Panhellenic Council can suggest new ideas to the Panhellenic community, it’s through chapter delegates that these concepts can be put into action. Once the Panhellenic Council decided this was something it wanted to move forward with, it contacted the national chapters with the assistance of their National Panhellenic advisor. After the delegates were notified of the suggested change, the Penn State chapters voted individually and their opinions were reflected in the overall delegate vote.
Saper and the Executive Council are concerned that potential new members seem more wrapped up in finding the affiliation of their Pi Chi than they were building connections with sorority members. This unnecessary distraction took away from the recruitment process and allowing Pi Chis to keep their chapter identity seemed like the perfect solution to this.
“The truth is, we are all a part of Panhellenic and no matter the chapter, we want each girl to find her home. Another compelling factor is that formal recruitment is now in the spring semester,” Saper said. “Many potential new members will be better familiarized with chapters due to being at school for an entire semester already. It would be very hard to remain disaffiliated like we used to be for an entire semester before recruitment takes place.”
Overall, Saper and the Panhellenic Council believe that Pi Chis remaining affiliated will not dramatically change the recruitment process. At the end of the day, the experience is intended to focus on the potential new members, not the girls guiding them through.
“We will be working to find the best candidates possible to be Pi Chis this year. Jordan Boston, the vice president of membership development, will be holding them to high standards and it should make for a really successful recruitment year,” Saper said.