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Penn State Sororities Prepare For Virtual Recruitment, Numbers Remain ‘Typical’

When Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment Gia Manno was elected to her position in November 2019, she probably didn’t think she’d be leading sorority recruitment in the middle of a pandemic one year later.

Now, with recruitment season less than a week away, she, along with the 20 vice presidents of recruitment from each individual chapter, certainly have their work cut out for them. For the first time ever, Penn State’s Panhellenic Council and its associate chapters will participate in a completely virtual recruitment cycle.

Fortunately, though, Manno says every member of the recruitment team has stepped up to the plate and taken these new challenges head-on.

“One of my main responsibilities as VP for Recruitment is to prepare the recruitment chairs of each sorority to run their chapter recruitment,” Manno said. “Although recruitment looks very different this year, these women have amazed me with their passion to make this process just as special for potential new members.”

For Potential New Members, better known as PNMs, this recruitment experience will be similar to their time at Zoom University this past semester in that it will take place completely virtually.

Instead of an in-person Panhellenic Preview round, which is typically the first round of recruitment where PNMs meet every Panhellenic chapter over a period of a couple of days, this year will take place over one asynchronous day. While PNMs will watch videos provided by each sorority that talk about what it’s like to be part of that chapter, each chapter will also view introductory videos from each PNM.

From there, each round — Philanthropy, Sisterhood, and Preference — will all take place over Zoom. Just like with Zoom University ( and, hopefully, with less awkward silence), PNMs will be placed into breakout rooms with current sisters in each chapter where they can learn more about the sorority. Later, Bid Day will also take place via Zoom.

Because technology can be pretty unreliable, Manno said that the recruitment team has been hard at work ensuring that they have some IT on hand for any issues that come up.

“We have a tech team in place for each of our sororities, as well as for our potential new member groups to ensure that any issues that arise can quickly be resolved,” Manno said. “We have had a lot of guidance from other universities of our size that have already been successful in this virtual process.”

Regardless of guidance and planning, many were concerned recruitment numbers would be lower this year due to a lack of interest caused by the pandemic. People may not want to pay hundreds of dollars to be part of an organization full of people that they haven’t met in person and whose activities have all either been canceled or shifted online.

However, Manno said that this was not the case as signups closed this week.

“When it was decided that recruitment was going to be a completely virtual process, we were concerned that the number of PNMs that signed up would be lower,” Manno said. “I am happy to say that this is not the case at all. The numbers of PNMs registering for the process is actually typical of what it would be any other year.” 

Now, as recruitment gets closer and closer, Manno says she is simply thankful for all the help and support she’s received throughout navigating this stressful time.

“I am most excited to oversee their success in being the first group of recruitment chairs at Penn State to execute a fully virtual recruitment,” Manno said. “I cannot thank them, as well as my advisors and assistant, for their endless dedication and patience in planning this recruitment.” 


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About the Author

Katie Moats

Katie Moats is a senior majoring in English, and her goal this year is to get a big girl job. Seriously, though, if you're looking for someone who can write and edit like nobody's business, she's Katelyn Moats on LinkedIn and will literally interview with you tomorrow. You can follow her @k_moats24 on Twitter for stupid content, but if it's something serious, feel free to shoot her an email (preferably in the form of a poem) to [email protected]


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