East Carolina University Panhellenic Association (PA) is continuing to prep and prepare for the 2019 fall sorority recruitment week by making changes to the process and lowering the cost to participate.
The current PA Executive Board were welcomed into their positions in Jan. 2019, and have since then been working on changing the recruitment process for future members of the 10 Panhellenic sororities on ECU’s campus, according to PA President, Tyler Parker.
“We have a recruitment team on Panhellenic Exec (Board), which is the president, risk reduction and management recruitment and recruitment development,” Parker said. “So the four of us work together all of, basically, spring semester to help plan recruitment (and) figure out logistics.”
Parker said there have been changes made to this year’s fall recruit process in comparison to last year’s and years prior. The two major changes being in cost and location.
In the past, several of Panhellenic’s “rush” week events have been held at the Greenville Convention Center, located on Greenville Boulevard. This required the PA to come up with funds to sustain the transportation needed to bus the potential new members there and to rent out the space, according to Parker.
This year, plans have been made to hold rush week events, such as orientation, at the Main Campus Student Center, which opened in January. This will be the first time the student center will be utilized for the PA’s recruitment week.
“This year the biggest change is that we’re doing it (recruitment week) in the new student center, which not only is more convenient because it’s right on campus so everyone can either walk or park in the garage to get to recruitment but it also is more cost-effective,” Parker said.
Parker said the cost to hold recruitment week was lowered due to the change in location, which has allowed the price to sign up to be reduced. In the past, the baseline cost to participate in recruitment was between $100 to $120, but on May 1, when sign up opened, it debuted at $85.
Madeline McGeary, a senior marketing major and PA vice president of finance, is in charge of budgeting. She said, by switching from the Greenville Convention Center to the MCSC, Panhellenic is saving thousands of dollars.
In the past, by renting out part of the convention center, part of the Hilton Hotel and paying for transportation, recruitment cost between $90,000 to $100,000, according to McGeary. She said switching to using the MCSC saves the PA “around $40,000.”
“Since we’re using our resources on campus, they’re way cheaper,” McGeary said. “We’re students, we’re a student-run organization, so we have access to more affordable venues for recruitment.”
The location change has allowed Panhellenic to move toward lessening the cost of joining a sorority and moving the events on campus, according to Amber Wines, a senior elementary education major and PA vice president of diversity.
Wines said she believes it’s “amazing” to be able to save the amount of money the PA is by moving the activities to campus, not only for the organization’s budget but for potential new members as well.
“It allows them (potential new members) to have a lot lower cost to register for recruitment,” Wines said. “When I went through recruitment (in fall 2016), I think it was $120, and now recruitment costs like $85.”
Wines said registering for recruitment, and joining a Panhellenic sorority at ECU is a “big financial step” when coming into college, and the organization has received backlash from parents and students in the past as a result of the cost.
By bringing recruitment to campus, Wines said it will be easier for potential new members who are sophomores, juniors and seniors, not only freshman.
“A lot of them who do live off campus have a lot of trouble with the convention center because they have to be bused there, they can’t walk there,” Wines said. “All the late nights getting back to their apartments they would maybe have to take a campus bus or have a friend to pick them up, was kind of hard for them (in the past).”
Wines said formal fall recruitment begins on Aug. 21 and will be a weeklong process full of events such as an orientation session, meet and greet nights, selection day, sisterhood day, house tours, preference night and Bid Day.
Bid Day will take place in the same location as last year’s recruitment, Minges Coliseum, at the end of recruitment week, Wines said. The location change from the convention center to the MCSC did not directly affect Bid Day.