VSU Greek life thrives despite pandemic challenges

Greek Life Pandemic Impact

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The pandemic did not stop Valdosta State University’s Greek life organizations from having a successful fall recruitment period.

So much so, that VSU is now being asked to share their recruitment plans with other universities.

This year’s recruitment was a combination of virtual and in-person.

Greek Life is thriving at VSU amid pandemic.
Greek Life is thriving at VSU amid pandemic. (Source: WALB)

“Having that screen, and kind of just having one-on-one conversations without the potential members around you, really gave them a sense of relief, a sense of calm, and I think they were really able to show their true selves,” said Madison Beaumarchais, Valdosta State’s Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

The first two rounds were virtual and the last one was in person with strict guidelines. The virtual aspect allowed potential members to feel less stressed and distracted.

The numbers were also higher, more women went through the process and 91 percent completed it; a four percent increase over last year.

Kailey Powell, a senior at VSU and a Zeta Tau Alpha member, was a little nervous about how the virtual plan would play out.

“Thanks to Madison and all Panhellenic, they made us feel more comfortable about it. It was more out of a virtual standpoint, and it’s never been like that before. But we were able to solely focus on conversations and value-based recruitment and everyone had a great recruitment-- the retention was amazing,” said Powell.

Chi Omega members at VSU.
Chi Omega members at VSU. (Source: WALB)

Beaumarchais says the college Panhellenic Executive Board is working with chapters to implement a virtual round in all future recruitments. Organizations are doing their best to make sure the brotherhoods and sisterhoods are alive, especially welcoming their new members during uncertain times.

Organization meetings take place virtual and social events are on hold for now.

If you’re planning to rush at your university this year or next year at VSU, Beaumarchais has a tip for you.

“It’s just like FaceTiming your friends. Don’t get caught up on the huge difference of talking to people through a screen instead of in-person. You’ll get a more authentic conversation than if you were talking to them face-to-face. That’s just what happened in our experience and go in with an open mind and just be yourself,” said Beaumarchais.

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