You are either a fan of Greek life, do not care for it, or strongly dislike it. You may have had a negative experience or found your future bridesmaids. Either way, you have probably heard of the recent news regarding Greek recruitment.
After every Labor Day weekend, National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) holds the annual formal Panhellenic recruitment. Unless you live under a rock, we all know that it was supposed to be this week, but obviously, it wasn’t.
Due to COVID-19, recruitment was scheduled to be entirely virtual. However, last week, the Division of Student Affairs instituted a moratorium on Greek recruitment, which means that all recruitment, even virtual, is temporarily prohibited.
The rationale to postpone Greek recruitment is because, allegedly, there are a “disproportional number” of students involved in Greek organizations who are also in isolation and quarantine.
Another rationale is because even if organizations holds all events and meetings virtually, recruitment will eventually lead to members wanting to meet in-person to simply hang out and party. Thus, ISU is attempting to be proactive in preventing a future outbreak of COVID-19.
The news came with an adverse reaction from the Greek community. Most of the backlash stems from the university not placing the same restrictions on other organizations such as professional and service fraternities.
For example, some of these organizations are still allowed to meet in-person, but ones that cannot are still conducting virtual recruitment.
Although the moratorium vaguely mentions “Greek” organizations, it seems be specifically targeting only include National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Interfraternity Council (IFC).
Their rationale should apply to all organizations because we all know that these specific Greek organizations are not the only students in isolation and quarantine.
In addition, during a meeting with the Greek presidents and the administration, it was stated that 17% of ISU is involved in Greek life and 40% of those students have been quarantined or isolated. This statistic directly contradicts the ISU COVID-19 dashboard.
According to the ISU’s fall 2020 enrollment summary, total enrollment is about 10,830. If the math is correct, the administration claims that over 730 students involved in Greek life have been isolated and quarantined.
However, even with the highest total number of students according to the dashboard (which includes the entire student body) quarantined and isolated, the number does not go above 300 students.
Another reason that the moratorium is unfair is because recruitment is the sole opportunity for Greek organizations to fulfil their membership quota requirements.
For example, there are organizations that are attempting to charter (officially create a local chapter) but can’t without recruiting new members. In addition, many of those members are also seniors who will graduate, which is a huge disadvantage if they cannot meet quota.
Many appreciate ISU’s decision to be proactive with COVID-19, but restricting only specific organizations does not seem appropriate and fair on the administration’s part.
The administration’s beliefs seem to stem from a negative stereotype based on Greek life. Whether it is true or untrue among each organization, ISU should restrict all organizations from meeting in-person and holding recruitment because they all have a potential to contribute to the increasing COVID-19 numbers.
Lastly, the university fears that Greek members would meet new members outside of scheduled events. However, a possible compromise to allow virtual recruitment the week before Thanksgiving break, since campus is basically closed after Nov. 21., This could alleviate the unfortunate ramifications of completely canceling Greek recruitment.