For the first time in University of Oregon history, UO’s Fraternity and Sorority Life confirmed that fall 2020 recruitment will be done remotely, according to a statement released on Sept. 4.
“All of our housed chapters are developing their own comprehensive plans to reopen safely. All recruitment for fall term will be done virtually and all FSL programs are being redesigned to be online,” UO spokesperson Saul Hubbard said in a statement.
Hubbard said the university will release more information in the coming weeks.
Earlier this summer, Marcus R. Langford, the associate dean of students, and Caitlin Roberts, the director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, released a document that stated for a university of UO’s size, the Task Force found that a vast majority of recruitment must take place remotely.
Later in the document, Langford and Roberts state this will be the preferred route for fall 2020 recruitment, but that everything “will remain contingent upon guidance and rules from the state of Oregon, Lane County Health Authority, and University of Oregon policies and procedures.”
Gabriel Leonard, a third-year student and a Live Out Recruitment Chair committee member for Sigma Chi fraternity, spoke about his chapter’s recruitment process. “It’s all going to have to be remote, whether that be over Zoom or phone calls,” Leonard said. “On Zoom, I think it will be more structured. I’m excited to see how this is all going to turn out.”
How Students Are Feeling
As fall term creeps around the corner, students are mentally preparing for remote learning and now a remote recruitment process. Although events are subject to change, some students feel confused and nervous about what to expect and how to prepare for recruitment.
For some, Greek Life has been a useful opportunity to connect, build friendships and get involved. However, with COVID-19 restrictions, students are worried they won’t obtain the same experience.
Wyatt Holland, a first-year student, is planning to go through recruitment. He said Greek life is something he has always wanted to pursue as a way to meet new people and make friends. On the other hand, he’s encountered mixed emotions because of COVID-19 restrictions that he believes will make his experience much different than what he imagined.
“I’m a little bummed out because I’ve heard rush is really fun, the in-person stuff, so it’s going to be kind of weird,” Holland said. “I’m a little nervous because I’m not sure how it’s going to work.”
Despite the uncertainty he feels, Holland is eager to experience the recruitment process for the very first time.
Kenna Pendergraft, a second-year student, will be going through recruitment again. She pointed out how the cost of Greek life and the recruitment fee may not be worth the price if she cannot experience the activities that come along with it.
“I lost my job because I’m a lifeguard and $50 takes a while for me to earn,” Pendergraft said. “It’s a lot of money to not be refundable for students because everything is so up in the air.”
Aside from her financial concerns, she is hopeful and excited to see what her second time rushing brings.
Leonard, who will be on the other end of recruitment, believes students who decide to go through recruitment will get the opportunity to see each other around campus, while social distancing.
“If the dorms have very strict restrictions on how they can socialize, I think rushing Greek life might be one of their best options to find a good group of friends at the start of the year,” Leonard said.