Yesterday afternoon,when many of the 1630 registered PNMs at The University of Alabama turned on their email, they were hit with a thunderbolt they didn’t expect.  In each and every inbox was an email that read as follows:

Dear Potential Member,

Thank you for registering for fall formal recruitment at The University of Alabama. The Greek community at UA is one of the largest, most vibrant Greek communities in the United States and we are thrilled that you have decided to participate. As you prepare for recruitment and your move to Tuscaloosa, we would like to share some information with you that we hope you find helpful.

For the third year in a row, UA is expecting record-breaking numbers in terms of participation in sorority recruitment. In order to accommodate the increase in registration, we have added an additional day to the formal recruitment schedule. Recruitment will now take place Friday, August 10, 2012 through Saturday, August 18, 2012. Recruitment events will begin on Friday, August 10, 2012 with Convocation, which will be held at 7:00 pm at Foster Auditorium. Dress for Convocation is casual and t-shirts and shorts are appropriate. We understand that majority of the women participating in recruitment will be moving in on Friday, so you are encouraged to come as you are.

The new 2012 recruitment schedule will be as follows:

Thursday, August 9 & Friday, August 10: Residence Hall “Early Move-In”

Friday, August 10: Convocation (7:00 p.m. Foster Auditorium)

Saturday, August 11: Open House Day 1

Sunday, August 12: Open House Day 2

Monday, August 13: Philanthropy Day 1

Tuesday, August 14: Philanthropy Day 2

Wednesday, August 15: Skit Day 1

Thursday, August 16: Skit Day 2

Friday, August 17: Preference Day

Saturday, August 18: Bid Day (10:00 a.m. Bryant-Denny Stadium)

Those of you who don’t have a PNM going through recruitment at Alabama are probably thinking , “Ok…so they readjusted the party schedule a little and added another day to Skit Day parties.”  Hmmmm….while that is true the “schedule change” has impacted the move-in process of many of the PNM’s.

I guess I need to jump back and explain “WHY” this new party was added and the schedule change made.  Alabama has ALWAYS been a front runner in recruitment numbers, breaking records year after year and this year is going to be no exception. A while back it was reported that 1570 girls had registered for recruitment.  As of last night that number had climbed to 1630 and is still growing even as we speak.  We knew the possibility was here that there would an amazing amount of girls going through recruitment, especially since Preview Weekend in March had a record number of girls and parents in attendance and THAT schedule had to be tweaked because of numbers.

So as the numbers began to climb so did concern by Panhellenic as to how to successfully find ways to make sure that active sorority members and PNMs would have adequate time and opportunities to talk, get to know each other and bond.  With the large number of PNMs Rho Chi groups were growing as well.  In addition the
invitation” rounds of recruitment parties were beginning to have numbers of girls that would make it almost impossible to successfully bump and talk with PNMs.  In order for both the sororities and the PNMs to a have a positive and successful recruitment experience it was decided that another Skit Day must be added.

Active members in sororities on campus had sensed that this might occur.  I have been told that they thought Bid Day would get bumped to Sunday.  Instead, Panhellenic decided to go backwards starting recruitment a day earlier on August 10th with convocation now being held at 7pm  that evening as opposed o the original date of August 11th.  This change has impacted the move in times of many PNMs who were supposed to move in on Saturday August 10th.  Housing is reassigning move in times to those girls and they are asked to check their Crimson Email for their new time. I can tell you that UA Housing has been very helpful and wonderful to the stressed PNMs and parents.

I wanted to share that this move to make recruitment “the best experience possible,”  not only impacts the PNMs but also the active members in the sororities themselves.  A week prior to the beginning of recruitment every sorority that is participating in Formal Recruitment holds what is termed “Work Week”.  It is EXACTLY what it’s name implies…a week of work getting members ready for recruitment. Work Week USUALLY ends on the Friday before recruitment starts on Sunday.  That Saturday, where NOTHING is planned is a time for the actives to get mani’s and pedi’s, relax, spend time with their boyfriends…it’s meant to give them 1 day to get ready for a week of little sleep, lots of emotions and culminating with Bid Day and welcoming a pledge class of new sisters. With the schedule change the actives have currently “lost” this day.  I am waiting for an email explaining what the plan is or how the girls are going to get some time off but with everything just happening a little over 24 hours ago most sororities are still working on a  plan.  I know it will be hard to get girls back early so I am anxious to see the different sororities approaches.  I thought I’d share a couple of the actives stories.  In one sororities case their main recruitment chairs sister is getting married on the 10th and the girl is on the wedding. In another sorority shared that they had rented out a nail salon in Tuscaloosa to have all of their members nails and toes done..tough to reschedule 200 girls!  So PNMs as much as you are feeling pretty stressed so are the active members!

Ultimately we have to remember that Panhellenic did this to “HELP” the PNMs and the sororities!  It is supposed to be a good thing!!! So it’s time to adopt the “Glass is half full” theory.  Think of all the good that will come from this.  I am REALLY looking forward to recruitment!  I am lucky enough to be in Tuscaloosa at this record breaking event.  I will blog more as new details arise.  I hope today’s post shed some light on the reason why this occurred.  Roll Tide!!!