Girls find identity in recruitment

Taylor Bradley, right, of Henderson, and Taylor Reid of Hopkinsville, run to greet their new Alpha Delta Pi sisters outside of Downing Student Union on Sunday, Aug. 24. Nick Wagner/HERALD

Mackenzie Mathews

By simply glancing across the college scene, Greek life will show up as a prominent feature — especially during Sorority Recruitment Week.

Multitudes of WKU women gathered in Downing Student Union last Tuesday to begin the recruitment process. As bids found pledges and chants rang out over the Hill on Sunday, the idea of sorority membership became a reality for some of those women. 

Bardstown freshman Megan Hayden said joining a sorority is a way to connect with different people. 

“You can be in the sisterhood at Western and meet someone from the same sisterhood at a different school, and you’re still connected,” she said. 

Like some other freshmen, Hayden decided to go through recruitment as a chance to branch out and meet new people. She saw it as an outlet to help her adjust to many of the unknowns surrounding the first year of college.

After taking on the week with an open mind, Hayden pledged Sigma Kappa sorority.

“I’m excited to meet everybody, and I’m looking forward to being able to depend on everybody,” Hayden said.

Sorority recruitment is open to all undergraduate students. This year, 530 girls went through recruitment. Last fall, 460 rushed. 

Vanessa David, a graduate assistant in Student Activities, experienced sorority life during her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern Indiana. She sees freshmen search for their niche on campus and said inclusion is a basic desire.

“Especially the freshman just coming in, they want to belong on campus,” she explained. “That’s a human emotion,  wanting to belong, and they want that sisterhood.”

For many, Greek life offers the quickest and most encompassing channel for collegiate inclusion. David said sororities provide participation opportunities on all fronts, from academics to philanthropy.

“You get that well-rounded experience of being able to participate in so many aspects of college life,” she said.

The lure toward recruitment may not be as simple as involvement, though. 

Brianna Anderson, a sophomore resident assistant in Meredith Hall, believes there is a link between going Greek and discovering yourself. Meredith is the official sorority residence hall. 

“When you go into college, you’re finding a group to identify with,” Anderson said. “You’re trying to figure out who you are and a group to fit in with and people to rely on.”

WKU’s 50th recruitment came to a close on Sunday. Bid Day activities gathered the largest number of pledges in the school’s history. The newfound sisters ended festivities by running to greet current members of their chapter.