Pi Chis guide potential new members through WKU sorority recruitment

Pi Chis help potential new members find their way to different sorority houses during Rush Week’s Getting to Know You Day at WKU.

Tessa Duvall

All around WKU’s campus this week, girls can be seen carrying bags and wearing t-shirts that proudly sport the Greek letters “Pi Chi.”

Pi Chi is not a new sorority, and in less than a week, these letters will once again disappear from campus until next fall.

In preparation for formal sorority recruitment each fall, a small group of sorority women are selected to be Pi Chis — leaders who guide the several hundred potential new members through the recruitment process.

Charley Pride, director of Student Activities and Organizations, said the 28 Pi Chis are chosen from each of the seven sororities that participate in formal recruitment—Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Delta Pi, Phi Mu, Chi Omega and Alpha Omicron Pi.

To prepare for the job, the women must disassociate from their own sororities following graduation in the spring, said Jane Wood, the Pi Chi advisor and a Bowling Green senior. This includes removing decal letters from cars, not wearing clothes with sorority letters and setting Facebook profiles to private and not accepting friend requests from any new high school graduates.

The restrictions became more intense as the summer progresses. Midway through summer break, Pi Chis were instructed not to text or call other girls in their sorority or live in a house or apartment with sorority sisters, Wood said. Then in the second week of August, all Pi Chis deactivated their Facebook accounts.

“They’re unaffiliated for the week so they can help the women make the best judgment decision they can during the process,” Pride said.

Wood, who was a Pi Chi last fall, said being disaffiliated is one the biggest challenges of taking on the role. But as a result, the girls become very close with one another.

Greenville senior Chelsea Hill said the other Pi Chis are her family outside of her sorority, which cannot be mentioned until after recruitment concludes.

Camille Hayden, a fellow Pi Chi and Owensboro senior, agreed, adding that the Pi Chis stick together.

Hayden and Hill, along with a third Pi Chi, form a “Pi Chi family” during rush week, with each leader responsible for about 15 potential new members.

The role has come easily for Hayden.

“We’ve been on the sorority side for a year or two, and now it’s kind of our chance to get to go back again,” she said. “We get the chance to guide them and be a motherly figure.”

Wood said a major part of the Pi Chi role is to counsel and guide the rush participants, as well as being a familiar face on campus.

“They are women who are very involved on campus,” she said. “They’re role models to these girls.”

Hill said the girls she leads feel comfortable coming to her with specific questions about being nervous and what to wear, and general questions about going Greek and sorority life.

“They are your role model. They’re what you look to,” she said. “That’s what you view as a sorority woman.”

For Hayden and Hill, the decision to help other women find an organization that fits them best stems from their love of their own sisters.

“It was definitely one of the best choices I think I’ve made in college,” Hill said. “It’s where I’ve made my best friends and met my bridesmaids.”

“You can’t really understand it unless you’re in it,” Hayden added. “And once you’re in it, it’s unbelievable.”