‘Polar Vortex’ Affects Travel, Greek Recruitment

Sara Stoesz | Staff Reporter


Greek Formal recruitment had a late start due to bitterly cold weather conditions.

Women’s recruitment was set to begin Wednesday, Jan. 8.  On Monday, Butler’s Panhellenic Council decided that recruitment would be pushed back until Thursday due to weather conditions. The extremely cold temperatures as well as the dangerous road conditions made it difficult for students to travel back to campus.

“We did have a lot of weather delays and that kind of thing, so we basically had girls coming in during the week that had issues coming back down (I-65) or had flights delayed and all that kind of stuff so they just trickled in all week,” said Leslie Hersberger, Alpha Chi Omega’s vice president of recruitment.

Recruitment counselors and current sorority members had to be back earlier than those participating in recruitment for training. Some missed these training sessions due to weather.

“It was really stressful because I was packed, ready to go, since Sunday, but then every day it didn’t improve at all,” said Bridget Spitale, a recruitment counselor. “It just made it really stressful.”

Despite the travel complications, 431 women and 218 men were able to participate in recruitment. Only 25 people were unable to make it to the first meeting Wednesday night, Director of Greek Life Becky Druetzler said.

“We were shocked because, based on communication we had with individual students, we didn’t know how optimistic we could really be with them thinking they could be back by a certain time,” Druetzler said. “We were fortunate and they were very fortunate that they were able to get back.”

Most of the 25 students arrived in time to participate in recruitment.

“For the most part everyone made it (to campus) by Friday,” Hersberger said. “There were girls that missed (the first round of recruitment) on Thursday, but I think by Friday all the girls that were going through had made it back.”

Pledge class sizes for sororities were fairly similar to last year, Druetzler said. Last year, sorority pledge classes ranged from 53 to 57 members. This year, they ranged from 48 to 54 members.

The weather did not impact men’s recruitment, as it was scheduled to begin Thursday. Of the 218 men that went through recruitment, 186 accepted bids. More men accepted bids than last year, Druetzler said.

“For whatever reason, what their expectations were and what the students were looking for they found, and they accepted invitations to join,” Druetzler said. “I think it speaks well of the students that participated and how chapters want to extend invitations to membership.”