Sororities emphasize values in Panhellenic recruitment

This weekend, hundreds of female students at the College of William and Mary will begin the sorority recruitment process. While there are not any major changes to this year’s process, the College’s Panhellenic Council hopes to continue to emphasize personal and chapter values as potential new members decide which of the school’s nine sororities is the right fit for them.

“The past three years, we have really emphasized a values-based recruitment process,” Panhellenic Council Vice President for Recruitment Caroline McGrath ’15 said in an email. “Sororities are values-based organizations and we believe that the recruitment process is an important time for potential members to understand not only our organizations’ values, but their own and how the two intersect.”

Specifically, McGrath said potential members will continue to participate in a recruitment program called iValU, which, according to its website, is a research-based educational program that allows participants to identify their own values through a personal online assessment.

This year, current sorority members are using the program’s counterpart, weValU, which is supposed to help each chapter identify its organizational values, and prepare members for meaningful conversations during the recruitment process.

Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness R. Kelly Crace is the co-creator of the Life Values Inventory, an aspect of the iValU program. He said recruitment counselors at the College have adapted the online version to fit their specific needs.

“Rather than recruitment feeling like a solely evaluative process, the LVI is being used for students to clarify the values they hope to fulfill through sorority membership and to align with sororities that best match those values,” Crace said in email. “It becomes more of a process of finding a place to express their values, rather than a place where they are feeling evaluated during a short period of time.”

During recruitment, potential new members visit with each of the nine sororities, and will narrow down their choices through a mutual selection process. Last year, McGrath said 363 new members joined the Panhellenic community.

“Sorority recruitment … allows women to meet all of the chapters and form their own opinions about where their values best align,” McGrath said. “While the process may seem daunting to many, if you go in with an open mind, it can be a really great experience and start to your sorority membership.”


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