AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The National Panhellenic Conference recently recognized Auburn University and just 20 other campuses nationwide with the College Panhellenic Achievement Award. The distinction follows a record-breaking recruitment for Auburn including the largest number of registered participants, 1,401, in the history of Auburn Panhellenic.
At the end of Panhellenic recruitment, 100 percent of the potential new members who went through the final recruitment process step of bid-matching received an invitation to join one of Auburn’s 17 Panhellenic sororities. This resulted in a record-breaking 1,278 bids, with a total of 92.3 percent of the participants placed. Panhellenic was able to predict a large number of participants because the number generally fluctuates with the size of the incoming freshman class, which is one of the largest in Auburn’s history.
Jill Moore, director of Greek Life at Auburn University, credits Auburn Panhellenic’s national recognition and recruitment success to the executive board’s foresight and planning throughout the year.
“Panhellenic Executive Board begins preparing for recruitment in early spring,” Moore said. “The application for the National Panhellenic Conference recognition is also due in the spring, so the success we are seeing now is a result of a great deal of hard work and preparation. Where other schools might have had an adviser complete the application, our Panhellenic Executive Board, comprised entirely of students, worked together to complete the submission process. The recognition is confirmation on a job very well done.”
According to Moore, the needs of the potential new members are top priority in preparing for recruitment, including scheduled breaks between sorority visits. They could even catch a football game during the breaks – but not just any football game. Panhellenic played the final quarter of the 2013 Iron Bowl on repeat during breaks to keep the potential new members encouraged and the energy high.
“During the first round of recruitment, we really wanted to be encouraging to the potential new members, so we showed the Iron Bowl all day,” said Moore. “We just played the fourth quarter over and over to pump them up and get them excited. No one ever got tired of seeing the game.”
In addition to the Panhellenic Executive Board, 84 Panhellenic recruitment counselors, or Pi Chis, are assigned to smaller groups of potential new members to educate them on everything pertaining to recruitment, the campus and Auburn in general. Pi Chis receive extensive training and even participate in team-building activities like whitewater rafting.
Alexis Barranca, Panhellenic president at Auburn, said this year’s recruitment and the recognition from the National Panhellenic Conference are a result of collaboration and endless effort. Of 660 college Panhellenics across the nation, Auburn was one of only 32 universities to receive recognition from the National Panhellenic Conference, and one of just 21 to receive the Achievement Award. This places Auburn Panhellenic solidly in the top 5 percent nationally.
“When I was informed that we received the Achievement Award, I was more honored than shocked,” said Barranca. “I hope the award can be inspiration for our executive team and to future Panhellenic officers to continually work toward the betterment of Auburn Panhellenic.”
As she begins her senior year, Barranca offers advice to the freshmen just beginning their Auburn careers.
“Don’t take a moment for granted,” she said. “Every moment spent at Auburn University will be a memory that you will forever cherish. Enjoy these next four years and remember that every second is valuable.”
(Written by Elizabeth Stone)