On Sunday, Sept. 9, more than 300 freshmen, sophomore and junior girls finally ran from the Payne Center to one of eight sororities on the Hattiesburg Southern Miss campus. Originally, Big Day was scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 5, but the last two days of recruitment were rescheduled due to Hurricane Gordon anticipation.
People come into Greek life searching for different things.
“I’m really close to my sister and so I kind of wanted another type of sisterhood. I’m at a point where I just want to grow in my life, and so I feel like being apart of a sorority would really help me do that,” junior psychology major Gabrielle Craig said.
Some search for a way to get involved within the community.
“I’m from out of state, so I was looking for a platform that I could do community service with,” Katherine Kellicut, freshman nursing major, said.
Others were encouraged by friends or family to rush.
“I have a friend who is currently in one of the Panhellenic Councils here and she was talking about how she got the family that she always wanted. She was just so passionate about it that it made me want to be apart of [Greek life],” freshman nursing major Erin Baker said.
Craig said that her perception of sorority life has completely changed since going through the recruitment process.
“Prior to rushing, I just thought sororities were just a lot of social events,” Craig said. “You see the philanthropy events and everything, but you don’t really understand it until you go through it. It’s so much more than that. You really see what the girls mean to each other.”
Craig added that although she never saw herself as being a sorority girl, she now couldn’t imagine herself being anything else.
Some go in to the process not knowing much about Greek life, like Baker. Although she has cousins who are members of Greek life, they never discussed it.
“The recruitment process was actually easier than I thought it was going to be,” Baker said. “I was thinking of it way too much in my head. It’s empowering just to know that there’s girls who are going to accept you no matter what.”
Like Baker, Kellicut also went through the process without knowing much about Greek life.
“I came in with an open mind,” Kellicut said. “I always pictured it being a group of sisterhood where everyone’s really nice to each other. Talking to the girls kind of confirmed that.”
Some girls come to college intent on going through recruitment to make friends, like Kinley Yawn.
The days were long, but worth it, according to Craig.
“I did not expect to spend seven hours for two days for the events, but it was worth it. It was what needed to happen to be able to choose what you wanted,” Craig said.
She also said that the recruitment process was a bit stressful.
“I did so much overthinking. I kept this journal throughout the week to help me clear my thoughts, and I overthought way too much,” Craig said.
“I knew I found my home the first day,” Craig said. “I kind of did just get this feeling of ‘I could see myself here.’ I had the most authentic and genuine conversations with girls, and throughout the week, that’s how it was. It was just so much fun. I could be myself.” Craig said.
The recruitment process has shifted over the years to being more focused on values, which is what girls like Baker were looking for in a sisterhood.
“I think I knew I found my home on sisterhood day when they were talking so passionately about each other,” Baker said. “I saw my values lined up with all the girls’ values and I just saw where I felt like home.”