Emory’s Panhellenic sorority chapters are voting on ending Novemberfest and other rule changes regarding recruitment. Its format is similar to the formal recruitment process that occurs every January.
Associate Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Arthur Doctor said that the event has diverged from its original goals.
“Novemberfest has run its course at Emory,” Doctor said. “Chapters shouldn’t be using it for recruitment preparation. The original goal was to prepare [PNMs] to go through recruitment and it has morphed into something else.”
Doctor said that if the vote passes, chapters will provide alternate opportunities for PNMs to interact with sorority members and practice for recruitment.
Chapters have also been presented with a vote on whether to bar chapter members from having contact with PNMs between the time a PNM returns to campus from winter break and the final round of recruitment. This period of “no contact” allows exceptions for communication related to academics, extracurriculars and between siblings.
Currently, a period of “strict silence” is imposed from the end of the final round of recruitment through bid day. Strict silence is a rigid form of non-communication rules.
Before Spring 2018 recruitment began, chapters voted to shorten the strict silence period from through the entire recruitment process to just the period between the final preference round and bid day.
Members are “encouraged to use common sense and discretion” during the period of no contact, according to the language in the updated policy.
Additionally, a new opening statement was included in the recruitment rules which emphasized promoting “the Panhellenic experience.”
Doctor said the new language was designed to keep conversation positive about all of the Panhellenic chapters.
“[The new rule ensures] conversation stays Panhellenic and not specifically promoting [any one] chapter,” Doctor said. “[It] challenges our women within their chapters to speak positively not only of their chapters, but of the entire Panhellenic community, and to not [put] down any other Panhellenic chapters.”
Each chapter voted twice, once to keep or remove Novemberfest and once to implement or not all other changes. Both votes needed simple majority of chapter members to pass and are due on April 25 to the Emory Panhellenic Council (EPC).
EPC President Maddy Zapata (19C) directed the Wheel to Doctor when asked for comment on the proposed changes.