Greek life hosts in-person bid day in spite of online recruitment

Neither Omicron nor severe thunderstorms could dampen Greek life spirit as Bid Day carried on in-person for the first time in two years.

“I think everyone was happy that Bid Day was in person. We got to meet all of our sisters the day off and I know if I personally was just in a Zoom room celebrating with everyone it would not have been as fun,” freshman psychology major Ali Delaet said.

Over winter break, the Greek life community received a notification that they would be required to convert their rush activities to an online format, only three weeks before recruitment began. However the traditional celebration of Bid Day, where new members get to unite with their chapter for the first time, was allowed to remain in person with slight modifications to fit COVID-19 protocol.

“If there was any part of this that could have been in person I am happy that it was Bid Day,” Delaet said. “I was surprised we were able to do that considering classes aren’t in person yet, but it was a really good experience and it kind of helped make up for the fact the entire recruitment process was online.”

Freshman Ali Delaet (right) celebrates Bid Day with fellow Tri Delta sister outside of the Tri Delta suite on Jan. 16.
Freshman Ali Delaet (right) celebrates Bid Day with fellow Tri Delta sister outside of the Tri Delta suite on Jan. 16. Photo credit: Ali Delaet

On Jan. 23 all of the fraternities flooded the intramural field to announce each new member of their pledge classes. One by one the frats took the stage and called out a recruits name before throwing him their frataternity’s rush t-shirt.

“I attended frat Bid Day with Lambda Chi Alpha, and it was my first frat Bid Day so I didn’t have any idea of what to expect,” junior marine affairs major Ellen Otterbach said. “It definitely was a little less structured and more casual than sorority Bid Day, but I still enjoyed the experience and it was so cool to see how excited each of the fraternities was about their new pledge class!”

With the exception of a fight between three fraternities over who got to rush the stage next, their Bid Day was successful and all the new brothers were able to run home.

“I loved it. It was really cool to be in such an excited atmosphere that made the day so memorable,” freshman architecture major Cade Odom said. “I’m looking forward to being in a brotherhood and becoming closer with my pledge class.”

Unfortunately for the Panhellenic Council, their Bid Day was further complicated by severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches, forcing them to move the entirety of their celebration indoors. In order to meet COVID-19 safety standards, each pledge class was divided into many recruitment groups who would separately be invited into the sisterhood while wearing masks.

Freshman health science major Shreeya Chalikonda who joined ADPi thought that the modified celebration accounted for COVID-19 concerns well and that it was a good decision to keep the rush process online because of the sheer amount of girls involved.

“I liked Bid Day better in person because I got to actually meet the people. If it was online I do not know how I would have met the older girls. So many upperclassmen girls came up and hugged me and introduced themselves while I was waiting to go inside the suite and it was so fun,” Chalikonda said.

The two weeks of rush on campus marked the first time both incoming new members and second-year members were able to experience part of rush week in person. When Otterbach rushed Chi Omega in 2021, she was unable to hug the girls who she had just spent the last week getting to know, this year she relished in that opportunity.

“Last year, I was going through recruitment trying to find my sorority home and the entire process ended up being online,” Otterbach said. “This year, as a recruiter, recruitment was on Zoom but Bid Day was in person and it was almost like I was experiencing my own Bid Day again for the first time.”

Bid Day is the staple of rush week and is the time when everyone can come to celebrate and feel relaxed after a busy week of socializing and interviews.

“It was long and tiring and exhausting, but it was worth it. It was very rewarding and Bid Day was a good little treat for virtual recruitment,” Chalikonda said.