Students across campus rush to class, unaware of the massive celebration that’s being held on Tuffy Lawn. To many, Monday is yet another grueling start to the week. But for close to 300 women on campus, it’s Bid Day.
Shouts and cheers roar across the grounds as they find out which of the six chapters at Cal State Fullerton they belong to; a right of passage for an organization many describe as a sisterhood for life.
These women are celebrating the finale of a very long weekend, one that is a life-changing experience, according to Eden Schat, a member of the Rho Gammas.
“It’s just a good way to find a community. Especially for someone who was coming from a small town where we had all grown up with each other and were best friends, and then coming to a campus with 40,000 kids,” Schat said.
Schat oversees the orientation, transition and recruitment process as a whole. The organization is made up of sisters from several chapters across campus who come together for the sole purpose of mentorship throughout the process, acting as guides for the potential recruits.
Kaci Krause, the vice president of recruitment-chapter relations, spoke during an orientation panel about the benefits of Panhellenic organizations on college campuses.
“A Panhellenic sorority is an international social organization for undergraduate women to get involved in sisterhood, socialization, philanthropy. We encourage individual development,” she said, “there are many benefits to joining a sorority, such as community service and philanthropy. We really want to build character for women.”
For the fall recruitment process, the event takes place on campus and at the chapter houses over the course of one weekend.
During those four days, hundreds of young women meet each of the chapters and its current members at a privately hosted event in the Titan Student Union. This conference event is a fast-paced meet and greet for the recruits and affiliated members where they share interests, high school and college involvement, and other values.
“It really comes down to values-based recruitment. You don’t want to not be yourself trying to fit into a certain chapter and then you’re in it for life,” Schat said. “You don’t find any connections with anyone because you weren’t genuine in the beginning.”
From there, prospective members are escorted to each of the six chapter houses located near campus where they learn more about each organization’s philanthropy, housing situation and the current members.
As recruitment narrows down to the top choices, the interactions between chapters and recruits become more intimate; they learn about the history of the sisterhood as well as the practices and traditions.
On the last day, known as Bid Day, recruits gather at Tuffy Lawn eagerly awaiting for the chapters to announce its newest sisters. At which point, the ceremonies begin.
As the weekend ends and other students on campus begin a new week for classes, this Monday marks the beginning of a new chapter in these women’s lives.