As a Greek woman at the University of Tennessee, one position is highly coveted. The position of Recruitment Counselor or Gamma Chi is an important one. A Gamma Chi is a sorority member who disaffiliates from her chapter in order to counsel potential new members through the process of recruitment. Gamma Chi’s are chosen through rounds of interviews and are announced by dropping a banner full of the lucky chosen few’s names.
Last fall, I was blessed to have been one of these chosen few. Spring of this year, myself and the other Gamma Chi’s took a class to learn all about counseling, the recruitment process and everything Panhellenic. After graduation, Gamma Chi’s could no longer wear their chapters’ letters or refer to themselves as being in that chapter. This summer was definitely a struggle not revealing my affiliation, but I knew it would be worth it in the end.
Before school started this fall, the Gamma Chi’s went on a retreat. The retreat was a weekend full of information and fun to get ready for recruitment. One of the best parts of retreat was going to the Chattanooga Zoo! We got so close over that weekend and it was an absolute blast!
Recruitment week rolled around and Panhellenic was in strict silence. We were not allowed to talk to chapter members and they were not allowed to talk to us. In order for the Gamma Chi’s to help potential new members find their forever Panhellenic home, our affiliation was under lock and key.
The only time we were allowed to talk to our chapter members was during Roll Call. Roll Call is when the Gamma Chi’s go around to every chapter and with the barrier only being a sidewalk, Gamma Chi’s from each chapter got to lead them in their chapter cheer. After all of the chapters were visited, we did the Gamma Chi cheer and we were released for only one minute to go back to our chapter, see our sisters, and get our gifts.
I had no idea before the first Roll Call how emotional it would be. But during that short one minute of seeing my sisters, I was overcome with emotions. Not being able to hug or talk to them during the recruitment process, as much as I hate to admit it, took a toll on me. AKA I cried, yes I cried. And if you know me, you know I never cry.
We did Roll Call two more times during recruitment and it never got any easier. Each time we did it, got us more anxious for Bid Day. The rest of the week was whirlwind of “Gamma Chi’s knock on doors”, bus rides, and probing potential new members. At the end of recruitment was the long-awaited Bid Day. This was the day the potential new members got their bids and the Gamma Chi’s were returned their letters.
As the bids were ripped open and the new members ran out onto the Thompson-Boling Arena floor to join their perspective chapters; it was time for the Gamma Chi’s to prepare for Roll Call.
The Gamma Chi’s put their chapter letters on under their Bid Day t-shirts and circled out on the floor. As each chapter did their cheer, Gamma Chi after Gamma Chi revealed her letters with pride. This was the coolest moment of my life. We ended Roll Call with the Gamma Chi cheer one last time and we ran to our chapters. I was finally home with my Delta Gamma sisters.
This experience taught me so much about myself. I found out how much love I have for my chapter, while acquiring a whole new respect for all of the other Panhellenic Chapters. It is definitely an experience I would do over and over again. I gained 100 Gamma Chi’s sisters through this experience and I will not forget one of them.
One of my fellow Gamma Chi’s, Andi Abbajay, created this AMAZING video and it perfectly depicts recruitment week from the Gamma Chi perspective.