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Lamar University College Panhellenic welcomes new members

Despite changing dates and dealing with an international pandemic, on Sun., Sep. 20, College Panhellenic Council at Lamar University prevailed.  Forty-two young women found their Greek life homes in one of three National Panhellenic Conference sororities participating in recruitment - Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi and Zeta Tau Alpha.

Due to COVID-19, recruitment 2020 was held virtually for the first time. The event was also postponed. Originally scheduled for August 27-30, recruitment was postponed due to Hurricanes Laura and Marco, which Sorority Girlsthreatened Southeast Texas.

“Virtual recruitment had been on our radar since early in the summer but we never anticipated we would have to deal with a virtual format and changing dates, it was a huge hurdle to overcome but I am proud of our chapters and of our CPC Executive Board and Recruitment Team for working so hard to make this happen.” Sara Gubala, CPC Recruitment Adviser.

The chapters organized Zoom sessions centered around the topics of philanthropy and sisterhood. Each chapter prepared a 10-minute video to show the potential new members on the first night of recruitment that introduced them to their chapters, talked briefly about their philanthropies as well as the financial obligations associated with membership. Each potential new member had the opportunity to interact with several members of each chapter and was able to have their individual questions answered.

“These well-rounded, new members come from all over Texas,” said Gubala. “They represent all of our colleges and a wide variety of majors, interests and activities.”

Sorority Girls 2020ANew sorority members represent majors in biology, business management, chemical engineering, communication – broadcasting, construction management, criminal justice, education, exercise science, general studies, history, industrial engineering, interdisciplinary studies, kinesiology – pre-physical therapy, management, marketing, mechanical engineering, nursing, political science, pre-nursing, psychology, social work, speech and hearing sciences, theatre and dance. Some new members are Mirabeau scholars, Smith Hutson scholars, Reaud Honor’s College members, members of the Lamar University Dance Team, Campus Activities Board members, a McNair Scholar and members of the American Student Medical Association.

“One new member owns her own baking business, but we have crafters, a former LU Softball player, honor society members, worship leaders, volunteers in our community and so much more,” said Gubala. “These new members will surely be involved in more organizations at LU as they grow in their chapters and that’s great for them and for their sororities.”

Although recruitment was different, the CPC Executive Board was delighted that so many students participated. “I really did not want or expect it to be fully virtual; this is something we had never done before,” said Jody Griffin, vice president of recruitment, CPC. “Despite all of the chaos that this year has brought to us, our primary recruitment was a success. We had around as many girls this year find homes as we have in the past, and that is what it is all about, bringing young women into sisterhoods.”

Each potential new member was assigned a Rho Gamma, a sorority woman who has disaffiliated and servesSorority Girls Bas part of the recruitment team and helps guide new members through the process.

“After going through formal recruitment last year and having a non-virtual experience, I was a little unsettled about how this formal recruitment will go,” said Dia’Monique Taylor, a Rho Gamma. “After being a part of the team and being introduced to amazing humans I wouldn’t change the experience for anything! I also believe that being a recruitment counselor impacted me forever in a positive way! I loved being able to help PNM’s go through the process of finding the right sisterhood for them.”

The Rho Gammas not only guided the potential new members through the recruitment process, they helped them answer questions and helped form a bond with others going through recruitment. The potential new members also bonded with their Rho Gammas and their recruitment groups, which expanded the number of new friendships.

“Experiencing formal recruitment this fall was an unforgettable and new experience for me,” Ruth Sanchez, a new Alpha Chi Omega. “It allowed me to meet so many amazing girls and to step out of my comfort zone. This recruitment felt truly different for all of us since it was all online, yet I know each chapter worked together to make it the best experience for all of us newcomers. I am so excited to have made the decision to go Greek.”

Each new member participated in virtual sessions leading up to recruitment with their Rho Gammas and then they participated in virtual rounds on Friday and Saturday with the LU chapters.

“I personally wasn’t sure about joining recruitment,” said Jenny Sosa, who is a new ADPi. “I was very nervous about it being fully virtual. My Rho Gammas were fully supportive and informational. The first night I automatically knew I had made the right decision as everyone was so nice and welcoming. Now that I have been welcomed into ADPi I feel like I am finally home.”

Despite the internet crashing, Zoom going down, calls being lost and not having the option to be in person, the potential new members learned about all three sororities’ philanthropies and about the sisterhood in each chapter. They were able to ask questions about dues, about how things would work during COVID in terms of chapter meetings and much more.

“Recruitment week was so much fun and I loved all the chapters, said new Zeta Ashlyn Dommert. “It was a hard decision but I’m so happy I got to run home to my sisters in ZTA!”

Recruitment during a pandemic was difficult on recruits and on returning sorority members.

“A year ago, I embarked on the same journey these women just went through. Walking into recruitment I was a nervous wreck, but in no time after many smiles, stories and conversations, I fell in love with my organization and have been blessed with many opportunities since then,” Kiara Rogers, Rho Gamma. “Throughout life being someone who was always so willing to help and care for others, I knew becoming a recruitment counselor was right for me. Although we handled all the curve balls, we conquered virtual recruitment to our best ability. Through this process I wanted to provide ease for these girls and allow their experiences to be just as good as mine, if not better. This unique experience has allowed me to be a positive role model for other women and displayed how much these potential new members really rely on you. After this week, not only has my chapter gained new sisters, but I feel like the girls I lead through virtual recruitment will always hold a special place in my heart.”
After many months of work, CPC was excited to welcome new members on Sep. 20. Despite the threat of Tropical Storm Beta, new members received and accepted their bid cards and another year of fall recruitment wrapped up.

“We have a tradition of excellence in our Panhellenic chapters and we know that this will continue with this amazing group of women,” said Gubala.

“I am so excited to watch all the new members grow this semester in CPC now that they have found their new homes,” said CPC Adviser Morgan Pulliam. “Joining Greek life opens many doors for our students and gives them so many different opportunities. I am so excited to work with these students!”

The Panhellenic sororities will continue to grow over the next few weeks as several additional members are added through continuous open bidding.

The National Panhellenic Conference is one of the oldest and largest women’s membership organizations, representing more than four million women at more than 650 college/university campuses and 4,600 local alumnae chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, NPC-affiliated collegians and alumnae donate more than $5 million to causes, provide $2.8 million in scholarships to women and volunteer 500,000 hours in their communities. NPC serves as the national voice on contemporary issues of sorority life. If you are interested in learning more about NPC or Lamar University’s College Panhellenic Council. Please contact Morgan Pulliam, CPC adviser or Sara Gubala, CPC recruitment adviser.

The new members include:

Alpha Chi Omega
Naomi Allen, Freshman, Austin
Kayla Bayardo, Sophomore, Corpus Christi
Katalina Del Toro, Freshman, Katy
Madeline Doughty, Junior, Vidor
Cristal Francisco, Freshman, Winnie
Brittany Gonzales, Freshman, Houston
Jennyfer Hernandez, Freshman, Beaumont
Maresha Logan, Junior, Beaumont
Kayla Lundy, Freshman, Houston
Jayden Matlage, Freshman, Silsbee
Cheyenne Mayfield, Freshman, Crosby
Angeles Mendoza, Freshman, Houston
Ruth Pena Sanchez, Sophomore, Beaumont
Hope Tantzen, Sophomore, Woodville
Ginny Thome, Freshman, Port Neches
Reyna Villarreal, Freshman, Baytown
Ryann Welch, Freshman, Beaumont
Aniya Wheeler, Freshman, Houston

Alpha Delta Pi
Taylor Brooks, Freshman, Groves
Makenzie Brown, Sophomore, Fulshear
Jillian Cardenas, Freshman, Nederland
Megan Copeland, Junior, Hull
Sydni Doiron, Senior, Groves
Kaylen Escobar, Freshman, Austin
Kennedy Gilder, Freshman, Beaumont
Ashley Koch, Senior, West Columbia
Maggie McLeod, Sophomore, Beaumont
Lindsey Romero, Freshman, Orange
Katya Salinas, Sophomore, Baytown
Samana Shah, Freshman, Beaumont
Jenny Sosa, Sophomore, Beaumont
Taylor Tommasi, Freshman, Port Neches
Gisselle Torres, Sophomore, Pasadena
Rosalia Triana, Junior, Uvalde
Ariyonna Zachary, Junior, Beaumont

Zeta Tau Alpha
Sheyla Alvarado, Sophomore, Brownsville
Camryn Carreon, Freshman, Beaumont
Ashlyn Dommert, Freshman, Bridge City
Rebecca Downs, Sophomore, Baytown
Tori Foxworth, Senior, Baytown
Rylie George, Junior, Orange
Keili Ginsel, Junior, Fannett
Natalie Messer, Sophomore, Beaumont
Brea Paz, Freshman, Arlington
Aubrey Ramirez, Freshman, Nederland
Karly Ray, Freshman, Orange
Taylor Soape, Freshman, Buna