August in Athens is pretty much know for one thing and one thing only: RECRUITMENT WEEK. We’ve all gotten stopped in the middle of Milledge by some stressed out girl in her decorated blue vest as she waves girls in tottering heels across the road. While you may see her as terrible crossing guard in training, her blue vest with Beyonce on the back actually recognizes her as a Gamma Chi. Gamma Chis are rush counselors that Potential New Members (PNM’s) are assigned to during rush week. These girls interview for the Gamma Chi position knowing that they will have disaffiliate from their sorority, meaning they cannot keep in contact with anyone in their chapter after a certain date in the summer. They are there for your highest of highs and lowest of lows during rush week. They too have been through the recruitment process and have chosen to help incoming PNM’s have the best possible experience.
Chi Omega senior, Ashley Evans, was a Gamma Chi for the 2018 recruitment process. When I sat down to ask
Ashley some questions about her experience as a Gamma Chi, she truly showed her passion about the position!
How did you know you wanted to be a Gamma Chi?
Evans: “I had a great recruitment experience as a freshman. The gamma chis that year were people I looked up to throughout the week and I thought they were literally so cool. I wanted to wear that blue vest as soon as I could! As a sophomore and junior, recruiting women for Chi Omega was also so fun. You get to know the girls in your sorority so well during those weeks of hard work. But as I was going into my senior year, I wanted to try something different. I wanted to serve Chi Omega in a different capacity than I had in the past, so I applied to be a Gamma Chi, and I am so so so glad that I did.”
Was it different than you expected?
Evans: “The only expectation I had for being a gamma chi was that it would be the most fun yet exhausting week all at the same time. That part was definitely true but it was SO worth it. I didn’t realize all of the things that Gamma Chis did or that Panhellenic Exec did. These women are truly rockstars! Everyone works so hard to make sure that this experience is amazing for everyone involved and it makes you feel so special to get to be a part of this process for the 1,500+ PNMs coming through recruitment.”
What was your biggest struggle through the process? What was your favorite part?
Evans: “My favorite part of being a Gamma Chi was getting the opportunity to meet so many amazing humans! Your fellow Gamma Chis, the Potential New Members, the Panhellenic Executive Board, and so many more people. These groups of people and these individuals make up such a great part of the university and it was a privilege to work and serve alongside such wonderful women. These people that I met through this process are now some of my best friends.
My biggest struggle going through the Gamma Chi process and recruitment was seeing PNMs get upset. Whether it was because they had a blister on their foot from running back and forth on Milledge all day or because they didn’t get invited back to a house, seeing these sweet girls get upset breaks your heart. You truly want what is best for every PNM that goes through recruitment! Although there are some tough moments throughout the week, after being a Gamma Chi, I am a firm believer that the process and journey of recruitment works. From having an amazing group of women leading the Gamma Chis to having wonderful women from all sororities lead each chapter, it is truly amazing to see the process unfold and be successful. Whether you join a sorority or not, the recruitment process and the people leading it make it so special, and it is an opportunity to meet some of your best friends here at UGA.”
How did it feel to come back to Chi O on bid day?
Evans: “To say that I cry often is the understatement of the century. I CRY A LOT! Coming back to Chi Omega on bid day was so special. I didn’t know I could cry tears of joy so much! Each girl in my sorority is my friend, and after not getting to talk to them for so long, it was such a sweet moment to step on the lawn and be surrounded by people that I love. More so, being welcomed back to your sorority after being a Gamma Chi makes you realize how thankful you are to have gone through the recruitment process. This is what recruitment and sorority life is about. It’s about being surrounded by women that love you and champion you and support you. Not only did I feel that on bid day after stepping off the bus, but I feel that on a daily basis because of the girls in my sorority.”
What advice would you give to girls interested in the position?
Evans: “To any girl interested in the position, I would say APPLY! Whether or not you are selected to be a Gamma Chi, you gain wonderful interview experience, you get the opportunity to sit around a table of amazing sorority women and potentially make new friends. Being a Gamma Chi is such an awesome way to serve your sorority and the Panhellenic community as a whole. This position opens your eyes to all of the amazing things each sorority is doing on campus and it makes you proud to be a sorority woman. Not to mention, you get to meet amazing people along the way!”
Any funny stories from your week?
Evans: “Mamma Mia 2 was the ABSOLUTE soundtrack of our week as Gamma Chis! One night during training like half of us went to see Mamma Mia in theaters. We thought we were the only ones in the theater, so when every song came on we would get up and sing and dance and pretend like we were the ones living in Greece. We came to realize after the movie was over that there were other people in the theater who weren’t Gamma Chis. We felt so bad, but hopefully they enjoyed our renditions of the Mamma Mia soundtrack!”