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Recruitment Sees Record-Breaking Numbers, New Traditions
As a unique recruitment season begins, those involved express hopes and concerns.
Anticipation surrounding this year’s recruitment season has been building across Mississippi College’s campus. As of this week, the wait is over.
The recruitment process – a series of events in which students aspiring to join a club or tribe will get to know the organizations and their members – kicked off with Tuesday night’s Twilight Tailgate, the first event in a series that will span 10 days.
The schedule this year is notably more spread out than in years past. It’s just one change of several. In the wake of a record-breaking number of recruitment signups, those working behind the scenes are implementing new measures to accommodate them all.
The total number of students signed up for recruitment reached 509, comprising 326 girls and 183 boys. “This is the largest population of freshmen, probably ever,” said Council president Nick Carraway, "There’s so many of them going through recruitment.”
Alongside co-president Kendall Lauderdale, Carraway presides over the administrative body that oversees clubs & tribes. “We’re just trying to support our organizations and making sure they can also handle the numbers.”
To provide this support, one change the Council has instituted is the use of recruitment counselors. Recruitment counselors are active members of organizations who act as neutral representatives, guiding and informing students throughout the recruitment process. According to Carraway, the measure ensures wider outreach and clearer communication to the aspiring club & tribe members.
“We want to make sure that everyone is getting all the information that they need to make an informed decision at the end of the recruitment period,” said Carraway.
Club & tribe recruitment chairs are also seeking creative solutions to new complications. “The number of incoming freshmen is a bit of a challenge,” said Shawreth recruitment co-chair Robert Pennell. “Shawreth is a smaller club, so frankly, finding the money and finding the number of actives to be at every event is going to be challenging.”
Despite concerns about being able to accommodate the potential new recruits, Pennell is excited that organizations will grow and be molded by a new generation of members.
Ultimately, the heart of recruitment has stayed the same, those behind the scenes agree.
“Clubs and tribes aren’t about the colors, it’s not about the symbols, it’s about the people,” said Carraway, “It’s about establishing those relationships, and fostering those early on in your college career, and being able to have that support network and that brotherhood and that sisterhood. That is always our mindset behind recruitment.”
Kathryn Johnson, a transfer student going through recruitment, expressed both overwhelm and excitement about the coming weeks.
“I’m expecting it to be busy, but I’m also expecting it to be fun,” said Johnson. When asked what she was most excited about, she said, “Meeting new people and making new friends.”
Recruitment events will pick back up on Thursday, Sept. 7 and continue through Friday, Sept. 15, when those signed up for recruitment will be matched with an organization on Squeal Night.
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