Every August Mizzou women seeking sorority membership go through Panhellenic recruitment. This year, 1,892 students explored Greek Town in their matching T-shirts, hoping to find a home among the 16 chapters represented there. It can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time for the potential new members, or PNMs, but they’re not without guides.
The Mizzou Panhellenic Association selects Panhellenic counselors (or Pi Chis) from across all chapters and trains them to help PNMs through the process. During recruitment, Pi Chis disaffiliate from their chapters and take on the Pi Chi letters, becoming a neutral source of help for the women in their groups.
Breckyn Crocker of Kappa Alpha Theta and Chloe Castleberry of Alpha Delta Pi were two of the 82 Pi Chis selected for 2015 PHA Recruitment.
“I wanted to be a Pi Chi because I wanted to help other girls find a place where they feel comfortable,” Castleberry says.
“I believe in the Greek community and what it has to offer as far as building character in young men and women,” Crocker says. “I just think it’s a good way to make those instant connections and have those people that want to make you a better person. I want to help other girls find that same thing.”
Crocker and Castleberry helped lead groups of PNMs from Aug. 17 until Bid Day, on Aug. 23. They spent the week reassuring the PNMs, shutting down stereotypes and answering every question they could. One question they were prohibited from answering was which chapter they belonged to.
“The hardest part was when one girl in my group was deciding between my chapter and another and wanted me to tell her what to do,” says Crocker. “I was dying to tell her what chapter I was in.”
The student wouldn’t find out until just before the bids were handed out, when the Pi Chis were finally able to reveal their affiliations and rejoin their houses. She did receive a bid from Kappa Alpha Theta, much to her excitement.
“She opened her Bid Day card and found me and started crying,” says Crocker. “It was the best experience ever. She just texted me, ‘So happy I’m a Theta with you!’”
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