The process of club recruitment, a weeklong experience unique to AU’s Social and Service clubs, requires club leaders to adhere to many rules and regulations, and the planning process is strenuous. In the end, however, recruitment is intended to offer a meaningful introduction for new recruits.
The purpose of AU’s Social and Service Clubs is to enhance the quality and livelihood of community on campus. These clubs provide opportunities for students to be involved in service, social and spiritual activities.
Over summer break, the presidents and vice presidents of all social clubs worked closely with their officers and the Department of Student Engagement (DSE) to plan out an experience that will be rewarding for all incoming recruits.
“My favorite part of my recruitment experience was creating emotional connections with my fellow recruits,” said Adelphi Vice President Rob Lowman. “Through trials, no matter how difficult, I’d leave each day with a feeling of trust and respect for those around me. By the end of the week, we weren’t just recruits to each other–we became family.”
This year, recruitment will take place Friday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Oct.1. Each club has been allotted 20 hours in which they can conduct their recruitment.
Activities will take place throughout those dates, and the men and women’s clubs will take turns having “on” and “off” days. Recruiting students are encouraged to spend those off days in prayer, reflection and rest. Although it is meant to be a rewarding experience, it can be a draining one.
According to Director of Student Engagement Trent Palmer, one of the biggest concerns of his department when clubs conduct recruitment is the issue of hazing. Hazing is defined as the “imposition of strenuous, often humiliating, tasks as part of a program of rigorous physical training and initiation.”
This year, the DSE will crack down on potential hazing during recruitment and are enforcing rules that may have been overlooked in previous years.
“In order to prevent hazing of any kind, myself and my graduate assistant, Ashley Kelly, along with our Clubs Coordinator Saige Royer, are going to be floating around through each club’s recruitment during those nine days,” Palmer said. “We have been working on getting more things in writing and defining what could be considered hazing and what isn’t. There have been no real updates to the guidelines.
“However, we will be emphasizing a couple of items more this year,” he said. “The first is that no optional activities can be presented in the recruitment packet. There is no way to make sure that those activities are actually optional for recruits. The second was that the recruitment activities would not exceed the 20-hour limit, which will include any kind of initiation ceremony this year. Even with these adjustments, I think those that do recruit will still get a lot out of the experience.”
According to Camarada President Brianna Beer, one of the biggest challenges in planning for recruitment was the 20-hour limit.
“We are a club that is deeply rooted in tradition, especially when it comes to our recruitment, so to not have as much time to carry out everything was difficult,” Beer said. “Our Vice President, Lilly Finley, did a great job of taking on that challenge and scheduling all of our activities that we believe will be most meaningful to the girls.”
Two social clubs, Leona and PAK, will be conducting their first recruitments this year. Leona President Danae Miller said the process of creating recruitment from scratch was “an experience,” but they look forward to passing down their new traditions.
Each club has worked incredibly hard to make sure they give their recruits the best experience possible, and according to Alacritas President Amey Dice, “a lasting home.”
“We find recruitment to be a foundational stage, where guys of different ages, backgrounds and ethnicities are able to band together and grow as young men,” said Dativus President John Tuttle II. “This transformation from a group of strangers to a cohesive brotherhood is something that our members carry with them even after they leave AU.”
L’Amifidel President Abigail Brim said, “Recruiting a social-service club is a great way for students to get connected on campus. It’s a great way to make new friends, grow and mature. Each club is different and special in its own unique way. What’s important to know for recruitment is to find a club that is right for you.”