Panhel’s Mocktails gives interested students taste of sorority life

An array of delicious mocktails were present Thursday night as the Allegheny Panhellenic Council hosted their annual event for students interested in sorority life to learn more about the recruitment process. 

“It’s something we make sure we always do. It’s a good little kickoff into spring recruitment,” said Panhel Vice President of Recruitment Vickie Balboa, ’23. 

Hosted on the entire first floor of the Tippie Alumni Center, the event, “Mocktails,” included an array of beverages and snacks for those attending the event. Five girls from each sorority attended, giving those who are possibly going through the recruitment process the chance to know people before recruitment starts in the spring. 

“I was really anxious going into recruitment and it’s a lot of people you’re meeting,” said Panhel President Meghan Mannion, ’23. “Mocktails really benefited me during formal recruitment because I had a few familiar faces in a few of the chapters that helped.”

At the event, Balboa presented a short slideshow showing what sorority looks like specifically on Allegheny’s campus. This presentation also included a statement from Panhel’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director Kyrié Doniz, ’23 . For many, this is an important note in helping to break the stigma behind sororities. 

“I wanted to be in a sorority for the longest time, but at the same time I thought it was unrealistic at some college campuses due to just the fact that I am a plus-size woman,” said Vice President of Membership Development Ella Horner, ’23. 

This common perception of sorority life is one that many believe has been broken on this campus. Through more directive initiative inclusion efforts,  Panhel hopes everyone feels accepted going through the primary recruitment process. For example, in an effort to stray away from these misconceptions, Panhel has decided to stop using the word ‘rush’ to describe the recruitment process. 

“They genuinely were interested in getting to know me,” Horner said. “They wanted to know more than what they saw on the outside.”

The main goal of Mocktails is to provide a safe space for students considering sorority life to learn about each sorority a bit more. This aids the individual’s process of deciding to go through primary recruitment. 

“My intention with going to Mocktails was solely to see whether or not  I was the ‘token’ plus size person or if I would be actually welcomed and accepted there,” Horner recounted on her experience. “And that is how I decided I was gonna go through primary recruitment.” 

Throughout the night, attendees were able to talk about various topics that had nothing to do with the primary recruitment process. 

“I love true crime and during my Mocktails, they asked about my interest in it and for just more fun facts about me.” Horner said. “Through this interaction, I immediately realized this was a group of people that was gonna be supportive of me no matter what specific sorority I joined.”  

Those who are interested in primary recruitment were not required to attend the event. 

“If you’re already interested in the recruitment process it was a great first step in learning more about everyone and everything, but you didn’t have to attend in order to go through primary recruitment,” Balboa said. “There will be another form that goes out when we get back after Mocktails.”

Recruitment starts on Feb. 1st and lasts that entire week until bid day on the 5th. For more information and the link to sign up for primary recruitment, interested students can follow  Panhel on Instagram @alleghenypanhel.