The Recruitment Plague

Sorority recruitment has just finished, and it is one of the busiest times in many girls’ entire semesters. With recruitment also comes the “recruitment plague,” which is a very real thing- I have had it twice and am still recovering.

Why do most, if not all, girls become extremely sick during recruitment here at Penn State?

Recruitment is a 12-day-long process of “parties,” where each girl attends in order to meet and get to know each chapter. During these parties, 60+ girls are in a room, where they all shake each others hands and speak in very close quarters. In addition to the constant talking and wear-down of the voice, the process is incredibly stressful and long. Each night, the prospective new members may have up to 8 parties, each varying in times from 15-50 minutes. Even with such a large time commitment in the beginning of the semester, school is still a priority, therefore homework and schoolwork but be completed after the parties, which end at around 11 PM. With the constricted times of these parties, girls are forced to eat snacks and quick meals in between parties and during whatever free time they are so graciously given. These snacks and quick meals are generally bought in South Halls at Louie’s, the convenience store in the commons. Easy Mac and granola bars are just some of the meals girls can grab and eat quickly before they attend their next party. These meals do not provide much, if any, nutrition to the body and immune system that is so desperately needed during this time.

Another contributing factor to the “recruitment plague” could be due to the fact that recruitment happens so early on in the semester, right after everyone moves onto the campus and into the dorms. People coming from their homes to small spaces with many other students could cause germs to spread, and therefore sicknesses to arise. The process of recruitment is an easy way for these germs that already exist in the residence halls to spread even more quickly. Listed below are 5 ways that germs are spread, and recruitment definitely involves most of them.


Stress, long days of talking non-stop and shaking countless hands, accompanied with less sleep and bad eating habits all come together to create a perfect nesting spot for germs to inhabit our bodies. With the destruction of our immune systems through wear-down and not enough rest and nutrients, our bodies do not have the ability to fight off the bacteria and germs that enter our bodies during this busy time. Once one person gets sick, the sicknesses spread from girl to girl faster than you can say the word ‘recruitment’ (not literally). According to a¬†new study¬†viruses can spread in as little as two hour after being put on a common surface, such as a toilet handle or a doorknob. Imagine how fast sicknesses spread when 3,000 girls shake each other’s hands and speak almost mouth-to-ear in crowded, hot rooms.


2 thoughts on “The Recruitment Plague

  1. cmt5658

    This article is very relatable, because I was one of those girls who was very sick and most likely got others sick. At some point after all the screaming and interviewing, my voice was gone and eventually my throat was killing me. One morning into the second week of recruitment instead of going to my 9am, I found myself in health services. After an annoyed amount of throat swaps and blood tests, I was found to have had farengitis, which is basically tonsillitis without tonsils. Anyway, all recruitment events are strictly mandatory. So here I am shivering in bed all day with advice from my doctor to stay away from people because I was contagious. However, I still found myself at rush that night, barely being able to talk still shaking hands with every sorrily girl in site. If I got any of your friends sick, Im deeply sorry.

  2. Charlotte Anderson

    I relate to this article. The first week of recruitment my two friends got strep and I got a cold. Now that it’s over my same friend has a sinus infection!

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