Normally around this time of the year, the excitement starts to grow as the time has arrived in which new students will be joining our sororities V.S.V. Illicio & A.L. Fides, and fraternity O.M.D. Erodios. Flyers are being made, old pictures and memories are recollected as means of promotion, wine and beer is being prepared to play flip cup and have our welcome drinks ready to be served, and recruitment has officially started. However, this year we were told the unfortunate news that none of this could happen because of the pandemic we’re currently living with. Recruitment of new members will not be allowed, nor will organizing a hazing – a crucial part of our process in becoming a member of one of us.
While our excitement slipped away somewhat, as we are pretty bummed we will not be welcoming any new students into our families (which is truly what it feels like to be part of Fides, Illicio or Erodios), our level of creativity has never been higher. While it definitely is not the start of the semester we were hoping for – I think we can all agree to the fact that we would prefer to have a beer with the new students over a soda; we would like to take everyone to our parties, instead of giving some flyers; and we would rather have new, wonderful students join our sororities and fraternity now, than postponing it to another semester – together we decided to try and have this impact us as little as possible & we have been coming up with different ways of keeping contact with the newbies. We are making the prettiest flyers we can think of, our social media pages are receiving some serious updates, and we are joining Introweek events as much as possible.
Each one of us is organising things in different ways. “Within Fides, we are first focusing on creating a safe space and atmosphere to have our weekly drinks, with the current members of our sorority. We are looking into possibilities inside, while hoping for good weather so we can bike to the beach or the park, and are reaching out to local cafes to see what other possibilities there might be. We are very excited to meet the new girls, and once we found a safe way of continuing our drinks, we would like others to join to get a taste of what it’s like to be part of Fides. We really can’t wait to get to know everyone!” (Daantje van de Linde, Praeses of A.L. Fides 2020-2021).
O.M.D. Erodios, UCR’s oldest fraternity, also had to adapt tremendously to ensure their weekly drinks were still possible. “At first, we cancelled most of our weekly drinks in order to reorganize and look at what was still possible. Over the summer we organized a lot of alternative events. We had barbecues, swimming parties and beach days with the members to have some fun together while still being able to keep the 1.5 meters distance. For the coming semester, we’re figuring out a way to still have our gatherings and keep the fun going in a safe way. Sadly, we won’t be able to take in new members this semester but nonetheless we would love to meet all the new guys and we hope we can take in members in the coming Spring semester together with the other sororities!” (Martijn Filius, Ab-actis of O.M.D. Erodios 2020-2021).
Finally, Illicio has been dealing with the changes in their own way. “Illicio lives from events, borrels and gatherings with each other. Often with our Brother Fraternity Erodios we organise dinners, celebrations and activities. Missing out on these is really sad for each of us. But Illicio also involves togetherness, being there for each other and support in difficult times. We are a group of friends connected by common experiences and memories of great importance in these times. Our close-knit group of girls would’ve loved to welcome new members this semester to gain new insights, ideas and a new friendship. However, we are still very much looking forward to meet the new students and make lots of new friends and hope to make the best of the situation!” (Philippa Heilmann, Praeses of V.S.V. Illicio 2020-2021).
In addition to these separate inventions, we have also teamed up with the three of us. We are making combined flyers and social media posts to introduce ourselves, are trying to find ways to go to the beach with all of us, where there is plenty of space to have a good time while also keeping in mind the measures, and are focusing on increasing our ‘visibility’ – as we call it – on campus, while awaiting the time during which we can welcome new people into Illicio, Fides, and Erodios again.
If you would like to get to know each of us a little bit better, you can find our social media pages below. We are also encouraging anyone with interests in joining one of us, to reach out so we can get to know each other over a cup of coffee, a beer, or anything else to your likings. Because, while joining this semester will not be possible, that does not mean we aren’t super super excited to get to know you all!!