Sigma Alpha recruitment week: through the eyes of a recruit

Making the choice to put yourself through a challenging week of activities in the hopes of becoming a member of a selective organization is not a decision to be taken lightly. Morgan Walkup, CAFNR freshman and science and agricultural journalism major, recently completed recruitment week for Sigma Alpha, a professional agriculture sorority in the college.

Even though she grew up surrounded by family farms, Walkup, of Gower, Missouri, was initially not interested in pursing a degree related to agriculture.

“I started doing public speaking through FFA and 4-H my freshman year of high school,” Walkup said. “Since then, I have wanted to pursue a career where I would be able to tell people about the great stories of agriculture! So once I found out about the science and agricultural journalism program here at Mizzou, I knew that’s what I wanted to major in!”

After Walkup decided on a major, she looked for an on-campus organization that would fit her agriculture background. She discovered Sigma Alpha.

Sigma Alpha has been a part of Mizzou since 2002. According to its website, Sigma Alpha’s motto is “Women Excelling in Agriculture.” Recruitment week for Sigma Alpha, which is like rushing in other Greek sororities, started Sept 2. and events ran through Sept 10.

Like many other women who chose to participate in Sigma Alpha’s recruitment week, Morgan said she was interested in the fact that Sigma Alpha was a professional sorority.

“I was not interested in rushing formally,” Walkup said. “I wanted to get to know a great group of girls, but also get to grow and prepare for future careers.”

Walkup participated in many of the recruitment week events. Tuesday was an event called Names and Frames. According to Walkup, recruits brought a picture of themselves and decorated picture frames with rhinestones and glitter. Wednesday was her favorite event of the week, Wacky Tacky Date Night.

“It was like speed-dating, only in goofy clothes. We got to know all of the other recruits, and actives, on a personal level,” Walkup said.

Thursday night, recruits volunteered at the Central Missouri Food Bank.

“We helped package hot dogs and created food boxes,” Walkup said.

Friday night was the only event that Morgan missed. Both recruits and actives planned to play kickball on the Quad, however heavy rainfall caused the group to relocate to Shakespeare’s Pizza.

The following Monday, the women were invited to a Monsanto Info Session. They listened to representatives from Monsanto as well as students who interned with the company over the summer. The second Tuesday night of recruitment week included an interview prep night. Recruits were instructed on how interviews were going to go, all while eating pizza in their pajamas.

To cap off the long week, the second Wednesday recruitment weeknight was the actual interview evening. Walkup’s time was 7:15 p.m.

“The actives are split up into six rooms and recruits go into every room to interview,” Walkup said.

According to Walkup, actives can only vote for a recruit if they have talked to them throughout the week. Thursday, Sept 11, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., envelopes were placed in a central location. These envelopes contained either a bid to join Sigma Alpha, or a letter respectfully declining the recruit.

After two weeks of events, Walkup, along with many other eager women, found out she was accepted to Sigma Alpha. Courtney Spencer, Sigma Alpha president, said the number of bids given each year varies.

“This year we had around 70 girls come to our info night, which is held after CAFNR Fall Roundup each year,” Spencer said. “This number is fairly steady each year. Attendance for each recruitment week event varied throughout the week. The number of bids that are given varies from year to year. We usually maintain an active membership of around 65 girls freshmen-senior.”

This year, 15 women were inducted into the Sigma Alpha agricultural sorority, including Walkup. For more information on Sigma Alpha, visit their website at http://cafnr.missouri.edu/academics/organizations.php.

Sarah Goellner

About the Author

My name is Sarah Goellner, and I am currently a science and ag journalism major at the University of Missouri. I received my associate degree from Moberly Area Community College before transferring to MU. I grew up in Palmyra, Missouri, with an older sister, Rebecca. Agriculture has deep roots in my family. My uncles’ and cousins’ farms surrounded my home, and I was always included in the daily activities. I was deeply involved 4-H and FFA throughout my childhood. I have always had an interest in writing and journalism. After graduation, I hope to be able to communicate and market the field of agriculture to a large audience. I am excited to work for Corner Post for the third semester because it will give me more experience needed to pursue my future career. I look forward to adding more stories to my portfolio in order to gain a career in the agricultural marketing field upon graduation.