Greek Groups keep in touch through TikTok


Molly Sweeney

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged Greek groups atto find unique ways to reach out to potential new members (PNMs) this year. Ayradi Catron, Greek Council social chair, came up with the idea of reaching out to PNMs through the social media app TikTok.
As social chair, one of her responsibilities is to register social events. However, COVID-19 restrictions have eliminated many social events that normally occur. She had to come up with a new idea to bring people together.
“I’ve started to get creative with the role that I have and what I decide to take on in terms of different events, and [using TikTok] was just an idea I had over winter break, and [the other social chairs] approved it,” Catron said.
Co-social chairs of Rho Nu Delta (Roundel) Dylan Kropp and Luis Garcia felt that using TikTok as a form of outreach simultaneously helped get the word out to PNMs and also gave the active members of the fraternity a chance to have fun together virtually.
“One of the main goals was letting the freshmen know who we are. Let them know ‘hey like these are the events we make usually.” Garcia said. “Second of all, it’s a lot of fun. I will check out the TikToks and laugh, remembering how it was and why it’s worth it to be in our group, even though we are not doing much at all.”
Kropp acknowledged that using TikTok as a form of PNM outreach was also simultaneously a bonding experience for the actives.
“I remember the first night I put the message in the group chat about making TikToks. Within, like, five minutes, we each had a TikTok ready to go to the group chat and everybody thought it was so funny and so cool.” Kropp said. “It was just a good reminder of the good times that we have when we can all be together.”
Janine Rudnicki, Chi Alpha Phi (CAP) social chair, utilized TikTok because of the unique features that allows users to create short videos quickly and efficiently.
“One advantage is that it’s kind of like the sweet spot between a photo and a longer five minute recruitment YouTube video. You can get more than just a single photo and comment, but it’s not as time consuming as a five minute recruitment video.” Rudnicki said.
Another advantage that TikTok holds over other social media is the For You Page (FYP). Each FYP is individualized and shows users content from creators that they do not follow. Greek groups were able to reach a wider audience and get more views by utilizing TikTok.
“The first video I posted was just a little introduction to each of the groups and that one got 830 views. I didn’t really expect it to like blow up or go viral or anything but just to kind of make that make it more fun.” Catron said.
Even though the TikToks might not have gone viral, they were useful in helping the active members stay connected.
“It’s not necessarily the reception of [the TikToks], but my group really enjoyed the TikTok that we put together. People were messaging me saying like, ‘oh, I saw the TikTok, great thank you for doing that, like, those are really positive,’ so it’s my hope that they were successful.” Rudniki said.
In agreement with Rudniki, Catron also said that it is important to find new ways to stay connected virtually, even if we can’t be together physically.
“With everything that happened last year, everything kind of got cut short so we also didn’t get to experience a normal year in my group. It was cool for me because it was just getting to see a part of the group that I’m already in and emphasize the excitement I had when I joined.” Catron said.
Even if life is more normal next year, Catron believes that she will continue to utilize TikTok as a form of outreach.
“I think that this was definitely the first step. It’s just an easy way to reach people, and to personally showcase different aspects of Greek Life. Even if things start to go away from virtual, we can still use that platform because it’s not going away.” Catron said.
In the meantime, TikTok has been a very useful tool to help Greek groups stay united and stay excited for coming together again.
“In the video I see all these guys I haven’t seen this year and I really missed them. I want to go out with them but we can’t, we have to respect COVID-19. But remembering, it’s like living again.” Garcia said.
Photo Above: Janine Rudniki, Chi Alpha Pi social chair and junior at Augustana showing the promotional TikTok video for Chi Alpha Pi. Photo by Aakash Manandhar.