A record-high of 308 students participated in this month’s formal sorority recruitment. This number is an increase from the 185 girls who registered in 2012 and the 172 who registered in 2011, according to Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone.
Ultimately, 216 girls received bids, with Alpha Phi giving out 57, Chi Omega giving out 53, Alpha Omicron Pi giving out 53 and Kappa Alpha Theta giving out 53, according to McGlone.
McGlone said she is not surprised by the spike in participation, which reflects a growing interest in Greek life at Tufts.
“We have been seeing an increase in numbers over the past several of years for both sorority and fraternity involvement on campus,” she said. “Greek organizations are doing great things and getting their names out in positive ways, and that draws people to them.”
Kappa Alpha Theta was Tufts’ fourth and most recent sorority addition. McGlone cited the creation of Kappa Alpha Theta as one of the factors that has increased recruitment.
“People are excited about the new sorority on campus,” she said. “We’ve seen girls come into recruitment because they have more options.”
President of Tufts Panhellenic Council Jaime Morgen agreed with McGlone’s comments about the increased popularity of Greek life on campus.
“Girls are excited about joining any sorority now,” Morgen, a senior, said. “It’s becoming more of a presence on campus, and people want to be a part of it. It’s definitely more on everyone’s radar.”
According to McGlone, there are now roughly 600 girls involved in sororities on campus. Each sorority had almost 100 members before recruitment, and each gave out around 50 bids.
Director of Recruitment for Tufts Panhellenic Council Alison Williams also credited the addition of Kappa Alpha Theta and the overall Tufts Panhellenic spirit for drawing more girls to the recruitment process.
“The relationship and friendships between the sororities have gotten better,” Williams, a senior, said. “It’s much healthier, and we worked hard to smoothly welcome Theta into Greek life.”
McGlone added that despite the addition of Kappa Alpha Theta, the guaranteed bid system is still in place.
“Girls who fully maximize their options and stay involved in the process will ultimately receive a bid, but not necessarily a bid to the organization of her choice,” McGlone said.
Morgen added, however, that if a Potential New Member (PNM) went through the process in previous years and dropped out, she is no longer guaranteed a bid.
“When a PNM previously had an opportunity to be in a sorority and turned the bid down, we see it as them no longer maximizing all of their options,” Morgen said.
Williams explained that there are other circumstances under which a bid is no longer guaranteed.
“If [girls] miss a party due to another commitment, [they] aren’t promised a bid,” Williams said. “We try not to hold it against them because it is a legitimate excuse, so they can still rank all parties they attend. If someone doesn’t feel like going to a party or if they are unhappy with their options, that doesn’t show well. We encourage girls to have open minds and good attitudes.”
Although all the PNMs might not have been accepted into their favorite sorority, Morgen was pleased with this year’s turnout and process.
“We didn’t experience drama this year,” she said. “It’s been more relaxed, and – for the most part – girls have been happy with their choices.”
This year’s formal recruitment period was shorter than last year’s, according to Head Rho Gamma for Tufts Panhellenic Council, Alexandra Horowitch. She explained that Tufts Panhellenic Council changed the structure of recruitment week and removed a night of open parties.
“It’s now three days, and Bid Day is on Sunday,” Williams said. “I really believe this kept more people interested and in the system.”
Horowitch, a senior, said that the change likely resulted in fewer girls dropping out of the recruitment process.
“We’ve had a lot fewer girls drop this year, and I think that’s because in the past, PNMs were always intimidated by the length of recruitment,” Horowitch said. “This is a lot less overwhelming.”
According to McGlone, girls will now take part in the new member period after accepting their bids. She said the period will last up to eight weeks.
Alpha Omicron Pi President Hannah Arnow said she is excited for her sorority’s new members.
“The new member period is a time for our newest additions to learn about the sorority’s history and founders,” Arnow, a junior, said. “It’s a time of bonding, especially with big-little week.”