Two hundred students accepted bids following formal Panhellenic sorority recruitment from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31. During the formal recruitment period, students attended Open Parties, a Philanthropy Night and a Preference Night consecutively before Bid Day, where they received a bid to one of the four Panhellenic sororities: Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega and Kappa Alpha Theta.
According to Panhellenic Council President Shen Tang, 308 potential new members (PNMs) registered for formal recruitment this year. Tang, a senior, said that this number was a slight decrease from last year’s recruitment numbers and at the end of the recruitment process, the four sororities gave 209 total bids, 200 of which were accepted. The 99 registered students who did not end up receiving a bid did not qualify based on Panhellenic requirements, did not show up to events during recruitment or dropped out of the recruitment process at some point before Bid Day on Jan. 31.
Formal recruitment is conducted based on a Generally Assured Bid System, which ensures that all students who attend every recruitment event to which they are invited guaranteed a bid to at least one of the Panhellenic sororities, according to the Student Affairs handbook.
In previous years, recruitment numbers had been rising due to an increased demand for Greek life, according to a Sept. 5 Daily article. Although formal recruitment numbers did not increase this year, Tang said that female students who accepted bids showed more enthusiasm about joining sororities.
“I do think that for the people who stayed through recruitment and accepted a bid, I felt like they were more interested in becoming a part of a sorority rather than just ‘trying it out,’” Tang said.
Tang said that a few changes in the process of recruitment this year helped the process run more smoothly. She said that Open Parties, which allow students to visit and learn more about each Panhellenic sorority, were held on both Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 rather than just on one night, as was the case in previous years.
“I think that worked really well for the PNMs because if they missed a party they could always make it up for the second night,” Tang said.
Tang said one of the changes made to recruitment was an increased number of Rho Gammas, who serve as recruitment counselors for PNMs as they go through the process.
“We had forty [Rho Gammas] this year…I think that also helped, because each group would have only fourteen girls to begin with…instead of over twenty,” Tang said.
Claudia Mihm, who serves as the Director of Programming for the Panhellenic Council, echoed Tang’s sentiments, explaining that the Rho Gammas were crucial in making recruitment run smoothly and that they handled things “beautifully.”
“[The Rho Gammas] were…very on top of the logistics, but they also understood it was a very stressful…process that didn’t necessary reflect what a typical experience in Greek Life is,” Mihm, a sophomore, said. “So they did a really good job in making sure people understood that while recruitment is a very important part of joining Greek life, it’s not all of it and they made sure that people gave it another chance and stuck through it as much as they were willing. But they also understood that it wasn’t for everybody.”
According to Tang, PNMs were encouraged to trust their instincts throughout the recruitment process. Women who are uncertain about what choices to make are able to speak with members of the Panhellenic Council to sort through their feelings, and these conversations shed light on how women were feeling about the process, Tang said.
“We did see a lot of girls who expressed conflict because their friends were all going to one sorority but they actually liked or were really amazed by another one,” she said. “We saw a lot more people going with what they really enjoyed more.”
Tang said that this year she was delighted to see many women participating in the recruitment process with an open mind and a willingness to trust the process when choosing a sorority that is right for them.
“The process only starts during recruitment,” Tang said. “It doesn’t end on Bid Day at all, it’s just a beginning to learn about your sisterhood.”