Panhel Recruits 163 New Sorority Members

Sorority recruitment returned to the fall for the first time since 2002, and despite competition for students’ time from student activity recruitment and fraternity rush the number of women pledging sororities increased slightly from last year. Annika S. Larsson ’08, president of the Panhellenic Association, said there were a total of 163 bids.

Every person who received a bid accepted it, and everyone who completed recruitment received a bid, Larsson said. A total of 312 women registered at the start of recruitment, Larsson said, meaning 149 left recruitment before completing it. Panhel saw similar bid numbers last year with 154 pledges. Two years ago, there were 137 bids.

According to Larsson, Alpha Chi Omega has 40 new members, Alpha Epsilon Phi has 1, Alpha Phi has 39, Kappa Alpha Theta has 44, and Sigma Kappa has 39.

Fall recruitment went quite well, Larsson said. “We thought it was a good transition because of our support from the [Interfraternity Council],” she said.

Arti V. Virkud ’11, a new pledge at Alpha Phi, said, “At first … all of my friends were extremely upset [about fall recruitment].” Virkud said her friends had looked forward to a spring recruitment, but, in retrospect, she really enjoyed the fall timing. “It’s not really about choosing a sorority,” Virkud said. “It’s the idea of whether you want to be in a sorority or not.”

Virkud also said she preferred a fall recruitment as an opportunity to meet new people. “I think recruitment really gave me a great opportunity to meet all the girls in the sororities,” Virkud said.

Jennifer P. Chan ’11, a new pledge at Alpha Chi Omega, said she liked recruitment in the fall, since it gave women a great peer group just a few days after they arrived on campus.

“It was a fun way to get to know new girls and get to know upperclassmen,” Chan said.

Chan also said the switch to fall recruitment was good “because then the [Panhellenic Recruitment Counselors] aren’t tortured for a semester.”

Potential members were led through the recruitment process by 31 PRCs, or Pi Rho Chis, according to Larsson. In past years, PRCs had to deaffiliate from their sororities for the entirety of the first semester in order to give potential new members a more unbiased look at sororities. During recruitment week, PRCs would live at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge hotel.

Larsson said that moving recruitment to the fall made life much easier for PRCs.

“It was a hard week for them,” Larsson said. “A lot of time they didn’t get to see their sisters … but it was a lot easier than having recruitment during IAP.”

Frantic recruitment week

As a whole, the week “was very busy,” said Larsson. “But it’s always pretty busy. [This year] it was almost more exciting because it was so new for the freshmen.”

Amanda S. Fried ’11, a new pledge at Alpha Chi Omega, said the week was extremely busy, but the presence of PRCs added structure.

“It was incredibly regimented — nothing like the frat rush,” Fried said. “[The structured recruitment] let you really know about all the different sororities.”

After spending time with members in the Student Center, touring houses, and attending parties, potential members ranked their top two sororities on preference night. Sororities also ranked their top potential members. After a mutual selection process, the hustle-and-bustle of recruitment week culminated in “Bid Night” on Wednesday, where potential members were offered a bid to join one sorority.