Sororities Get Forty Fewer Members, Pi Beta Phi Still To Bid

Sorority recruitment wrapped up Wednesday night, bringing in approximately forty fewer members than last year. Recruitment this year was marked by the presence of the new sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and keeping the move from fall to spring recruitment that began last year.

Yicong Liu ’09, recruitment chair of the MIT Panhellenic Association said that it is difficult to judge whether fall recruitment is definitively more effective than spring recruitment, in part because this is only the second year of fall recruitment but “particularly since we have a new variable, Pi Beta Phi, thrown into the mix.” “I think we’re really going to need a couple of more years,” she said.

Both Liu and Tiffany W. Guo ’09, Panhel president, said that they do not plan to move back to spring recruitment any time soon.

Pi Beta Phi did not give bids during this week’s recruitment. Instead, consultants and alumnae from outside chapters were available this week to meet with interested women. The sorority will be having its own recruitment Sept. 25-28. Women who are interested in Pi Beta Phi do not have to go through the formal recruitment process and are only ineligible to join Phi Beta Phi if they received and declined a bid from another sorority.

Panhel worked with the representatives from outside chapters to publicize Pi Beta Phi because it did not have an MIT base, Liu said.

The other five sororities gave out 128 bids, 127 of which were accepted. Alpha Chi Omega will receive the most new members, with 33 bids accepted, followed by Kappa Alpha Theta with 32, Alpha Phi and Sigma Kappa with 29, and Alpha Epsilon Phi with 4. The number of bids accepted is down from last year’s 163 bids given and accepted, and is the lowest since 2005, when 117 women accepted bids during recruitment, which was held in the spring.

“We have a lot of girls coming to the process just to check it out, just to meet some women and meet each of the chapters, and then perhaps choose not to go on to the next step … we see a lot of people take that route,” said Guo.

Liu mentioned that with Pi Beta Phi brought in, there may have been women who would have shown interest in the existing five sororities who instead chose to wait for Pi Beta Phi’s recruitment. “It’s hard to say exactly how much [interest there was], but we definitely did see people who were very interested in Pi Beta Phi,” she said.

Meghan E. Dow ’12, a new pledge for Alpha Chi Omega, commented that the sense of community and philanthropic focus drew her to the sororities. “They’re some of the nicest girls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting,” she added. “It was the best experience.”

Interested women begin recruitment by meeting the sororities the first two days. After several days of events including parties, tours, and narrowing down their options, potential members find their best fit and receive their bid the final day of recruitment.