Sorority Rush Draws FreshmenBy Tiffany Kosolcharoen
About 150 freshman women are participating in sorority rush, which is taking place primarily in the spring for the first time this year. The number of participants is down from the 200 students who registered for sorority rush in the fall 2002.
“Moving the [recruitment] to February has a very different atmosphere from holding it during Orientation,” said Sara Pierce ’03, the Panhellenic Association’s vice president of recruitment. “Everyone has an idea of the campus and the sororities’ image on campus, so they can make a more informed decision.”
During the fall 2001 recruitment, 126 women were offered bids into sororities. “We expand the number of bids to the number of women who are interested,” Pierce said. “The number of students registered as of last Saturday is about the same as last year.
Some freshmen reluctant to move
Of the freshmen rushing sororities, many have shown reluctance to move into the houses because of the timing of this year’s recruitment.
“Once you get settled down in the dorms and know people, there is no need to move,” said Catarina Bjelkengren ’06. Recruitment “would be better if it were held at the beginning of the year during the fraternity rush because everyone is more open to meeting new friends.”
“I had something going on during sorority rush, and the process is long,” said Sandra Yu ‘06. “I live in Burton Connor and joined the Asian Christian Fellowship, where I met a lot of my friends.”
“To get up and move to a sorority right before this new semester would be too much of a hassle,” said Christine A. McEvilly ’06. “Sororities should recruit at the beginning of the year when we are trying to meet new people.”
Other freshmen have found that they no longer wish to join a sorority.
Sororities “are far away and expensive,” said Sarah S. Wu ’06. “Plus, I’m already settled in an all-girls dorm,” McCormick Hall.
“I found that sisterhood is not for me,” said Tracey K. Liu ’06, who participated in several Panhel events. “If they had it at the beginning, maybe I would have been more interested. I am already satisfied with my friendships.”
Women explore new friendships
“I hang out at my friend’s fraternity, and they are close with a sorority, so I want to join,” said Alice K. Zelman ‘06. Satisfied with her dormitory, Zelman said, “I’m definitely taking the nonresidential option, because East Campus is a nifty place and I’m really happy there.”
Zelman added that she would not prefer a fall recruitment. “There is too much going on in the fall for a freshman to make an informed decision about joining a sorority then.”
“I never imagined meeting so many people in such a short amount of time,” said Min Deng ‘06. “Some people might not be interested in a sorority because they have already established themselves in the dorm, but I’m still seeing if a sorority is right for me.”
Recruitment process new this year
In addition to moving the event to February, sorority rush has undergone several other changes.
“Compared to the [week-long] Orientation, the events are separated by a week in the middle, so we have to adjust events based on the schedule,” Pierce, the vice president of recruitment, said.
“The thirteen recruitment counselors are disaffiliated with their sororities throughout the first semester to give freshmen a more unbiased view of the sororities,” said Assistant Recruitment Chair Karen A. Ritter ’04. To stay impartial throughout the first semester, “we weren’t allowed to wear our sorority shirts and I did not attend as many of the social events in my sorority,” Ritter said.
“I dormed in the Panhel office these past few nights because I have to keep my affiliation secret,” Pierce said. “Although it was hard initially, it is really rewarding to help other [freshman women] find a home away from home,” she said.
Instead of the traditional Women’s Convocation following Killian Kickoff to mark the start of the sorority rush, freshman women attended an information night at Walker Memorial last Friday. Freshmen were assigned to a recruitment counselor, then gathered again on Saturday for the first round of rush, where women visited each of the sororities to narrow down their choices.
During the recruitment, potential members are urged to attend all rounds to be in contention for bids, which will be issued on Feb. 10.