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Panhel Recruitment Opens With Record Interest Level

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLE: A Feb. 1 article “Panhel Recruitment Opens With Record Interest Level” misidentified a freshman participant. Her name is Jennifer J. Young, not Jessica J. Young.

By Scot Frank

More women than ever before have registered for sorority recruitment this year, according to the Panhellenic Association, which declined to release the exact number.

Last year, 194 women participated in recruitment, resulting in a total sorority membership of about 430 women.

Recruitment for MIT’s five sororities begins tonight with an information session. Friday is the final day prospective members may attend without having registered in advance, with recruitment continuing through Monday when bids will be extended to participating women.

As the week-long recruitment process now begins, many female freshmen remain uncertain about what they can expect from sorority life at MIT.

“We’re trying to meet and get to know more people,” said Jessica J. Young ’09, citing this as her initial reason for participating in sorority recruitment.

But even after a full semester at MIT, Young said she does not feel she knows much about the individual sororities, a problem Stephanie H. Cho ’06, vice president of recruitment programming, is hoping to solve this year by allotting more time for prospective members to see all houses.

Amanda D. Gaudreau ’09 said she prefers the Independent Activities Period recruitment format because regular classes are not in session. But though she and other freshmen women have been encouraged to apply for recruitment, she said many freshmen women still “have no idea really what it is.”

Not every prospective new sister is unsure what the future will hold, though. “A problem girls run into is not keeping an open mind going into recruitment — they are already set on one place,” Cho said, referring to the current process of recruitment over IAP.

To inform prospective members, Cho said Panhellenic Recruitment Counselors (PRCs), who are disaffiliated sorority members, have been working diligently over the past week to finish their semester-long training.

“The whole point [of sorority recruitment] is to get your foot in the door, then you can find out about the sorority,” said PRC Samantha E. Bennett ’06.

Four years ago, Panhel shifted fall recruitment to IAP to allow freshman women time to adjust to MIT life. After having re-evaluated the process this fall, Panhel will revert back to fall in seeking recruits from the Class of 2011.