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With All Bids Accepted, Sororities Set a Record

By Marie Y. Thibault
NEWS EDITOR

For the first time ever, all of the women offered bids during sorority recruitment accepted, marking the end of a banner year for the MIT Panhellenic Association.

This year’s recruitment period also set highs in number of women registering (240), and bids accepted (137), according to Stephanie H. Cho ’06, Panhel vice president of recruitment programming. Last year, 194 registered, and 117 pledged.

Cho said out of the 240 registrants, 190 actually participated. Including the new members, about 510 MIT women are members of sororities, Cho said. About 40 participants did not complete the recruiting process, and fewer than 10 women who did complete the process did not receive a bid, Cho said.

With the use of buses, this year’s recruitment process allowed more time for the participants to explore each sorority’s house, Cho said. This is also the first year that all five sororities have houses, as Alpha Epsilon Phi acquired living facilities in Boston this year.

The six-day recruitment process kicked off on Wednesday with an information night, Panhel President Nikki A. Pfarr ’06 said. Sororities members socialized with prospective members at a series of parties the rest of the week, with the number of party invitations each person could accept decreasing with each day, thus helping to narrow down choices.

The prospective members were allowed to attend a maximum of two parties on Sunday night and then ranked the sororities that had most recently given them invitations, Pfarr said. The process completed with Bid Day yesterday.

Two changes were implemented in recruitment policy beginning this year. Women are now able to decline a bid by designating “regret with interest,” allowing them to participate in informal recruitment, Cho said. In previous years, women who did not accept a bid after ranking their preferences could not participate in recruitment for one calendar year.

In another change, recruiters were no longer discouraged from spending much time with prospective members outside of recruitment events. The previous policy tended to confuse the participants because it made the sisters appear insincere, so this year, recruiters were encouraged to have friendly contact but avoid discussing recruitment outside official events. Pfarr said this new policy worked much better.

Ming Leong ’09 said the best part of the week was the parties, because she got to know the sisters. Both Leong and Stella Schieffer ’09 said that by Saturday, they had chosen the sorority they wanted to join.

Panhel Recruitment will be moved back to the original period between fall orientation and registration day for 2007. For the past four years, it has been held during the Independent Activities Period as a test trial.

Cho noted several disadvantages to IAP recruitment, including conflicts with internships, final exams, and twice-a-day athletic practices.

Pfarr said that IAP recruitment resulted in the loss of a term of membership dues, which would have provided a financial buffer.

The sororities are not struggling financially, Cho said.