MIT’s Panhellenic Association offered 173 bids this year, the same number as last year. Alpha Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta gave out the most bids, with 37 each. Recruitment saw a slight increase in the number of registrants this year, with 350 students registered for the first day. Students who registered and stayed throughout Recruitment went through a five day process, with three days dedicated to mutual selection and ranking sororities at the end of the day.
The Tech has contacted the MIT Interfraternity Council (IFC) for bid numbers, but as of the deadline for this article, they have not responded with statistics on the results of Rush.
Reactions from students
“My favorite part was getting to meet so many cool people and seeing what the sororities were really about,” said Christina K. Bray ’16, who participated in Recruitment. “It’s a lot easier to learn about them by talking to people rather than reading about them on paper. I really liked all the conversations and the house tours. I thought it was a good way to help you decide what you wanted to do.”
One notable change is that in previous years, students had to go through a longer, four-day “active” recruitment process before bids were released, as opposed to three this year. Panhel shortened it by combining the original first and second days into one day of house tours. Also new, Pi Beta Phi members began living at their Memorial Drive house this year, which can hold up to 53 sisters.
“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the individual chapters, their advisors, and the faculty and administration on the changes we implemented this year,” said Panhel President Denzil Sikka ’13.
In addition to shortening recruitment, Panhel also added an informational session for potential recruits to get a better feel for Greek life before the official start of recruitment.
Still, some freshmen found the process exhausting.
“Recruitment was long. You were talking to girls for six hours every day, so you’d come home with a dry throat,” said Ava P. Soleimany ’16.
Mary E. Wagner ’16 agreed, “I might make the days a little shorter. I felt like the process was drawn out a bit from talking to too many people.”
Initially, Soleimany was not interested in joining a sorority, but decided to attend the recruitment events after getting to know some of the women in sororities.
“I did FLP [Freshman Leadership Program], and all the counselors were affiliated, so I really wanted to go through recruitment after I saw what kind of people they were,” said Soleimany. “It just seemed like such a big part of the culture here, so I wanted to be a part of that.”
However, Clare H. Liu ’16 chose not to participate in Recruitment, opting instead to attend other events during those days. “There were a lot of events going on at the same time,” said Liu. “I like where I’m staying and the people I’m around at McCormick, so I wanted to keep my options open during freshman year.”
According to Sikka, many of the sorority chapters are now larger than they were right before last year’s seniors graduated.
“I think [Recruitment] ran very smoothly, and I’m very glad I was able to work with the Panhellenic Association and the FSILG administration to make that possible,” said Sikka.
Soleimany had some suggestions for future recruitment events.
“Allowing the girls to do more Rush events, scheduling-wise … would be good. A lot of us wanted to, but we didn’t have the time because of recruitment,” said Soleimany. “I think giving an extra day between the end of recruitment and the start of class [would also be good].”
Now that classes have started, Bray is hoping that her sorority will provide the support system and community that attracted her to Greek life in the first place.
“I think it’s especially important for freshmen, who have left home, to have a community away from your home,” said Bray.