Sorority recruitment to span 2 weekends

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What is frequently called “rush” won’t be so rushed for women looking to join a sorority at the University this year.

The Panhellenic Council, which consists of 12 sororities, will be splitting its formal recruitment process into two weekends instead of one.

Historically, this process has taken place during a five-day period, from Wednesday to Sunday. This year, it is spread across two weekends, and will start Friday, Sept. 6 to Sunday, Sept. 8. There will be a week break and then it will resume Friday, Sept. 13 and end with bid day on Sunday, Sept. 15.

“This is a lifelong commitment they’re making,” said Holly Grunn, adviser of the Panhellenic Greek Council at the University. “This will give women more time to make decision [and will lead to a] positive result in the end.”

The change came after a few years of examining other universities’ processes and looking at problems with the recruitment process.

“Recruitment has kind of slowly been changing every year,” said Alyssa Cannella, vice president of member development for the Panhellenic Council. “This year we kind of decided as an executive board to rip off the bandaid.”

One problem with the recruitment process as one weekend was the stress it caused for some of the women going through it, said Lauren Barr, vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council.

“It was just a whirlwind process,” Barr said.

This may have been one of the reasons about 50 percent of women weren’t going through the whole process, instead starting it and then dropping it, Grunn said.

“Sometimes life happens,” she said. “Wednesday through Sunday back-to-back really doesn’t give any time for life.”

It also may not have given women any time for homework, Barr said.

“We said we valued scholarship and sisterhood,” she said. “There was no time for anybody to do homework or to unwind after school.”

The end of the weekends will also be different. Bid-day, when women get placed into a sorority by a mutual selection process, has been re-vamped this year.

The women will be given their bids in a more private setting with their recruitment guide and get time to think about it and talk to their guide before having to face the other women.

Before, women were given their bids all together and it was “mass chaos,” Cannella said.

It can take time and “personal reflection to find the sorority that best fits them,” Grunn said.

She said the new process “gives women an opportunity to really know all the sororities.”

It may also give sororities more time to communicate their values to potential new members.

“I think by changing this process we are showing as a community more of our values,” Barr said. “The overall process will show new members … we are a values-based organization. We do value these things, we want to show that.”

This year, about 400 women have signed up so far to participate in formal recruitment.

No matter what chapter a woman ends up in, Grunn said the chapters all have similar values.

“They may have different words for them but ultimately we’re here to make women better women,” she said.