Large groups of girls gathered at the University Center Patio Saturday with excitement and nervousness increasing with each passing minute. Bid Day had finally arrived.
For the 412 recruits, each hoping for a spot in one of the seven Panhellenic sororities on campus, this was the moment in which they would receive the envelope that held their invitation to a sorority.
Before Bid Day, recruits had attended numerous events for four days to meet current members and learn about the differences in each of the sororities. After the first two nights of learning about the sororities and their philanthropies, recruits were invited back by specific sororities based on who the current members thought would fit well in the group. These invitations, combined with the individuals’ preferences, determine which sororities the recruit spends the next two days with.
The third night is spent with three sororities and the last night the recruit spends with her top two choices. During this time the sororities are ranking each potential new member. The invitations handed out on Bid Day are based on these rankings and the recruit’s choices.
“The last couple nights of recruitment really help us to get to know the girls the best we can. We are able to move past the superficial conversations and really learn who they are as people,” Deiedre Schwiring, a junior in Alpha Delta Pi, said. “This way we can see if they are what we look for in a sister and they can see where they fit in the best.”
On Bid Day the recruits still had no idea what sorority they were going to end up in, although they all had their favorites. As they opened their envelopes, screams, squeals and shouts of excitement filled the UC Patio.
“I wanted to join a sorority to get a good group of friends and I got into my first choice of Zeta Tau Alpha,” Kim Perrin, freshman, said.
The new members received their sorority’s T-shirt, put it on, covered it with another shirt and then headed to the Rock for the last portion of the event.
“We are all so excited on Bid Day to see who our new sisters are. Group by group they line up on the Rock and together tear off a shirt to reveal what sorority they are in,” Schwiring said. “They then get attacked by older sisters with hugs and cheers as they are pulled off to their new sorority.”
While recruitment may be over for the new sisters, most sororities have additional sessions to teach them more about their organization. The process ends later this semester when new members officially become sisters after going through the sorority’s initiation.
Fraternity Bid Day, which takes place after a less formal recruitment process, was on Friday.
Catherine Howden can be contacted at email@example.com.