Forming sisterly bonds

Students show their excitement for spring recruitment.

Roughly a year after the change to spring recruitment, there is only one word to describe Greek life this past week: excitement.

Fraternities kicked off their recruitment on Monday with a barbecue on the intramural fields with roughly 200 brothers and interested students. Fraternity recruitment will continue until Feb. 5.

Sorority recruitment concluded for the current semester on Monday with Bid Day, an event where Potential New Members (PNMs) publicly display which sorority they have chosen to join.

Deferred recruitment, or the change to spring recruitment for sororities, allowed female students, typically freshmen and transfers, a full semester to experience life at the University of Miami before deciding whether Greek life is appropriate for them.

“With the change to deferred recruitment, many feared that there would be a decline in interest in Greek life as freshmen begin to assimilate into different organizations,” said Marissa Orenstein, president of the Panhellenic Association. “This year we noticed just the opposite. We are finally back to our old numbers from previous fall recruitments with about 350 women signed up at the beginning of the week.”

Panhellenic is the governing body of sororities, implementing recruitment guidelines and standards that their organizations are to follow.

Once the women decide to become Greek, they register for recruitment by early January. The actual recruitment process takes a week and consists of social events held by the Panhellenic Association and the individual sororities. These parties are held at the Mary B. Merritt Panhellenic building and invite PNMs to experience each aspect of sorority life; everything from various philanthropies to the sense of sisterhood sororities share.

Through the week long process, the PNMs not only experience sorority life, but also the sororities themselves. By the end of the week each woman selects the sorority that they believe best suits them.

Normally, the week begins with an open house and is followed by six parties. However, this year with the change to spring recruitment, Orenstein said, another night of events was added to accommodate the increase in interest.

“We actually had to add the extra night because of fire codes. I believe it’s an indication of the growing presence of Greek life on campus, which is great,” she said.

After going to all of the social events, the women are paired with a sorority based on a mutual-matching process.

Spring recruitment wasn’t the only change to the Panhellenic society this semester; a new president, Marissa Zerbo, will be taking over just after recruitment, and she couldn’t be more anxious to get started.

“It’s great to see how far we’ve come, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future,” Zerbo said of her new position. “I’m truly honored and excited to lead and represent such a strong and promising group of women.”

Colleen Dourney may be contacted at

January 20, 2010


Colleen Dourney

Contributing Writer

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.