Greek Life, News

Sorority recruitment numbers continue to rise

Sorority sisters rejoice on Bid Day. // Photo courtesy UM Panhellenic via Facebook

Sorority sisters rejoice on Bid Day. // Photo courtesy UM Panhellenic via Facebook

Before spring semester began, hundreds of students arrived on campus a week early to participate in the Panhellenic Association’s spring recruitment week.

Also known as rush, recruitment gives women the opportunity to learn more about the University of Miami’s eight National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sorority chapters and to join the Greek community.

Over the past four years, there has been a steady rise in the number of participants in recruitment. In 2011, there were roughly 400 women signed up for recruitment. In spring of 2014, there were 606.

As a result, the new member quotas set by the Panhellenic Association for each chapter have risen to accommodate the growing number. This year, the new member cap was 59 women for each chapter.

However, not all of the participants in recruitment end up finding their place in Greek life. Numbers from 2015 recruitment appear striking at first glance: Out of roughly 670 registered recruitment participants, only around 470 bids, or invitations to join a chapter, were extended.

While these numbers may suggest exclusivity or competitiveness to those outside the Greek community, Vice President of Recruitment Jacqueline Rossman-Reich, a fifth-year senior and sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma, says that many factors account for the large discrepancy.

“It seems like a huge drop, but in reality a lot of those are voluntary withdrawals,” Rossman-Reich said. “We started the week itself with only about 640 participants. [Then] some women did not want to complete recruitment for a variety of reasons …We have a lot of situations where girls just found during the week that Greek life was not for them. So a huge chunk comes from that.”

She also cited scheduling conflicts and personal commitments, particularly with athletic activities, as reasons for withdrawal.

According to Rossman-Reich, at the end of the week, there were “very few” women, out of those who completed recruitment, who did not receive a bid. She did not disclose the exact number.

The Panhellenic Association’s formal recruitment period took place from Jan. 7 to 11, before the first week of classes. Potential new members (PNMs) went through a series of social events, or “parties,” designed to help them learn about each sorority chapter, as well as help each chapter get to know the PNMs.

“Rush week was intense,” said freshman Olivia Sacks, who pledged Sigma Delta Tau. “I didn’t realize the amount of hours that would be spent talking to complete strangers, and in the end of the day, I often had a sore throat and raspy voice. However, when I found a sorority I could easily talk to and felt comfortable with, these short conversations were enjoyable and I even made friends.”

Recruitment followed an elimination format, in which PNMs had to choose fewer chapters to return to on each subsequent day. Likewise, chapters had to narrow down the number of PNMs to ask back to their events.

To accomplish this, Rossman-Reich’s recruitment team used a reciprocal ranking system to create the best matches between PNMs and the chapters.

“It’s always a little scary or nerve-wracking, even for me, because you always want the girls to have options that they like,” Rossman-Reich said. “It’s a little disheartening because you want people to be happy, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I think overall, girls have a great time going through recruitment. If you just be yourself and try to make the most out of it, the girls that go through with that attitude will have the best experience.”

According to Sacks, many of the PNMs did.

“Throughout the week, a lot of girls were dejected when dropped from their initial sorority of choice,” she said. “But, on bid day, mostly everyone is wearing a smile as they found their right pick. Sometimes it takes getting dropped or dropping a sorority you like to illuminate where you’re really supposed to be.”

January 21, 2015

Reporters

Jackie Yang

Jackie Yang can be reached via email at jyang@themiamihurricane.com.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Hurricanes have become part of college football’s national conversation, and the more wins they ...

Kicker Michael Badgley will soon become the University of Miami’s all-time field goal leader. In the ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt called Darrell Langham’s amazing, 28-yard catch on fourth-and-1 ...

Darrell Langham is 6-4, but might as well be 8-4 — that’s how much he has grown in stature for the M ...

The Miami Hurricanes have done it again. For the second week in a row, the Canes rallied to win in t ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Hurricanes legends Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp and Sean Taylor were officially ad ...

University of Miami wide receiver Darrell Langham and kicker Michael Badgley were among those recogn ...

University of Miami redshirt setter Haley Templeton was named ACC Player of the Week, the conference ...

Freshman Bojan Jankulovski highlighted Day 2 competition on Saturday for the University of Miami men ...

The University of Miami's football game at North Carolina on Oct. 28 will kick off at noon ET o ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.