Sorority rush lived up to its stereotype of pettiness this year as one-seventh of the women that applied to be members of a sorority were not offered a bid.
In the past, the University of Miami’s six sororities evenly split the number of women rushing, which meant that every woman got at least one offer to join an organization. This year, with the addition of Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi), the sororities split the number of women seven ways. This would normally make sense, except that ADPi did not take part in the formal rush – it has a rush of its own later this week – which means that on bid day, one-seventh of the total number of women that rushed did not get bids.
Recruitment was organized this way in order to make sure that there were enough women rushing for ADPi. The glitch, however, was that women rushing that were interested in ADPi had been provided with the opportunity to opt out of the formal rush for the remaining six sororities. In other words, women that wanted to join one of the original six sororities (Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Phi Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Delta Tau and Zeta Tau Alpha) were not allowed to do so. And, although this system was explained to the women rushing, it was unclear, leaving many of them feeling inadequate, left out and disappointed at rush’s end.
If these “leftover” women are still interested in Greek life – unlikely, given how they have been treated – they will have to settle for rushing for ADPi, a sorority that was quite possibly not among their first choices.
Of course, the recruitment method succeeded in that ADPi is sure to fill its member quota. However, will the women that rush for ADPi do so because they really want to be a part of the organization, or will they view ADPi as some sort of consolation prize?
Whether the blame lies on the Panhellenic Council, the Dean of Students Office or ADPi, sorority recruitment this year created a system that left women inconsolable, heartbroken and feeling unwanted. Rather than allocating a fixed percentage of women to the organization, the system should have made ADPi earn its members and allowed the women whose first choices were the other six sororities, to rush for them. If ADPi ended up with fewer members, it would have been acceptable, given that it is new on campus.
It is precisely events like this year’s mismanaged rush that make others look down upon Greek life. By leaving out women and making them feel useless and unimportant, this year’s recruitment made it seem like sororities are, in fact, about cliques and stereotypes – if you don’t fit their pattern, look and dress code, you will be discarded.
Hopefully, the so-called leftovers that will join ADPi will steer clear of the exclusion that has characterized other sororities in the past.