Tell us about yourself! Take the 2018 Diversity On Campus Survey

New sorority prepares for spring recruitment

| Staff Reporter

Sorority Gamma Phi Beta (GPB)—the planned addition to Washington University’s Greek life—will begin recruitment this spring.

National representatives from the organization will have the opportunity to present information to potential new members during spring rush alongside existing chapters, but the group must then withdraw from formal recruitment and host its own recruitment after formal recruitment has concluded.

Sophomore Sarah Oakley peeks at her sorority bid letter at last year’s Unity Day in Graham Chapel. This year’s sorority rush will feature Gamma Phi Beta, a sorority that is joing the Wash. U. Greek life community.Brian Benton | Student Life

Sophomore Sarah Oakley peeks at her sorority bid letter at last year’s Unity Day in Graham Chapel. This year’s sorority rush will feature Gamma Phi Beta, a sorority that is joing the Wash. U. Greek life community.

This new installment is part of an effort to accommodate the massive growth of interest in Greek life and promote smaller, closer-knit sorority communities.

The recruitment process for GPB will be different from that used by existing chapters. National organization members and representatives from other local chapters will attend the first round of recruitment to present their organization to students before withdrawing from formal spring recruitment. Unaffiliated students interested in joining GPB, whether they went through formal recruitment or not, will be able to attend the sorority’s recruitment events held afterward.

Senior Nicole Mercho, vice president of recruitment for Washington University’s Women’s Panhellenic Association, expanded upon the reasoning behind the altered rush process.

“This allows Wash. U. students to go through the formal recruitment with the current chapters and see if they find a home there,” Mercho said. “In case they don’t, they are still eligible for signing up for free for Gamma Phi Beta’s recruitment process.”

Last spring, members of an extension committee comprised of current and graduated sorority members and University staff invited various sororities on campus in the hopes to find the best fit for the school.

“[Gamma Phi Beta] was the organization that rose to the top for the selection,” David Stetter, coordinator for Student Involvement and Leadership, and who oversees Greek life on campus, said. “During their presentation, the feedback we got from the girls was that their values of love, labor, learning and loyalty really spoke to the Wash. U. student.”

Another factor that appealed to the committee was Gamma Phi Beta’s strong alumni network and resources already within St. Louis due to its colonization at other Missouri universities, including Saint Louis University.

Some students have expressed concerns that GPB will function as a “backup” sorority, meant to attract those who couldn’t get into the preexisting sororities during the usual formal rush process.

“I’d definitely say that’s not true,” Mercho said about the stance. “[Gamma Phi Beta] have made it clear that they are not here to be a backup sorority. They want be on the same level.”

She also said there was “no guarantee” that students interested in GPB would receive a bid.

Stetter, who was a founding member of Sigma Phi Epsilon at Northern Kentucky University, echoed Mercho’s sentiments.

“It’s not a backup; it could be the first option for people,” Stetter said. “The opportunity to become a founder of a new chapter is a unique one that does not happen very often.”

Students are excited to see the new sorority on campus, including freshman Mari Hattenbach.

“I think having a new sorority on campus will be great,” Hattenbach said. “It will give more girls the opportunity to get involved and will only add to the amazing Greek family Wash. U. has to offer.”