WU women continue to rush in increasing numbers

| Staff Reporter

This year’s sorority recruitment saw more rushing and receiving bids than ever before.

Of the 376 women who participated, 345 in recruitment received bids. The total number of women participating has expanded by about 20 to 40 people for each of the past five years.

Washington University’s Greek Life Office is currently working to figure out the causes of the increases through pre-surveys and follow-up surveys about the recruitment process, according to Lucy Morlan, coordinator of chapter development for Greek Life.

“We still need to analyze the data,” Morlan said. “We’re obviously excited about it but are curious to know what’s changed in the course of the past five years that’s gotten interest much higher than it’s been in the past.”

She noted that one possible factor for the elevated interest could be that students who have positive sorority experiences promote Greek life to their friends.

Morlan added that sorority recruitment has begun to see greater involvement from athletes due to a more flexible rush schedule.

Previously, women participating in rush had to attend all of the activities for the full amount of time. But for the past couple of years, recruitment has become more accommodating to athletes’ practice and game schedules.

“We do more individualized schedules to allow them to still be able to participate,” Morlan said.

While about 100 more girls rushed than four years ago, she said that sororities are not more selective in their bids.

“When you look at the percentage of people that go through versus the number of people that actually receive bids, the numbers are about the same,” Morlan said. “The way that recruitment is set up is to maximize the number of people that actually get bids. The goal is to put you someplace in our Greek community that matches up with you.”

She said the increase in recruitment numbers is causing chapter expansion as well. For this semester, the average chapter has 158 members.

Morlan noted that the larger numbers are pushing chapters to find new ways to make sorority involvement a special experience.

“If these numbers are going to increase, how do we still make this an intimate setting and experience [so] that it’s not just this really huge group there?” she said. “It will be interesting to see where the women take that. I think it will be fun for them, but I think it will also be challenging at times.”

Freshman Emi Tagashima, who accepted a bid from Alpha Omicron Pi, explained the efforts of her chapter to introduce new members to the rest of the chapter community.

“It will probably be hard to know all [members], but they do a really good job of introducing you to a lot of people. But there’s a lot of people and a lot of names,” Tagashima said.

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