Gamma Phi Beta extends more than 100 bids, continues into informal recruitment
Washington University’s newest sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, extended over 100 bids last weekend at the culmination of the chapter’s formal recruitment process.
The sorority will continue to recruit informally, however, in hopes to increase membership so as to constitute a strong presence at formal recruitment next year. They can continue recruiting until they reach 184 members, which is the maximum number of members a chapter can have on campus.
Unlike other sororities, GPB’s formal recruitment began during a moratorium of 2 1/2 weeks following formal recruitment, during which existing sororities were barred from recruiting.
Currently, around 46 percent of women on campus are involved in a sorority, while 29 percent of men are involved in a fraternity. Collectively, about 38 percent of the undergraduate population is involved in Greek life.
Coordinator of student involvement and leadership David Stetter said that the group did a good job of getting their message across and attracting those women consistent with their ideals.
“I think they did well. And that they met their goal, which was to identify women who meet their qualifications when it comes to values,” Stetter said. “So, love, learning, labor, loyalty. [Those] that are leaders on campus, who have potential to be leaders on campus and have a genuine interest in joining.”
Stetter explained that they will continue to look for new members using the more than 100 women they gained on bid day.
“They’re constantly looking to grow, and, until they reach [the] total they’re not done, like every chapter on this campus,” Stetter said.
Stetter declined to release the exact number of current members of GPB to Student Life.
“It’s not a number they want me to share; it’s a number that could be easily misreported. The number is constantly changing,” Stetter said.
Junior Erin DeNardo joined GPB this semester and cited the group’s philanthropy, which centers around mentoring young women, as a key reason she joined.
“I’m really excited about their philanthropy, which is Building Strong Girls,” DeNardo said. “I think that’s very relevant to the women in the chapter because it’s how we live and also how we portray ourselves too, so it’s very fluid in that way.”
While new chapters sometimes encounter difficulty establishing their presence on campuses, Gamma Phi Beta was encouraged by the existing chapters at Saint Louis University and University of Missouri.
“SLU is a private school and more similar to ours, and Mizzou is a state school and a lot different, so it was kind of cool to see their experiences and to talk to them about activities they’ve done, things they’ve really loved about the chapter,” DeNardo said.
Another key factor in the decision to join a developing chapter for DeNardo is the opportunity an individual has to impact its foundational characteristics.
“I was just excited to do it,” DeNardo said. “I thought it was a really cool opportunity to be able to actually kind of solidify how the chapter is and how it runs and everything, since it’s a new chapter and there aren’t any existing members yet.”
Senior News Editor Emily Schienvar and Managing Editor Manvitha Marni are new members of Gamma Phi Beta. They were not involved in the writing or editing of this story.