Reworked sorority recruitment accommodates increasing interest

Dylan Bassett | Staff Reporter

Sophomores Kayla Moller and Lauren Wachenfeld welcome new members to Alpha Omicron Pi sorority Monday. Of the roughly 400 who rushed, 374 women received a bid to one of eight sororities after the recruitment period.


Overhauled due to steadily increasing interest over the past few decades, this year’s delayed sorority recruitment process went mostly without incident, with a record number of sisters pledging the Danforth Campus’ eight chapters.

With the addition of Kappa Delta last spring, the Women’s Panhellenic Association—the trans-Greek body charged with organizing and supervising the recruitment process—had to add a fourth round to its process. This meant adding an extra day of recruitment, according to senior Jane Luer, president of the Women’s Panhellenic Association.

Sorority recruitment has traditionally happened before the student body returns for the spring, but the process was too lengthy this year to put before the start of the semester. While having the first week of classes overlap with the process caused stress and scheduling conflicts for some students, those involved said it was a positive change overall.

They plan to recycle the timeline in future years.

Keeping the old system “would have required the students to come back around Jan. 2, and that was absolutely not going to work,” Luer said.

“It’s a proven method that when you have eight chapters, you should have four rounds going from eight-six-four-two,” she added. “So that will not be changing, unless we were to change the amount of chapters that we have on this campus.”

Recruitment this semester required potential new members (PNMs) to arrive on campus the weekend before the first day of classes, whereas in past semesters they would have arrived a week earlier.

“We moved recruitment back because people don’t want to miss their vacations,” senior Brooke Johnson, vice president of recruitment, said. “Because we split it over two weekends and it’s closer to when school started, more people were able to participate.”

Others conceded that participating in recruitment during the school year was not a perfect option.

“By having recruitment split up into separate weekends, it kind of disrupted the recruitment process. People were thinking about school during recruitment, and it also interrupted the actual school part because people were too busy with recruitment to buy books or prepare for classes,“ junior Sami Lavin, a Gamma Chi recruitment counselor, said.

Because recruitment ran over into the academic year, sorority members were required to deactivate their Facebook profiles for the duration of the process. They also were told to refrain from wearing their letters on campus in order to avoid biasing potential new members.

Participants in sorority recruitment “are having trouble…trying to figure out where the line is drawn between appropriate communication and what is breaking the rules,” Levin said. “But I think everyone did a really great job of getting through it and keeping the process as unbiased as possible.”

While 405 women registered for the spring semester’s sorority recruitment, 374 rushees received a bid. All participants that made it to the final round received a bid.

Despite some of the confusion that the new schedule caused, Levin said her experience as a Gamma Chi was enjoyable.

“I absolutely loved it, and getting to know the women from other chapters has been a phenomenal experience,” she said. “The women who are involved with Greek life constantly amaze me.”

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe