Winter sorority recruitment sees 125 participants

by Mika Jehoon Lee | 1/30/18 2:10am

During this year’s sorority winter term recruitment, which ended on Jan. 29, 125 women participated, up from 106 last winter, according to an email statement from Office of Greek Life director Brian Joyce.

The seven houses that participated in formal recruitment through the Inter-Sorority Council this winter extended 105 bids, all of which were accepted, Joyce wrote. Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority, which uses a shakeout process, extended 11 bids. Last year, a total of 92 students received bids through either formal recruitment or shakeout.

Seventeen women accepted bids at Alpha Phi sorority, 14 at Alpha Xi Delta sorority, 16 at Chi Delta sorority, 10 at Kappa Delta sorority, 12 at Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority, 16 at Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and 20 at Sigma Delta sorority, according to Joyce.

While APhi, AXiD, Chi Delt, KDE, Kappa and Sigma Delt all had larger winter new member classes than those last winter, KD maintained the same size.

Meanwhile, 16 students shook out at EKT,. where 11 received bids. In total, 20 students either accepted a bid at EKT or dropped for personal reasons, according to ISC vice president of recruitment Paige Mickel ’18.

EKT was the only sorority that used a shakeout process this winter. During recruitment, EKT hosted two shakeout events in which potential new members visited the house and talked to current sisters.

According to Mickel, the ISC shortened the duration of the recruitment process from two weeks to “about a week and a half.”

“Just by the nature of winter rush — there’s a quarter as many girls rushing, so the houses didn’t need to provide as much party time,” Mickel said. “It was easier [for the current sisters] to give [potential new members] attention without having to offer many more hours a time.”

This past fall, 394 students participated in ISC recruitment and 277 received bids.

Mickel added that she believed the shorter duration of the recruitment process was beneficial to both current sisters as well as women who rushed. However, she said she anticipates a longer recruitment process in the fall given the greater number of women rushing.

“Also, with the [Class of 2021] being so much larger than prior classes, I would definitely say that with the current open-house system, we would need more time,” Mickel said.

In fall 2017, ISC implemented an “open-house” system, in which women are not scheduled into time slots when visiting sorority open houses as part of formal recruitment. ISC also used this open house system for winter recruitment.

Sara Cho ’20, who accepted a bid at Sigma Delt this winter, said the atmosphere of winter rush was more relaxed compared to fall rush because there were a lot fewer people and the duration was shorter. She said she especially enjoyed meeting sisters in different sororities because sororities were much more difficult to visit than fraternities during her freshman year.

Although Cho appreciated the shortened rush process, she said women’s rush this winter required a substantial time commitment nonetheless.

“[Rush] adds up to a lot of time during the week, and it can get pretty stressful when you have academics on top of that,” Cho said.

Kristen Soh ’20, who accepted a bid at Kappa, said she hopes the College can communicate more information to women participating in formal rush about the computer algorithm that determines house placements and increase its effectiveness.

“Maybe either more transparency in what the computer system does and how it matches girls with houses might help,” Soh said. “[The computer algorithm] is not a total crapshoot, but there were definitely stories that I heard about girls that should have been matched or didn’t want to get matched, and the computer system ended up not handling that perfectly.”

Mickel said the ISC has gathered data and asked students to complete surveys throughout the rush process so that it can make improvements to it in the future.

“Now that rush is over, we are starting to look at student feedback,” Mickel said. “Once we can find a consensus, we will be able to make changes moving forward.”