Rush activities start Sat.
Sorority rush begins tomorrow night, kicking off the frantic week during which the sorority system will try to bolster its weakest house and the rest of the College's social organizations will try to woo new members.
The 250 women -- primarily sophomores -- who signed up to participate in sorority rush will go to 30-minute parties at each of the College's six sororities Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Each rushee will attend three houses on Saturday and three houses on Sunday.
All 15 single-sex fraternities will hold open rush next Wednesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., according to Interfraternity Council Rush Chair Jason DiMarino '97. There is an optional day of fraternity rush on Friday.
Alpha Theta coed fraternity Rush Chair Robert Puckett '97 said Alpha Theta will have formal rush on Wednesday and Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m. and informal rush on the following Saturday from 8 to 10 p.m. Representatives from The Tabard coed fraternity and Phi Tau coed fraternity could not be reached for comment.
Typically about 50 percent of upperclassmen join Greek organizations.
Amarna undergraduate society President Kristin Gendron '96 said Amarna will have open houses today, Tuesday and next Friday at 7:30. Any upperclassman can join an undergraduate society simply by signing a card. Representatives from Panarchy undergraduate society could not be reached for comment.
"It is very important for us to get a new influx of new members because we are new and we need to build up the momentum we have now," Genderon said. Amarna was created two years ago and currently has 44 members, she said.
The Panhellenic Council changed rush this year in an effort to strengthen Delta Gamma sorority, the sorority with the fewest members.
Last year, each woman who signed up for rush was guaranteed to receive a bid to join a sorority. But this year, not all women are guaranteed bids, according to Jess Drolet '96, Panhellenic Council vice-president. Panhell is the governing body of the College's sororities.
Instead, Drolet said students can drop out of formal rush after the first round and join DG. She said there will be a cap on the number of members DG can add, but said "we are kind of flexible with the numbers."
Panhell President Dani Brune '96 said the DG plan is an example of Panhell trying to help "every woman who wants to go through rush find a space in the sorority system."
Last spring the past presidents of five sororities issued a letter calling for the College to create a new sorority. But the leaders said the College would probably not add a seventh sorority unless DG became stronger.
"If DG doesn't get up in numbers, we don't want to add a new sorority to sacrifice another one," she said.
But Drolet said Panhell is "confident that the DG option will be successful because a lot of people don't like the rush process but they want to be in a house."
Brune said the most important thing about rush this year is that "the number of women going through the entire process has stayed high again this year. I think this is significant in looking at the number of sororities and how we are meeting the needs of women on campus."
DG President Abbey Henderson '96, who said the house now has 48 members, said she is "really excited" about the plan. "I'm very optimistic about it bringing in a lot of fresh faces," she said.
Assistant Dean of Residential Life Deb Reinders said the "DG option" was "carefully thought out."
"I am very impressed with [Panhell's] ability to work together and to understand that they are strongest as a group and not as individual sororities," Reinders said.
Each woman who does not drop out of rush will attend a second round of 45-minute parties on Wednesday and Thursday. Women can go to a maximum of four houses and a minimum of three houses.
Drolet said women could potentially not be invited back to any houses after the second round. Preference night, where parties are one-hour long, is Sept. 30. Women can attend a maximum of three houses on preference night, Drolet said.
After their last party of preference night, women immediately go and sign a preference card. Drolet said sorority house advisers and Reinders then match students with houses, and bids are distributed on Oct. 2. She said she expects each house's pledge class will be in the high 30s to low 40s.
"It's definitely more time consuming than fraternity rush because the women can't get into most of the houses before rush begins," Drolet said. "We need to make them go to every house so each house gets an equal opportunity to represent themselves."
Fraternity rush is basically the same as previous years, DiMarino said. Each man can rush as many or as few houses as he wants.
DiMarino said houses can offer bids as soon as rush begins.
Each man typically signs a book at each fraternity he visits. This year, rushees will also sign a sheet provided by the IFC "to get a count of the number of people who rush and compare that to the number of people who join the system," DiMarino said. He said the IFC might give the list of students who do not join a house to the smaller fraternities.
"Other than that, things seem to be working well," DiMarino said. "It is good for everybody to know that rush is just an opportunity to meet some people and find out more about individual houses."