Record number of women rush

by Kascha B. Semon | 10/8/98 5:00am

Seven Panhellenic sororities gave out 241 bids for membership on Tuesday morning.

A total of 296 women participated in the rush process this year -- 30 more than last year. According to Panhellenic Council President Cynthia Anderson '99, this is the largest increase ever. Numbers have been growing for several years, with another sharp jump the year before last. Anderson said that the growth reflects higher interest in the system.

Of the 296 women who began the rush process, 55 did not receive bids. Panhell officials declined to say how many of the 55 dropped out of rush and how many completed rush and did not receive a bid.

This year the Council asked a small number of rushees to leave the process because the council felt that it "was un-Panhellenic to support [their] attitude," Panhell Vice President Christina Dam '00 said. She said that Panhell only exercises this option in the most extreme circumstances.

Although she declined to describe the action that resulted in removal from rush, Dam said it "was something we weren't really prepared for," Dam said. "We go on the assumption that people will go in with an open mind."

Of the seven houses -- Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Epsilon Kappa Theta, Kappa Delta Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Delta and Zeta Beta Chi -- not one "dominated the pref cards," according to Anderson. Rushees list their top choices on the preference cards before the last round of the rush process, then indicate their order of preference for the two houses that invited them back for "pref night."

Kappa extended 38 bids and 38 were accepted. KDE gave out 36 bids, and all 36 were accepted. Zeta Beta Chi gave out 13 bids; the president declined to comment on how many bids have been accepted. Sigma Delta offered 37 bids; 36 women accepted the bids, and one woman has chosen to hold her bid. Alpha Xi has 33 new members and 7 other women still holding offers. Presidents of Alpha Xi, Tri-Delta, and Theta declined to comment on their rush numbers last night.

Anderson said that the bids are given through a process of "mutual selection," whereby the council attempts to match the preferences of the house sisters and the rushees.

During the rush period, which lasts approximately a week and a half, the sisters on the selecting committee do not participate in sorority activities to remain unbiased about the selection. Twenty-four sisters serve as Rho Chis who lead groups of women through the process, also without revealing their affiliation.

Women who received bids now have the option of sinking or refusing the bids. They may also hold them for up to a year, depending on the house. Some houses, including Zeta Beta Chi, are offering open bids over the next week to provide an opportunity for women who did not rush to join a house.

Although Panhell presently has no plans for creating a new sorority, Dam said next year's council "would be smart to consider it." This year, however, she said this project would require too much time.

Women who are off campus Fall term have the option of rushing in the winter, but women who were on campus in the fall but did not rush are only allowed to rush in the winter if they receive approval from the Panhell.

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