Panhellenic rush nears completion

by Heather Kofke-Egger | 10/7/99 5:00am

With a record number of women rushing sororities this fall and a moratorium from the College preventing the creation of a seventh Panhellenic sorority, the six remaining houses were unable to offer bids to everyone during the fall sorority rush process which nears completion this week.

Although there is no official policy assuring that all women who rush will receive bids, in past years the Panhellenic Council has been able to ensure everyone was accommodated. But this year, some participants were eliminated before preference night, and another group did not receive bids after signing their preference cards.

"There are enough people who did not get bids that they could have formed another pledge class if we had another house," Rho Chi Coordinator Christina Dam '00 said.

With 320 women from the Class of 2002 registered for rush and only six houses remaining after the dissolution of Zeta Beta Chi sorority last fall, rush organizers said they realized early on that all women who rushed could not be accommodated this year.

"It's been a goal," Dam said. "Unfortunately we couldn't stick to it this year. We can't do anything about it because the administration has blocked our efforts."

Plans to form a seventh Panhellenic sorority were halted Spring term when then Acting Dean of the College Dan Nelson informed Panhell leaders and the '02 women interested in forming the new house of a moratorium -- put in place in response to the Board of Trustee Initiative on Social and Residential Life.

Dam said not being able to give bids to everyone was discouraging for the council.

"The whole goal of our Panhellenic at Dartmouth is to be inclusive and to allow everyone who wants to be included a spot," Dam said. "It's really unfortunate that we haven't been able to do that."

Because ensuring bids to everyone would have meant accepting significantly more new members per house than in past years, the Panhellenic Council instituted a quota system instead of the process used in the past to guarantee bids, according to Dam..

"Honestly, we just could not accommodate that many people this year," she said.

The quota of 35, agreed upon by the houses, was the maximum number of bids that could be distributed at the end of the formal rush process, which concluded Tuesday with bid acceptance night. The quota meant that a maximum of 210 bids were available from the six sororities during the fall rush process.

Dam said the quotas were used in part to allow houses to stay closer to the College-imposed limit of 103 people per house. Currently, every sorority except one is over the limit.