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The Dartmouth
March 4, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Sororities predict strong participation in fall rush

Sorority members are preparing to meet sophomore women Wednesday during the first night of the Panhellenic Council's week-long sorority rush period.

This season will mark only the second consecutive year that sorority rush has taken place during Fall term -- rush had previously been a winter occurrence since 2002. Those students who are away, drop out of rush or do not find a good fit for them this term can participate in the rush period Panhell will organize during the winter.

This year's rush has generated a large amount of interest, with 312 women signed up to participate, Panhellenic Council President Shannon Troutman '06 said.

Sign-up numbers do not, however, always reflect actual participation, as prospective members are required to sign up even if they later choose not to attend. Typically between 230 and 270 women participate in actual rush events, Troutman said.

Assistant Director of Co-ed, Fraternity and Sorority Administration Megan Johnson attributed this year's increased rush interest to discussion about creating a seventh sorority after the Board of Trustees recently lifted its moratorium on new, single-sex, selective, residential organizations.

"Getting the word out about a new sorority helped pique interest," Johnson said.

Johnson also said a new sorority "will give interested women the unique opportunity to craft their own group", something that a formal rush sometimes makes difficult.

Sorority rush is a longer event than its three-night fraternity counterpart. Sororities will host two rounds of rush events of two nights each, during which prospective members will visit all six sororities. For the weekend's second round, prospective members must narrow their choices to four.

Monday night, called "Preference Night," sees prospective members select two choices among the four houses they visited over the weekend. Sororities notify prospective members of their bids the following Wednesday, marking the culmination of the week-long event.

Throughout the rush process, members of each sorority conduct deliberations to determine which prospective members to invite to the next round. A high turnout will create lengthy deliberation periods for each sorority. It may also attract more women to the option of postponing rush until the winter.

This fall's rush process will be significantly upgraded by the use of online software that has been adopted by Panhellenic Councils across the country. The software replaces an antiquated and time-consuming system that required sororities to cross-reference multiple lists to determine bids.

The computer system will also help CFS administrators examine different scenarios and adjust bid quotas based on what number allows the most prospective members to receive bids.

Those women who are rushing this term expressed anxiety about the process.

"I'd like to be part of a sorority and be part of the community it provides," Claire Dunning '08 said. "From what I've heard, I think the rush process is a bit stressful, so I'm looking forward for everything to settle in and being part of a sorority."

But Alyssa Minsky '06, Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority's rush chair, said she hopes prospective members do not let anxiety get the best of them.

"Relax, be yourself and have fun," Minsky said. "The current sisters at all six sororities are excited to have you at their parties and even more excited to have you join their houses in just over a week."