Sorority rush this fall sees 237 bids extended

by Marco Allen | 10/10/19 2:05am


The percentage of women who received a bid from a sorority following the fall recruitment process was 63.7 percent.

by Adrian Russian / The Dartmouth

The number of bids extended this fall during sorority recruitment remained fairly consistent with the number of bids extended last year. This fall, 237 total bids were extended to the rushing class, compared to 239 bids from 2018, which in turn represented a significant drop from the 277 bids extended in 2017 and 2016.

Of the 372 women who registered for this year’s fall rush process, 63.7 percent received a bid, a slight increase from last year’s rate of 62.2 percent. Both numbers represented a decline from 71 percent in 2017. According to Inter-Sorority Council president Kenya Jacob ’20, 124 women withdrew from the recruitment process this year, a decrease from 139 withdrawals last year. 

According to Office of Greek Life director Brian Joyce, 33 bids were extended at Alpha Phi sorority, 36 at Alpha Xi Delta sorority, 36 at Chi Delta sorority, three at Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority, 20 at Kappa Delta sorority, 39 at Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority, 39 at Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and 31 at Sigma Delta sorority. EKT is also currently still adding additional members through its continuous open bidding process, which immediately follows the formal recruitment process.

EKT was required — for the second year in a row — to participate in the formal recruitment process by the ISC instead of solely conducting an independent “shakeout” process that the sorority used from 2012 to 2017. Last year, the ISC cited inclusivity as the reason for this change.

AXiD, Chi Delt, KDE and Kappa all saw a small increase in the size of their incoming classes, while APhi, EKT, KD and Sigma Delt all saw a slight decrease in the size of their incoming classes. 

The rush process starts informally in the spring with pre-rush events, some of which are open to campus and others that are invitation-only, according to Francesca Wood ’22. She added that this creates a “weird dynamic once rush actually starts.” 

This year, the ISC slightly altered changes that were implemented last year that centered on the requirement that potential new members visit all eight houses, Wood said. Whereas previously potential new members had to stay at each house for any stretch of time between 30 minutes to an hour and a half, they now stay at each house for a standard 55 minutes during the first round of the recruitment process.

Wood, who received a bid from Sigma Delt, praised the change in time requirements. 

“It used to be messy since different time slots would [lead to] different attendance rates, but that wasn’t the case this year,” Wood said. 

Wood, however, also said that the process of rushing is “definitely rough” at times. She added that the process can feel “toxic,” especially when one is not called back to a house that they really liked. She also criticized the requirement that students go to all eight houses, adding that eight hours in one week is “a big time commitment.” She also noted that it was “annoying” that women rushing sororities had to pay a small fee to rush, whereas men rushing fraternities did not.

Nonetheless, Sylvia Hipp ’22, who withdrew from the recruitment process this fall, said that she enjoyed the process of going all eight houses.

“Being forced to go to all eight of the houses showed that each house offered a little bit of everything, and it challenged our preconceived notions of the houses,” Hipp said.

After the first round, each PNM ranks the three houses they least prefer. During the second round, PNMs can be called back to a maximum of five houses, including those that they did not rank highly.

Wood said that this process felt awkward because PNMs have to rank houses that they didn’t necessarily want to join.

Preference night follows rounds one and two, during which PNMs can be called back to a maximum of two houses. The next day, PNMs receive their bids from their recruitment counselors.

Hipp, who withdrew her involvement in the recruiting process after being called back to a house she did not want during pref night, said that in the middle of the rush process, a policy implemented last year after sorority rush was changed. The new change allows women to drop rush after being called back to their pref-night houses and still be able to rush in the winter rather than in the following fall. 

Hipp said she plans to rush again in the winter term.

Both Wood and Hipp expressed some concerns about the way that an algorithm that is used to match PNMs to houses is discussed on campus. Hipp said that it is not very clear how the algorithm works and that some fellow members of her class think the system is unfair. 

Before this year’s sorority rush numbers were released, Jacob said that efforts were made to increase the percentage of bids given and change the culture of the rush process after last year’s rush process, which saw a decrease of nine percent in the number of bids extended.

“I’m not really sure how [rush] morphed into such a high-stress situation,” Jacob said. “It shouldn’t be like that.”

Jacob added that if this year’s rush process resulted in another year in which under two-thirds of PNMs ended up with bids, something needed to change. 

“Those numbers are way too low to indicate a healthy recruitment process,” Jacob said.

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