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Sorority rush numbers at record high

Katie Thurber

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For the past two years, the University of Alabama has hosted the largest sorority recruitment in the nation. This year, UA’s reputation for prominent greek life will persevere, with the largest Panhellenic sorority recruitment class in UA history.

In fall of 2011, 1,710 women participated in the first round of open house at the beginning of rush week. According to Kat Gillan, director of Greek Affairs, the projected number of women participating in Fall 2012 rush is over 1,900.

Caroline Campbell, Panhellenic director of recruitment, said she’s looking forward to welcoming such a big recruitment class.

“It is with great excitement and honor that I have had the opportunity to be such an integral part of the largest recruitment held at the University of Alabama,” she said. “I, along with Panhellenic executive council and Greek Affairs staff, have eagerly watched the increasing numbers of registrants during the summer months.”

However, having such a large number of participants means some changes to the structure of recruitment.

To accommodate the increased number for this year, some rush requirements, such as a recommended grade point average, were amended. Individual chapters of sororities usually have their own specific GPA requirements for their incoming class, but according to Gillan, all women planning on participating in this fall’s recruitment are encouraged to have at least a 3.0 high school or college GPA. Because of limited space, women with GPAs lower than a 3.0 will likely have fewer options.

Also, because of record-breaking numbers, modifications were made to the formal recruitment schedule. Originally scheduled for the week of Aug. 11 through Aug. 18, rush week will now begin Friday, Aug. 10, with early move-in available for Thursday, Aug. 9, making the typically weeklong event well over that.

Changes also may have to be made to each chapter’s quota, or number of women it can accept into its pledge class. Last fall, the freshman quota was 73. According to Greek Affairs, this fall’s quota is speculated to be 100.

This fall, chapters will not have a craft activity as part of their Philanthropy Day, which is a change from years past. Instead, they will show videos or give presentations about their local and national philanthropic efforts.

However, the growth of greek organizations ultimately means the growth of their resources. The newest Panhellenic organization, the UA chapter of Delta Gamma sorority, will soon have a place to call their own. The Beta Psi chapter of Delta Gamma was recolonized in fall of 2011, but until now did not have a specific house. Their new house will be finished the week of Aug. 1 and will be used in the formal recruiting process.

Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta and Delta Delta Delta also have housing facilities under construction, but they will not be finished in time for this year’s recruitment.

Olivia Hunnicutt, president of the Panhellenic council, is excited to be a part of such growth and expansion.

“It has been an unforgettable experience to watch the University of Alabama greek community grow and prosper,” she said. “On behalf of the Alabama Panhellenic Association, I would like to welcome the largest new member class in history to the University of Alabama. It is evident that our greek community is continuing to grow in size and strength, and I cannot think of a more exciting time to join a greek organization here at the Capstone.”

According to Greek Affairs, the greek community at UA is the largest in the United States as far as number of members, and greek life at UA has more than doubled since 2002.

In Fall 2011, 32 percent of the female population and 22 percent of the male population was greek. Twenty-nine percent of the entire student body was greek, totaling 7,221 members.

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Sorority rush numbers at record high