The presidents and delegates of the Alabama Panhellenic Association announced Monday that each sorority would be allotted an amended 360 members, which permitted the sororities to reopen the bidding process. The announcements were made following a closed meeting Sunday night called by University of Alabama President Judy Bonner with advisors from each Panhellenic sorority, which The Crimson White was denied access to.
APA President Brandi Morrison read a statement from The National Panhellenic Council manual of information that describes the continuous open bidding process. The manual recommends that in these “Continuous Open Bidding” cases the total for each sorority be determined either through average chapter size, rounded down to the nearest whole number, median chapter size or the size of the largest chapter.
“Continuous Open Bidding is the opportunity for any Panhellenic chapter that has not reached its total chapter size in the formal recruitment process and/or is below Panhellenic total chapter size to pledge additional new members,” UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said in an emailed statement.
All chapters are allowed, Andreen said, to extend bids or offers to unaffiliated women up to the designated Panhellenic total number. They are allowed to extend these bids throughout the regular school year.
President Bonner released a statement before the Board of Trustees meeting Friday and said the University administration was working in partnership with local chapters and organizations to “remove any real or perceived barriers.” This meeting came after The Crimson White released an article revealing discrimination in the Panhellenic sorority formal recruitment process.
“We are going to help our young people do the right thing,” Bonner said after Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.
Andreen then released a statement Monday confirming she had mandated use of continuous open bidding.
“Dr. Bonner, in cooperation with local sorority chapters and their national organizations, has mandated use of continuous open bidding to remove barriers in order to increase diversity in our sororities,” Andreen said.
As permissible by Bonner’s mandate, the APA met Monday evening to discuss a proposal on how many new members each sorority should be allocated.
An amendment was brought forward by representatives of Phi Mu to allow each sorority an allocated 360 members. The amendment was seconded by representatives from Chi Omega and was only opposed by one of the sororities present at the meeting, Sigma Delta Tau.
The amendment was approved by majority vote. After the meeting was called to an end, the APA released the following statement: “The Presidents and Delegates of the Alabama Panhellenic Association voted to raise Chapter Total to 360, which is size of the largest chapter, to allow all NPC member groups to participate immediately in the continuous open bidding (COB) process.”
The bidding process is open to any girls who have not previously been offered a bid and who are not already affiliated with the greek system.
“Students who went through the recruitment process but did not receive a bid can be considered,” Andreen said.
Andreen said freshmen and upperclassmen who did not participate in the formal recruitment process are also eligible for consideration.
“The only stipulation is that they be a full-time female student at UA and meet the sorority’s members requirements, which include academics,” she said.
The implications of what this means for the University Panhellenic system are still unclear, as well as whether or not alumnae will be involved in the process.
“We’ve never done this before,” Kat Gillan, director of greek affairs, said.
Andreen said all Panhellenic sororities are included in the process but did not specify whether or not it will be mandatory.