UA sees largest sorority recruitment in nation

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William Evans

Sorority recruitment attracted more than 1,700 girls to the doors of 15 sorority houses at the University last week.

The number of girls seeking to pledge this year marks the largest showing of potential pledges sorority row has seen since its inception at the University.

The greek community has doubled since the arrival of President Robert Witt, whose push for enrollment growth at record numbers has resulted in a larger greek community, said Gentry McCreary, director of Greek Affairs.

“Greek growth benefits the campus and the community,” he said.

The proliferation of the greek community also enables prospective greek members to find their niche in the expanding climate of greek social life, which has become more diverse as the community has grown, he explained.

“Anyone who wants to be in a greek organization can find an organization for them and what they’re looking for,” he said.

Natalie Coleman, recruitment chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma, said her sorority held a week’s worth of workshops to prepare for this fall semester’s rush week.

During the summer, her sorority sisters also thumbed through about 3,000 letters of recommendations written by alums about potential new members.

“It was a long process all summer,” she said.

Staying organized by preparing a schedule of events for the potential new sorority members was critical to her sorority’s recruitment process, she said.

Mary Margaret McCord, recruitment chair for Alpha Omicron Pi, said the intensity of preparing and then executing rush week can escape the attention of potential new members, who have to narrow their choices from among fifteen sororities to only one within the span of rush week.

“A lot more work goes into it than people think,” she said. “The girls going through that don’t understand until they’re on the other side of recruitment.”

One downfall to the expansion of the greek system is the loosening of the community within each sorority, she said.

“It’s a hindrance to have 250 plus members,” she said. “There is no way a girl can get to know each of her sisters when we have 250 members.”

Each year, the Panhellenic Association sets the quota for the pledges each sorority can take in, which resulted in 1,311 girls being granted a bid this year, according to McCreary.

The inflation of potential new members this year did not drastically affect the way sororities handle recruitment, though, said McCord.

“We had approximately 1,600 girls go through last year, so I didn’t really have to prepare much more this year for 100 more girls,” McCord said. “We had a great rush experience this year and are really excited about all of our new members.”