Greek-letter recruitment began last week as GW’s eight recognized sororities attempted to lure students to their organizations.
Despite apprehensions by two sororities to start recruitment on the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Panhellenic Association, which oversees sororities on campus, saw a comparable turnout to previous years’, hosting 400 possible recruits.
Panhellenic Association President Kelly Shea said 219 women, about half of those interested in sorority life, were offered bids, or formal invitations to join, on Saturday. Each organization was capped at offering 28 bids. Last year 215 women accepted bids to Greek-letter organizations. It is unclear at this point how many will accept their bids.
Fraternity rush began Sept. 19, and will last through Sept. 30.
In order to participate in sorority recruitment, women were required to register online, pay a $20 fee and submit a picture of themselves. Once formally registered the girls were organized into groups with a recruitment counselor, called a “roco,” serving as their adviser.
While two sororities and Student Association president Audai Shakour were initially opposed to starting the festivities on Sept. 11, Shea said the Panhellenic Association made accommodations for the 10 students who chose not to participate on the first day of recruitment.
“The women who missed first round came back to the philanthropy round on Tuesday night, and we made sure they were able to see all the houses,” Shea wrote in an e-mail. “I think it worked out just fine.”
Shea explained that during the recruitment process, prospective members visit all eight sororities the first day, five the next day and continue visiting fewer and fewer sororities until the final day, when sororities distribute their bids. Shea said that this year, fewer women declined to accept their bids than last year.
“We are doing extremely well, and the women who are going through it seem to be having a good time,” Shea said. “We seem to have less of a drop-out rate than past years, which is great.”
Freshmen who participated in this year’s recruitment said they had a generally positive experience.
“Recruitment has been a lot of fun, and it is a great opportunity to meet people and socialize,” freshman Lauren Lefkowitz said.
Some women expressed frustration with the formality of sorority recruitment and said they would be disappointed if they weren’t given bids to their sororities of choice.
Freshman Shayla Stewart said, “It takes so much time out of your schedule,” and “could be very stressful and unrewarding.”
Shea said that all but five women were left unmatched with one of their top choice sororities by the third day of recruitment.
The wave of the digital age has sparked a new dimension to this year’s sorority recruitment. Both prospective members and recruiters in sororities said women on both sides of the recruitment process have used the online social network www.facebook.com.
“I just use it to put a face to a name,” said a Greek-letter member who requested anonymity. “With 350 girls it can be hard to keep track of who is who.”
Many freshmen have reported being “friended” on Facebook, and said it could only be a good sign.
“I’m friends on Facebook with a bunch of girls in one sorority, so I’m hoping I get a bid from them,” said a freshman who also wished to remain anonymous.
“I just hope they don’t judge me by what my picture looks like and what I have in my profile,” another prospective member said on the second to last day of recruitment.