A sea of colors and a flood of cheers engulfed University Yard Tuesday evening, as more than 300 women united with their sororities for the first time.
Although different colored shirts divided the sororities, the crowd was united in celebration as they mingled with their new sisters only minutes after receiving bids.
“I am really excited because I found the right fit for me at GW,” said freshman Melissa Webster, a new member of Alpha Phi.
“I am just ecstatic,” added Liz Reiss, a sophomore and transfer student from Miami University of Ohio. She is now a member of Pi Beta Phi.
More than 560 young women participated in formal recruitment, a 10 percent increase from last year, said Claire Low, president of GW’s Panhellenic Association.
Earlier on Tuesday, “potential new members” were given a bid-day card, which had the name of the sorority offering them a spot in their new member class.
Even though more young women participated in recruitment than last year, this year’s number of bids was similar to 2007, when 336 women joined Panhellenic sororities. Each of the nine Panhellenic sororities had a quota of 39 new women to join their sorority, though some chapters took 40 new members. Dean Harwood, director of Greek-letter life, said that with the addition of these 336 women, there are now more than 1,000 women involved in Greek-letter life at GW.
Junior Alex Kennedy-Derkay, executive vice president of Sigma Kappa, said the achievements of the Panhellenic sororities have motivated others to get involved as well.
“The rapid growth of GW Greek life has been an incredible phenomenon over the past few years,” Kennedy-Derkay said. “We assume that the organization and success of the existing Greek chapters here at GW has inspired more students to want to take part.”
Senior Kiki Vouwie, a Sigma Kappa member and vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council, said she was satisfied with the entire 2008 recruitment process. Vouwie said the sense of family that sororities provide has become a major incentive for joining the organizations in recent years.
“It’s growing in popularity because it makes GW become a little smaller,” Vouwie said. “Many of the sororities are involved in philanthropy work that the girls are interested in.”
The overall number of women in Greek-letter Life will not be finalized until after the re-colonization of Chi Omega on Oct. 25.
“As GW Greek Life continues to grow, Chi Omega is a welcome addition to the family and we are confident that there will be enough amazing girls to go around,” Kennedy-Derkay said.