Almost 400 women clad in brightly colored T-shirts took over University Yard with their future sisters Tuesday afternoon, shouting, singing and celebrating their bids to ten Panhellenic Association sororities in the largest recruitment session in GW history.
Sarah Sutton, president of Panhel, said there were more women offered bids in part because of the addition of Chi Omega, a sorority that colonized last year. More than 600 women, mostly freshmen and sophomores, went through recruitment this year, participants said.
“I think the Greek community has finally hit a stride where they are a little bit more focused and can get more accomplished,” Sutton said. “There is more of a focus on service, more unified service events and organizations are holding more parties together. There is a more unified communication between organizations, and it’s helping the Greek community to grow, because it’s better for our presence on campus.”
Because of the increase in participants, Sutton said there were an increased number of “parties,” or stops for women at each separate sorority where they mingle and meet the members of each organization.
Delta Gamma President Eden Sutley, a junior, said the large number of recruitment participants – called potential new members – was encouraging.
“[Participants] got more opportunities to talk to more sororities, which is good because more than anything, we got to make more friends,” Sutley said. “It wasn’t even necessarily about joining the sorority.”
Because administrators and those participating in recruitment were worried about the spread of the influenza virus, measures were taken to prevent participants from getting sick. This year, women who could not attend recruitment were allowed to have phone interviews with each sorority.
“It was interesting because people think that recruitment is about the frills and the looks and all that sort of stuff, so it was nice to just call people sometimes and really just get to know them by what they were saying,” Sutley said.
Other changes included keeping all locations for preference night – the last event before bids are given out – on campus, Sutton said.
“We completely revamped parts of recruitment from past years to make it more Panhellenic-friendly. All preference night locations were on campus this year and it worked out well,” Sutton said. “Chapters were very happy, and all of the girls were on campus and within [University Police Department] jurisdiction if anything were to happen.”