A record number of women are participating in sorority recruitment this fall, a more than 20 percent increase over the past three years.
The 618 women participating in recruitment this year represent only a slight increase from last fall, when about 600 women participated, but the number marks a 10.4 percent increase from 2008 and a 22.6 percent increase from 2007. This year’s freshman class is also smaller than the Class of 2013 by almost 200 students.
“This is the largest number of women to ever enter recruitment in GW’s history and is an example of the value our students place on the experiences in Greek Life,” said Student Activities Center Director Tim Miller in an e-mail.
Students going through the recruitment process said they decided to rush in order to find a close-knit group of friends on campus.
“A lot of my friends are doing it,” said freshman Eleanor Klibanoff. “I’m looking for a way to make a big school seem smaller.”
Freshman Rachael Holbreich said all of her friends decided to go through the recruitment process.
“I want to meet new people and branch out,” Holbreich said. “It sounds like a quick new way to make close friends.”
The increase in the number of women participating in sorority recruitment likely means that a lower percentage of women will receive bids to join a Greek-letter life organization, as each sorority chapter has a limit on the number of new members it can accept.
Panhellenic Association President Renee Nichols said chapter sizes range from 84 women to 142 women, adding that last year, 1,250 women were involved in GW’s 10 Panhellenic sororities.
Nichols declined to comment on how many recruitment participants will not be matched with a sorority, saying that the number of women a chapter can take would not be set until Tuesday, the morning of bid day.
Last year, about 400 of the 600 participants accepted bids to join a Panhellenic sorority.
“[The number] is based on the number of women going through recruitment and maximizing the mutual selection of chapters and women going through,” Nichols said in an e-mail.
While 618 women participated in recruitment – which ends Tuesday – approximately 670 women initially signed up to participate. The more than 50 women who did not show up for the first round is a “very typical loss of women between registration and first night,” Miller said.
“Greek Life is a very desirable option for students to make connections, find their niche at GW, and be a part of organizations that make a difference now and into the future,” Miller said.
Women going through the recruitment process said the size of the recruitment class was overwhelming at first, but said as the days went on they became more at ease.
“It was overwhelming but I think the system was organized,” said freshman recruitment participant Molly Levine. “Everything ran smoothly from what I saw.”