A record 461 women were offered invitations to join one of GW’s 10 Panhellenic sororities Tuesday afternoon, up 15 percent from last year.
Overall, 471 out of the original 618 participants in sorority recruitment made it to the final round of recruitment, with 461 receiving bids, or formal invitations to join Greek-letter life. Only 10 women who were offered bids declined them.
Director of the Student Activities Center Tim Miller said 88 percent of participants received their first-choice sorority, adding that there were 10 additional women who did not receive bids because they had indicated during the selection process that they would only accept their first-choice chapter.
Each chapter’s quota for new members was 46 apiece, up nine from last year, Miller said. Panhellenic President Renee Nichols said final numbers for each individual chapter are not yet available. This fall’s larger pledge class follows a trend for GW: In fall 2002 the Panhellenic population was 670 women and the average chapter size was 84. This semester, the Panhellenic population rose to 1,341 women and the average chapter size is 134.
“The process went so great. We have more girls than ever,” Nichols said. “It’s super exciting. We’ve got great girls.”
The women offered bids packed University Yard for the annual Bid Day celebration. Personalized welcome posters, bright sunglasses, colorful T-shirts and neon fanny packs emblazoned with Greek letters filled the outdoor space as the women celebrated with their new sorority sisters.
The prospective new members had picked up their bids earlier Tuesday in the Marvin Center. Fifteen minutes after the envelopes were brought out, freshman Brenna Ross opened hers to see stationery from her first choice, Phi Sigma Sigma. She said her first reaction was, “Holy shit. I have to call my mom.”
Sophomore Lauren Shenfeld was also invited to join her top-pick chapter, Alpha Delta Pi.
“It was exhausting, but totally worth it for the happiness I feel right now,” she said. “I’m absolutely rushing ADPi.”
“I’m so excited to become part of the family,” freshman Lisa Fischer said as she put on her new Sigma Delta Tau shirt. “The girls are so welcoming.”
Senior and Alpha Epsilon Phi member Rachel Goldrich said she has been involved in Greek-letter life since her freshman year and noted that this year’s recruitment class was significantly larger and more diverse than it was when she went through the process.
Last fall, recruitment began two weeks after classes started. This year, students had about a month to decide whether or not to go through the process.
“The whole process was really stressful. There were over 600 girls rushing. It was hard not to see other girls as competition,” said sophomore Maggie Feakins, who received a bid from Pi Beta Phi. Although she said it wasn’t her first choice, she knows everything will all work out.
“It was hard not to take it personally, but in the end, everyone ends up where they’re supposed to be,” Feakins said.