Panhel extends fall recruitment

Predicting another year of Greek life growth, GW’s Panhellenic Association has added an extra day to its fall recruitment.

Potential new members, who must meet with all 11 Panhellenic chapters, will have two nights instead of one to visit all chapters.

“The calendar lent itself to [the five-day model],” Panhellenic staff adviser Marcus Williams said, “so we decided to push forward with the opportunity to try something a little different.”

The move comes as GW’s 11th chapter, Kappa Delta, officially joins the Panhellenic Association on Feb. 10.

Recruitment will begin Sept. 19 – about four weeks into the semester and in line with recruitment in fall 2010 and 2011. Sororities will hand out bids on Sept. 24.

Panhel had originally considered kicking off during Labor Day weekend, but the association’s president Rachael Abram said she worried about freshmen having just a week at GW to decide whether to go through recruitment.

Because many students hail from the Northeast where Greek affiliation is a less traditional part of college life, Abram said many students do not arrive on campus planning to go Greek.

Unlike most urban campuses, about 25 percent of GW’s student body takes part in social Greek life. At similar urban schools like New York and Boston universities, less than 2 percent and 6 percent of students belong to chapters, respectively.

“We have a lot of girls who are making last-minute decisions to go Greek,” Abram said. Many women change their minds about Greek life after arriving at GW and meeting sorority members, she added.

Sigma Delta Tau president Liel Azoolin said she was pleased recruitment would begin in September, rather than this year’s October start. She added that holding it a few weeks into the semester “will give freshmen enough time to get used to GW and decide if they want to join a sorority.”

The five-day process mimics recruitment at schools with larger Greek life populations, which freshman Zoe Colgin said would allow freshmen to get a better sense of each sorority’s personality before accepting bids.

“Having it spread out may make it less of a stressful process,” Colgin, who joined Sigma Kappa, said this year. “[Potential new members] won’t have 11 sororities crammed into their heads in one fell swoop.”

Recruitment last fall began Oct. 5 due to scheduling conflicts with Jewish holidays and the Freshman Day of Service.

Chapters also handed out about 20 percent fewer bids last fall, with some women choosing to join the newest sorority, Kappa Delta, which held its own new member process.

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