Updated: Oct. 9, 2015 at 5:07 p.m.
Hundreds of students crowded into the Marvin Center and then sprawled out near the Lincoln Memorial Tuesday after receiving bids from one of GW’s 10 sororities.
Of the 727 women who registered for recruitment this year, 573 received bids from sororities. Last year, nearly 600 women received bids, setting a record for the University.
Recruitment, which started Friday night, can mean late nights and long hours for women already in and hoping to join sororities. But this year, with the sudden closure of Delta Gamma just two days before recruitment began, the Panhellenic Association faced an unexpected hurdle.
President of the Panhellenic Association Mollie Bowman said she thought “our entire council handled surprises thrown our way with incredible poise.”
“[Recruitment] has gone amazingly well. It’s really emotional to see girls placed in their chapters and accept their bids, and I tear up,” she said. “To see people so happy and realize that you could do something that could’ve affected their whole lives, it’s just really special.”
The new members were met with fanfare: Alpha Epsilon Phi had an “out of this world” theme, with matching baseball caps, aliens on their tank tops and “Welcome to the Phuture!” posters. Alpha Phi brightened up the field with hot pink feather boas and members of Sigma Kappa brought big balloons and blew bubbles.
Freshman Ari Elfenbein, who accepted a bid from Alpha Delta Pi, said that she trusted that the recruitment system really does place women in the right sororities.
“Although it doesn’t seem like it at the time, the sisters know who will fit in and it’s really for the best,” she said. “It’s really more like matchmaking than it is rejection.”
Riley Thomas, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said the sorority participated in a values-based workshop before recruiting new members.
At least four other sororities, including Delta Gamma, participated in the workshops, which helped members talk with potential recruits to find out if their values matched those of the chapter.
“We especially focus on leadership,” she said. “[And] we have sisterhood retreats. The closer we all are during recruitment, the more smoothly everything goes.”
Though the majority of those who receive bids are freshmen, sophomore Shayna Glassberg said her decision to wait a year until she was more used to life at college helped her to get to know more members of Greek life before she decided to join a sorority herself.
She said she realized that “Greek life at GW is different” and decided to go through recruitment. She received a bid from Kappa Delta.
Freshman Samantha Doka said going through the recruitment process and accepting a bid from Alpha Delta Pi reminded her of the college application process, but she was glad to have done it.
“I’m just really excited to find people I can relate to on a deeper level,” she said.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Ari Elfenbein accepted a bid from Alpha Epsilon Phi. She is a new member of Alpha Delta Pi. Her name was also misspelled on first reference.