Sophomore Girls Go Greek

Beginning Wednesday of this week, an estimated 250 women will begin a recruitment process with the goal of obtaining membership in one of Colgate’s four sororities: Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma. The days that follow will serve to inform and acquaint prospective members with the chapters and ultimately select the new classes on Monday’s Bid Day.

“The intention during the recruitment period is not only for the chapters, and the women who belong to those chapters, to learn as much as they can about the women that visit the houses, but likewise for the women to learn about the sororities,” Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Greek Life Tim Mansfield said.

Recruitment, also known as rushing, begins sophomore year and is an attractive option available to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested students complete an online registration process, encompassing everything from GPA to extracurricular activities to reasons why they are interested in joining a sorority. Then the information is made available to all the houses once the student agrees to share it.

The series of informative and social events that follow are organized by Colgate’s Panhellenic Council, which coordinates sorority recruitment. The first event, held this past Wednesday night, was an orientation during which the rules of recruitment were explained and, most importantly, groups of about 15 women were linked to their respective recruitment counselors.

“Recruitment counselors are senior and junior sorority women who have disaffiliated from their chapter,” President of the Panhellenic Council Senior Shannon Smigen said. “[She’s] pretty much your go-to person for that entire time; if you have any questions, if you’re upset about something, she’s the person that you go to.”

The groups are then taken to all the sororities, located on Broad Street, for twenty minutes each on Thursday night’s Theme Day. At every sorority, each woman is picked up by a house member to ensure one socializes and gets to know the members of that organization. Friday night then brings Sisterhood Day where each house puts on a skit and slide show to further inform prospective members. For these two days, Mansfield explained that “every woman that goes through recruitment is invited to all four chapters…so when it gets into later Saturday and Sunday, then they begin to pare down their rotations; not everyone will be invited back to each house.”

The selection process Mansfield touched on is done mutually by both sorority and prospective members. As the days go by, prospective members fill out interest sheets on which they declare the houses they would prefer to visit again. Similarly, houses begin to choose which women they would like to get to know better. Once some selecting is done, women continue onto Saturday’s Philanthropy Night where, as Smigen explained, women “do a philanthropy project, learn about each house’s national philanthropy and usually get a house tour.”

Preference Night is then held on Sunday, and women fill out a preference card with the aid of their recruitment counselors. The agreement ranks the top two houses each woman will accept a bid from. With Monday comes the final day of recruitment and the sought-after awarding of bids in the Hall of Presidents.

From there on, women are technically considered members of the sorority but must begin the new member education period, known more commonly as pledging. The women subsequently will learn the rituals, customs and traditions of their respective houses and be officially inducted between October and November.

It is obvious that the recruitment period is a well-orchestrated and highly informative time. Smigen added, “We try to make the process as transparent as possible,” clearly exemplifying the desire to educate correctly students who might be interested in the process. Likewise, Mansfield and Panhellenic urge women to not get too wrapped up in the process.

“Consider joining any sorority organization; don’t have your heart set on just one…go learn about all four,” Mansfield said. “Don’t worry if you’re making a big impression on other women, you’ll be fine. I try to reassure women that this is a great opportunity.”

Smigen had a similar mindset. “Just be yourself, and have fun with it. Don’t take it so seriously,” she said.