Last week, nearly three hundred sophomore girls participated in Colgate’s sorority recruitment. The process took nearly a full week, as an overwhelming number of girls hoped for a bid from one of Colgate’s three sororities: Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Phi Beta or Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Recruitment week began on Wednesday, September 10, an evening designated “Go Greek Night.” All sophomore girls interested in Greek life visited each sorority and were encouraged by sisters of each house to “Go Greek,” and take advantage of the chance to affiliate. The following night (“Sisterhood Night”), sorority members pitched their own houses and what distinguished them from the others.
Following “Sisterhood Night,” sophomores ranked their sororities in order of preference, choosing the two houses they found the most appealing. Sororities, meanwhile, ranked the sophomores – a process done differently in each house. The following morning, depending on how rankings matched up, recruitment participants were invited back to two, one or zero houses. Recruitment Counselors (RCs), temporarily-disaffiliated sorority sisters who helped organize and run recruitment week, spoke individually to each girl, letting each girl know which houses had invited her back.
Friday was “Philanthropy Night.” Recruitment parties were extended, so sisters and sophomores could mingle for longer; the following night, Saturday, girls locked in their final preferences. Bids were given out on Sunday, September 14, and sophomores had 48 hours to accept or
reject the offer.
Mara Case, a senior in Gamma Phi Beta, has mixed feelings on recruitment.
“It’s an exhausting but rewarding ordeal,” Case said.
Case said the process requires a superhuman effort of sorority sisters, many of whom are occupied from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. or later, every night of the week, but the week’s conclusion is immensely satisfying.
However, many students see the system as flawed. Three hundred girls competed for about two hundred spots in three houses.
Sophomore Taylor Ellerkamp went through the process but decided to withdraw before the bids were given out.
“I went through the first few days of recruitment and felt very uncomfortable with the process and decided that Greek life was not something that I was interested in being involved with,” Ellerkamp said.
“More than anything else, this process demonstrated that demand is too much for the current houses,” Recruitment Counselor and judicial chairwoman of the Panhellenic Council Kristen Hawley said.
Recruitment is tightly regulated. Sorority sisters are expected to abide by a “no distractions” rule, which prohibits alcohol, nightlife and significant others for the duration of recruitment week. Sisters cannot promise bids to sophomores before the bids actually go out. Sororities are expected to avoid talking about one another; sisters are expected to focus on the qualities of their own house, not the drawbacks of others. Sisters are also not supposed to discuss Greek life with sophomores before recruitment week begins.
Senior Amanda Brown serves as the
Panhellenic Council’s philanthropy chair and was also a RC during rush week. For her, the week is chaotic and exciting but also frustrating.
“This week had countless ups and downs,” Brown said. “In one sense, it’s great to see so much interest in Greek life. But it also creates pressure to join Greek life organizations, and that pressure dominates the social discourse. The stress of this week makes sophomore girls feel like [recruitment] is a make-or-break process, which it certainly isn’t.”
Sophomores who received bids participated in Bid Day activities, which differ from sorority to sorority. Even with
48 hours to accept their bid, many girls choose to accept immediately, and
Broad Street was again filled with excited young women.