The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Sorority recruitment jumps 52 percent over past year

Pi Beta Phi welcomed a new member class of 29, as compared to 19 last fall. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Davidson ’23)

The annual sorority recruitment week is officially over. Even for those who weren’t involved in recruitment, the tide of bright, lettered t-shirts and large trails of glitter made it almost impossible to ignore.

The college saw a significant spike this year in the number of students participating in the formal sorority recruitment process. Last year 94 sophomores received a bid from a sorority at the end of the recruitment process, and this year the number jumped to 143 students. Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) received 33 new members this recruitment cycle – a comparatively high number – bringing them to a total of around 86 members.

According to Vice President of Recruitment for AGD Kaitlyn Hiley ’23, these numbers were similar to years before COVID-19.

“Before Covid, [the numbers] would range from 150 to 200 students for every formal recruitment. The fact that we landed around 160 was pretty common according to pre-Covid conditions,” Hilley said.

Hayley Katz ’25, who joined Alpha Phi this year, said that there were some benefits to the large number of students going through the recruitment process.

“It was definitely a little intimidating. But it was actually really awesome because I was able to meet a bunch of different people who I wasn’t able to meet before,” she said.

Some think that the ability to be back on campus has shaped perceptions of sororities’ role on campus.

“I think last year was very different in a sense where people didn’t really know what Greek life was on campus and what the whole process consisted of. It was very foreign for people because they were coming onto campus and having to jump right into it. They weren’t able to see how Greek life interacts with the college community and I think in that way it was very elusive. This year, a lot of people were more familiar with it and more people joined,” Hilley said. 

In addition to the pandemic, the “Abolish Greek Life” movement started gaining traction during the same time last year, with many students sharing their negative experiences with Greek life over social media. Despite the pressure on Greek life, the hesitancy around joining sororities has seemingly lessened since last year. 

“I think a lot of the chapters have been putting out and really committing to great diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and a lot of the PNMs [potential new members] have seen those efforts and feel that it’s trying to become a more equitable space,” Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment Madeline Kollar ’23 said.

“Additionally, the culture internally has changed a lot. When I first came to campus, it seemed like a very cold and scary place but I think that active members have really … succeeded in creating a welcoming space for all the new members to join,” Kollar said. 

The formal recruitment process in the fall consists of three nights of the PNMs visiting the sorority chapters and engaging with the current members. Each night they are invited back to select sororities and given the opportunity to have deeper and longer conversations. The morning after the third night is called “bid day” when the PNMs are formally presented bids to join their respective sororities and celebrate with all the chapters. 

New members of the sororities look forward to connecting with upperclassmen on campus and developing a network of support. Greek life continues to increase its visibility and promote initiatives to make underclassmen feel more welcome and less hesitant to join.  

“During my time on campus, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all different types of people and that was something I wanted to continue to do,” Katz said. “A lot of my upperclassmen role models were also involved in Greek life so I thought it was something that I would like to try.”

“It’s great to see the numbers go back to where they used to be as well as even increase more,” Vice President of Recruitment for Pi Beta Phi Stephanie Davidson said. “It is clear that by signing up and joining sororities, girls across campus are looking for the connections and community that Greek life has.”

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About the Contributor
Onab Falak, Staff News Writer
Onab is a junior from Alexandria, Virginia that is currently double majoring in Government and Law and International Affairs. Her minor will be a surprise to everyone, even herself. She can be very indecisive (but the good kind). Besides being a staff writer for the newspaper, she is a member of Student Government, a Posse Scholar, McKelvy Scholar and coordinator for Kaleidoscope! In her spare moments, she’s usually journaling in the McKelvy gardens or reading books in the study in between passionate arguments with her peers. When she’s not at home, she can be found running around campus regretting how many activities she decided to be involved in or at Mojos drinking her daily iced coffee. 

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