Sororities at capacity after fall recruitment
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 08:10
Tufts sororities Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) and Chi Omega jointly hosted fall recruitment for the first time in several years, collectively offering a total of 21 bids.
Last year, only AOII and Alpha Phi participated in fall recruitment, while Chi Omega abstained because it had reached membership capacity. The membership quota each sorority is expected to meet, set by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, was raised last year from 60 to 88, according to Chi Omega President Linzy Prudden.
Though interest in Greek life has grown each year, this year is the first in recent memory when Chi Omega has been below capacity, Prudden, a junior, said.
“That’s partially because we had a lot of seniors graduate and we also accepted a smaller pledge class in the spring,” Prudden said.
Prudden noted that sororities with numbers below total are encouraged to recruit new members. Chi Omega offered nine bids this recruitment period, while AOII offered eight and Alpha Phi offered four.
While the three sororities participate in a formalized spring recruitment process organized by the Panhellenic Council each January, fall recruitment is less structured, with each chapter left to organize its own events, according to Prudden.
“It’s a pretty informal process and so people don’t necessarily register for recruitment, it works more off of a referral process,” Prudden said. “What happens is a number of girls were referred to us and we also had an open house in which both freshmen and sophomores could come that both were and weren’t referred.”
Fall recruitment differs from spring rush in its lack of a generally assured bid system, through which those who attend all rush events are guaranteed to receive a bid from one of the three chapters, according to Alpha Phi President Jaime Morgen, a junior. Fall recruitment instead serves to fill the remaining open slots.
AOII hosted the most formal rush events of the three chapters this year and offered all of its eight bids to sophomores, according to AOII President Alexandra Haruben.
“We had three open parties. They were open to anyone who was interested,” she said. “People were able to come in and talk to sisters and just casually get to know what AOII is and what we’re all about.”
Alpha Phi had the fewest number of open spots, offering bids to four of the 14 girls that showed interest, according to Morgen. She noted that the chapter gave preference to the older students.
“We decided to just do very informal events because we couldn’t take a lot of girls like the other two sororities,” Morgen said. “We got girls’ names from people in our chapter already who know transfers or something like that, and we set up individual coffee dates.”
The three sororities are eager to fill all their remaining spots in anticipation of formal recruitment next semester, Morgen said. She believes that each chapter reaching capacity will demonstrate to the Panhellenic Council that there is a need for an additional sorority on campus.
“After informal, the three sororities are going to be much closer in size which is really nice, and that also is important to show Panhellenic that there’s a lot of interest if all the chapters are around the same size,” she said.
Panhellenic Council and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs are considering bringing a new sorority to campus next fall, according to Prudden, and an exploratory committee is currently planning to meet to assess the level of need for a fourth chapter.
Another sorority on campus will allow the existing chapters to reduce capacity, reflecting the university’s smaller size, according to Morgen.
“The [membership quota] is 88, but it’s too big for our chapter houses and it’s too big for most spaces on campus,” Morgen said.
If the decision to add a fourth sorority is made, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs would offer the opening to the other 23 national sorority chapters not operating on campus.