Panhellenic sororities change 2017 recruitment schedule

Emily Fornof, Associate News Editor

Come a week before spring semester begins, hundreds of Tulane students will be flying back early to participate in sorority recruitment week, known to most as “rush.”

In the past, sorority recruitment consisted of two weekends. Based on this year’s academic calendar, the 2017 recruitment process will take place over five consecutive days.

This year’s recruitment will begin with Kick-off on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and end with Bid Day on Sunday, Jan. 15. Kick-off will be led by recruitment coordinators — sorority members that disaffiliate themselves from their sorority during recruitment in the interest of fairness and objectivity. These students introduce the process to the Potential New Members or PMNs.

Eight Panhellenic chapters at Tulane participate in this recruitment process; Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi and Sigma Delta Tau.

All eight of the Panhellenic chapters will be introduced to the students on the second day of recruitment through an open house. This will be the first time that the PNMs will be introduced to the sororities, but they will only be able to spend 30 minutes with each house.

After this initial meeting, the PNMs will gradually narrow down their choices. Thursday of recruitment week is Philanthropy Day, where the PNMs will visit houses to see what each sorority’s philanthropic work looks like. On the following day, known as Sisterhood Day, the PNMs visit only four houses.

“They learn all about the chapters’ sisterhoods and what really makes them them,” Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Programs Julia Hankins said.

That Saturday is the last day for the PNMs to visit the sororities. They will choose two to visit and at the end of the day and rank those top two choices.

The recruitment process ends with Bid Day. The PNMs will open their bid cards to see what sorority offered them a bid and will then go to the house for celebrations.

“The entire process is what we call a mutual selection process, where the PNM’s are ranking the chapters in the order they felt most connected to, all while the sororities are selecting the women they see would fit best in their chapter,” Panhellenic Council President Rebecca Shafron said.

Sign-up for the recruitment process is open until Jan. 3. Last year 725 women started the recruitment process, 585 women received a bid, 112 withdrew themselves and 28 did not receive any invitations. Each sorority has a certain number of spots that they can fill, which can leave room for later recruitment if there are openings.

“Depending on how the numbers work out behind the scenes, some sororities may be eligible to participate in informal recruitment following formal recruitment, particularly in the following fall semester,” Shafron said. “This consists of continuous open bidding where unaffiliated women may be recruited to join a chapter outside of formal recruitment.”

Like the numbers of slots, there are other rules that each sorority must follow. One of these rules is a silence period during the recruitment process. The sorority members are not allowed to initiate contact with any PNMs other than pleasantries or academic conversation from kick-off to the end of the last event on preference day. From the end of preference day until bid day, the sorority members are on a strict silence period where they are not allowed to have any contact whatsoever with the PNMs.

“Our number one goal is to assist the most girls possible in finding the best house for them,” Shafron said. “It’s all about where you feel the most welcome and comfortable, and what I love so much about being on Panhellenic is having the chance to help those women figure out where they belong.”

Freshman Jenna Pucel, who plans to rush this spring, is eager to begin the recruitment process.

“Sisterhood and community have always been two of the strongest values I hold,” Puce said. “I know that I can find … these values in the Greek life community.”

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