University News

Sorority rush sees record numbers

New online system helps smooth transition to increased sorority presence on campus

By
Staff Writer
Monday, February 24, 2014

This year’s Panhellenic Council recruitment process, which kicked off Feb. 8, featured several changes, including a significant increase in participating students, a new online system and the first year of recruiting for the newest sorority, Kappa Delta.

A total of 140 female undergraduates participated in recruitment this year, compared to approximately 90 to 100 who did so last year, wrote Samantha Enriquez ’14, president of the Panhellenic Council and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, in an email to The Herald.

Sororities handed bids to 75 students at the end of recruitment, Enriquez wrote.

Twenty-eight students received bids from Kappa Delta, said Bethany Cutmore-Scott ’16, president of Kappa Delta, which created a Brown chapter last year. Kappa Alpha Theta also gave out 28 bids, wrote Eva Gonzalez ’15, president of Kappa Alpha Theta, in an email to The Herald.

Alpha Chi Omega declined to divulge how many students received bids, but based on figures from the Panhellenic Council and the other two sororities, Alpha Chi Omega handed out 19 bids.

The addition of Kappa Delta likely contributed to this year’s elevated participation rate, Enriquez said. “It has definitely helped Panhellenic as a whole to have a third sorority.”

Kappa Delta’s presence has helped to “accommodate more students and bring more people in” to Greek life on campus, Enriquez said.

Each sorority has a different idea of what it represents, Cutmore-Scott said. Prospective members can tell where they feel they would fit in, and the addition of Kappa Delta has “helped the students who hadn’t felt that kind of connection” with the already-existing sororities by introducing “a bit more variety.”

“The more sorority presence we have on campus, the stronger we become as individual sororities,” Enriquez said.

Kappa Delta’s transition to campus has corresponded with its members’ efforts to cultivate a distinctive community feel.

“We’re still forming our identity as a new sorority, and this new class helps set the precedent of what Kappa Delta will be for years to come,” said Frances Anne Aquino ’16, vice president of public relations at Kappa Delta.

Cutmore-Scott attributed the increase in the recruitment season’s participating students to a new online system, which introduced more structure and efficiency than non-electronic recruitment approaches used in previous years, she said.

The web platform allowed prospective new members to rank their sorority preferences online. The system then matched the students’ preferences with the houses’, facilitating “more mutual selection,” in which both the houses and the students have more of a say. Previously the students’ preferences were not considered as much, Enriquez said.

Virtual preference-ranking made the recruitment process a lot smoother, Enriquez said.

“The online system made (the process) as objective as it could be” and lessened the likelihood that one sorority member’s opinion would influence the sorority’s decision on giving a bid to a candidate, Aquino said.

Though the web system experienced several glitches this year, sorority members will work to minimize glitches next year, Enriquez said, adding that the Panhellenic Council also aims to begin publicizing recruitment earlier to promote increased involvement.

“At Brown, we strive to be different. We really want to push our own culture forward and tell as many people as possible,” Enriquez said.