About 630 women have registered for deferred spring sorority recruitment, which is scheduled to take place during the last weekend of interterm, Jan. 26-29, said Bailey Martz, president of Chapman Panhellenic.
When recruitment took place at the beginning of the fall semester last year, 675 women signed up to participate.
Dean of Students Jerry Price told The Panther last year that administrators made the change from fall recruitment to spring with the goal of decreasing the number of women who join sororities, but the number of potential new members (PNMs) who signed up to participate has remained fairly consistent.
Jaclyn Dreschler, the program coordinator for Greek Life, said that a variety of factors contributed to the decision to defer recruitment.
“There were a number of reasons cited including available large space on campus, length of recruitment, PNMs and active member experience in recruitment – based on information from survey feedback – and first-year student experience,” Dreschler said.
Some students who are acclimated to participating in fall recruitment look forward to seeing what might be different.
“I’m interested to see what happens and what it’s like because I don’t really know what to expect from deferred recruitment,” said Kaylee Cruz, a junior business administration major and member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. “I’m excited though because I really enjoy bonding with girls in the chapter during recruitment.”
Although the number of women registered for recruitment was supposed to be significantly lower, Panhellenic recruited the same number of Rho Gammas, who are affiliated women who serve as guides and mentors during the recruitment process.
“Since recruitment was anticipated to be lower this year, we kept around the same amount of Rho Gammas so that groups could be smaller,” said Jackie DieBold, the Panhellenic director of recruitment. “This gives the Rho Gammas a chance to know the girls more one-on-one and helps ease the process a little better.”
The typical number of Rho Gammas is about 50, Dreschler said.
Some students are happy with the idea of deferred recruitment, because it allows freshmen to learn about all the sororities before committing to one. “A lot of girls come in, learn the stereotypes and join based off of those stereotypes or their family legacies instead of actually learning about the sorority and then meeting the sisters in it,” said Katie Berry, a junior psychology and integrated educational studies major who is an alumna of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, which was disbanded last year due to low membership.
Price also said last year that he believes sororities are too large at their current size of about 200 women and would function better with 70 to 110 total members, but Phi Sigma Sigma was disbanded last year with 70 active members, compared to other sororities on campus, which typically have a membership of about 150 to 200 women.
While there was no formal recruitment during the fall semester, all chapters that are below the average chapter size were able to recruit additional juniors and seniors through a process known as continuous open bidding.
Rebeccah Glaser contributed to this report.