Fraternities and sororities at the College of William and Mary are concluding their fall recruitment periods with strong turnout from new students and renewed enthusiasm from returning brothers and sisters.
Jessica Morgan ’09, the Inter Sorority Council’s vice-president for recruitment, said this year’s sorority rush is the largest of the past three years.
“We have seen more people staying in the system than in years past,” she said. “More people registered at the beginning of the semester and more people are staying with it.”
In total, 262 women accepted offers to join the sorority community at Sunday’s Bid Day, up from 248 in fall 2007.
Last year the Council for Fraternity Affairs reported that 118 men accepted bids in the fall semester, down from 152 in the fall of 2006. The numbers for this recruitment period are not yet available because fraternities can extend bids into next week.
Morgan and Anne Arseneau, the associate director of Student Activities, both attribute the higher recruitment numbers for women to a revamped publicity plan the ISC initiated this summer.
Included in the plan were three videos posted on the Greek Life website that presented individual women’s impressions of sorority life. Morgan said more women were educated about the recruitment process — which involves multiple rounds of required events—after watching the videos.
“A lot more people were informed and knew what to expect before the process started,” Morgan said. “That way they were able to relax and enjoy the experience more.”
Men looking to pledge a fraternity attended open houses held over the past two weeks and began receiving bids yesterday. All bids from fraternities to individuals must be offered within nine days, and an official bid day is scheduled for Sept. 24.
Recruitment for Greek organizations at the College is a vastly different procedure for men and women.
Sororities are bound by regulations laid out by the National Panhellenic Conference regulations that are meant to ensure a fair and open recruitment process. Potential sisters participate in several rounds of events that take place over two weekends, and contact between potential new members and affiliated women is limited.
Fraternities use a more loosely structured system. Men are encouraged to meet potential brothers informally, outside of the official recruitment process. Organized events, including the open houses, Meet the Greeks during Orientation, and Finding the Fraternities are all optional, but strongly recommended.
“The process for women stresses cooperation, and attempts to put everyone on equal footing. The men’s process works more towards protecting the interests of the individual groups,” Arseneau said.