Sororities respond to newly-implemented recruitment rules

National Panhellenic Conference eliminates skits from formal recruitment


Washington and Lee’s sorority recruitment came to a close last Monday. The process changed from previous years, with Bid Day being on a weekday, and restrictions placed on the activities allowed in each house.

According to Amy Perkins, the university’s director of greek life, 161 women completed recruitment this year. In an email, Perkins said fewer women participated in rush than in the previous year.

“The first-year class is also smaller this year, so in terms of percentage, it’s not a significant difference for overall population,” Perkins said.

One of the most prominent changes in recruitment was the elimination of skits in the houses. According to Perkins, the W&L Panhellenic Council had no say in the decision to exclude skits.

“National Panhellenic changed the recruitment policy to eliminate skits in the Fall [of] 2015,” Perkins said. “We didn’t enforce for January 2016 since we were informed of the change late.”

The policy was active this year for recruitment. In order to replace skits, chapters on campus got creative with activities during recruitment week.

Rebecca Orsak, ’18, the recruitment chair for W&L’s chapter of Chi-Omega, said she was nervous about not having the skit be part of recruitment.

“At first, I was really nervous because I remember being a freshman and really enjoying the skits, and enjoying the silly aspect of it, and seeing everyone get really into their roles within the skits,” Orsak said. “Personally, I struggled to come up with something to replace it.”

The women in her chapter decided to use the extra time to emphasize their sorority’s philanthropy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“We had a sisterhood video, and then we also did a separate video for our philanthropy, Make-A-Wish, which is really cool because we were able to raise enough money this year to grant an entire wish,“ Orsak said. According to Orsak, sisters spoke in between videos about their experiences in the sorority.

“All in all, it was a really cute night, that I think was a little bit more meaningful than the skits,” Orsak said.

Caroline Boras, ’18, the vice president of membership for W&L’s chapter of Pi Beta Phi, said she liked the change as well.

“I liked not having the skits because I feel like it gave the PNMs a better chance to get an idea about what the chapter is about,” Boras said. “I know our chapter did a speed dating round, and so we just talked to the PNMs instead of doing the skit, or showing a lot of videos. I think that made a big difference.”

Another major change was Bid Day occurring on a Monday, which was the first day of Winter Term classes.

According to Perkins, a vote was taken last spring by leaders in each chapter to officially move Bid Day to Monday.

“Pushing recruitment back by one day gave everyone one extra day of Winter Break,” Perkins said. “And having class prior to bids being distributed gave anxious PNMs a distraction to hopefully take their minds off Greek Life for a brief period of time.”

Mary Frances White, ‘17, was the Panhellenic vice president of recruitment. White was responsible for recruitment-related activities throughout the year, from Meet-the-Greek events to scheduling the rounds during recruitment week.

According to White, last year was the first year recruitment was held before classes started, which she said she thinks was a positive change.

“This year, we set it to have Bid Night on Monday, because we found that it seemed like people were waiting a long time,” White said. “It was kind of unnecessarily there on that Sunday [last year], just to get their bid and hang out at the house for a few hours, and then go home.”

According to White, there were mixed reactions to the change. New members to the Panhellenic Council will take their positions this term.

Note: The views of the individuals in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of each chapter as a whole.