Due to an overall increase in the percentage of women in the incoming freshman class, a record number of 400 girls went through sorority recruitment this past week, and with each girl who filled out a preference card receiving a bid, 315 girls ultimately accepted bids from sororities, according to Armina Khwaja, the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) President and a fifth-year BA major.
Tech hosts nine chapters of sororities, seven of which are national and undergo formal recruitment and two of which are associate members who go through informal recruitment.
With chapter totals now at an average of 130 members per sorority at Tech, Khwaja does not expect a new chapter to appear on campus for another five to ten years, despite the increase in women.
The establishment of new chapters requires more houses and land space. Furthermore, not all girls who go through the recruitment process ultimately accept a bid, due to realizations that Greek life is not an appropriate fit or financial stresses.
One difference in the recruitment process for this year was to reduce the decorations in each house “to make it more about the conversation, the bonding and the sisterhood,” Khwaja said.
Due to the unexpected increase in girls interested in recruitment, CPC made recruitment days longer to accommodate all potential new members.
In addition to these changes in sorority recruitment processes, members of sororities are no longer allowed to attend fraternity rush, due to a unanimous vote by 26 delegates to the National Panhellenic Conference.
The reasoning behind this change to the Greek rush and recruitment process is that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 reserves fraternities’ and sororities’ rights to be single-sex organizations, so a mix of genders at Greek rush and recruitment forfeits those rights to stay single-sex organizations, according to Khwaja.
“I think it helped put the focus of recruitment on the sororities themselves and allowed girls to make decisions based on what each sorority represents, and not so much on who they associate with,” said Judy Bau, Vice President of Member Recruitment at Alpha Phi and a fifth-year ISyE major.
While this was a culture change and adjustment for Tech students, members of Greek life at Auburn, Clemson, UGA and Emory did not experience much change, as it is not part of their campus cultures for students to attend rush or recruitment for groups of the opposite gender.
CPC asked chapter presidents to hold their respective members accountable for this policy change, but if multiple offenses occur, CPC would take over with its own judicial processes.