Freshmen and upperclassmen going through sorority recruitment received their bids last night in a storm of cheers and balloons. Yes, balloons. Tons and tons of balloons.
Bid night, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 22, marked the end of the formal recruitment process for women. Registration had increased by 13 percent this year, which the outgoing Panhellenic president Jessica Stokes, a senior in the College, acknowledged in an email as “record high numbers.”
Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life Scott Reikofski explained that this was in line with a national trend of growth in the Greek community. Over 100 women dropped out of the recruitment process, he said, but this was proportionately comparable to previous years.
Women who received a bid were contacted by their rho gammas — sorority recruitment guides — before heading to the Hall of Flags to find out which sorority had accepted them. Amy Beauchamp, a College senior who had been a rho gamma during the recruitment process, described the atmosphere as being filled with “yelling, screaming, chanting” and excitement. “Everyone was really happy and super excited,” she said.
After receiving their bids and meeting their sororities, new members were taken off to bond with their sisters.
Brigitte Ehman, a Wharton senior and outgoing president of Chi Omega, said how excited she was to meet her new member class and particularly to be getting a new little. “I’m a great great grandma now!” she added.
Women who did not receive bids were privately contacted, said Stokes. “[We] take the time to review with them all post-formal recruitment options for going Greek,” she added.
Bid night also marked the change-over of the Panhellenic council. Stokes described passing on her position as a “bittersweet” event and expressed hope and enthusiasm for the incoming council.
Bid night this year also came later than expected, after several unanticipated events caused recruitment events to be postponed. The recruitment schedule was first altered out of respect for those attending College freshman Madison Holleran’s funeral after her death on Jan. 16. Reikofski said he was proud that student leaders had made that decision.
The snow, and the consequent closing of the University on Wednesday, also led the schedule to be rearranged further.
College senior Rachel Ruda, outgoing vice president of recruitment, described bid night as “a great success for everyone involved.”
New members will be taking part in New Member Workshops on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7, organized by the outgoing council. These will consist of seminars presented by on-campus resources including the Penn Women’s Center, the LGBT Center and Student Health Services so that new members would have exposure to all of these resources, Stokes said. She hoped that the classes would also “give a great sense of Panhellenic collaboration” as members from all chapters will be attending.
After the new members left the Perelman Quadrangle last night, Alpha Delta Pi, Penn’s newest sorority, held its first information session in the Bodek Lounge. The sorority will begin its recruitment now that formal recruitment is over.