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More than 300 women queued outside the main door of Houston Hall last night, anxiously waiting to attend the first of two sorority rush orientation meetings being held in Bodek Lounge. Last semester more than 650 women registered for rush, a 10 percent increase over last year. College freshman Deborah Algazy, just one of the hopefuls who came to last night's meeting, said that sorority rush will be enjoyable even if she does not receive a bid. "Rush is a good way to meet new people," Algazy said. "Even if I don't pledge, it will still be fun." As they walked into the meeting, each rush was given a sorority rush manual which contained short descriptions of each house and a schedule of rush events. Then the women split up into 40 Rho Chi groups, Panhellenic Council Vice President for Rush Jenny Gonell said. A Rho Chi, or rush counselor, is a sorority member who disaffiliates herself from her house in order to advise rushes. One Rho Chi, who asked to have her name withheld in order to keep her sorority affiliation unknown, said her job is much like that of a guidance counselor. Rho Chis "take them around to the different houses, answer their questions [and tell them] what happens if they are cut," she said. Before entering the meeting, many women said they were anxious to meet new people, and College freshman Mandee Heller was anxious to start what she thinks is a "good part of the college experience." However some rushes were apprehensive about the process and the number of rushes. "The odds aren't exactly for you [in receiving a bid]," said College freshman Sherry Novick. Since so many women are rushing this year, each sorority will accept 50 women in to their pledge class, Panhellenic President Anita Hsueh, an Engineering senior, said. Other women said they had problems with the relatively short rush time -- only one week. "I don't think we have enough time to see how each house is really like," said Wharton freshman Ryniee Auh. But many Panhel members tried to allay many rushes' fears. Panhel Treasurer Allison Abell said that since every rush must visit each house, they are given "a forced eye-opening." The sorority rush officially begins this Saturday when each rush must go on carefully-regulated visits to all eight sorority houses. The schedule continues with additional rounds of mandatory trips with later rounds on an invite-only basis.

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