The flood of girls interested in sorority rush arrived on campus a few days earlier this year due to changes in the recruitment schedule.
The sorority recruitment timeline was condensed and accelerated for freshmen girls rushing this spring. The decision to alter the sorority rush schedule was made at the end of the spring 2016 term. The four different rounds of the process now take place in under a week, instead of lasting over a week and a half.
The new recruitment schedule was not well received by everyone involved in the rush process. Recruitment chair of Chi Omega and Nursing junior Jordan Lilley considered the process this semester to be somewhat frustrating for a lot of reasons.
“Penn’s winter break was already shortened and so a lot of sisters, especially those who are international students, couldn’t come back early for rush,” Lilley said. “I felt like we were not able to give an accurate representation of our own chapter.”
Lilley said she felt it was unfair that one of the reasons given to the sorority chapters for the rescheduling of their recruitment process was that sorority rush events conflicted with fraternity rush events.
In previous years, sorority and fraternity rush occurred during the same week.
Member of OAX and College sophomore Abigail McGuckin expressed similar sentiment towards the reasoning behind the change in schedule.
“I think it’s really wrong to, in a way, prioritize the boys’ rush,” McGuckin said. “Boys rush should have been moved back a week.”
However, member of Sigma Delta Tau and Wharton junior Olivia Tan said that she felt one of the advantages of the sorority rush schedule this semester was that it was conducted separately from fraternity recruitment.
“The boy’s rush process takes longer inherently. It’s not as organized,” Tan said. “I think it’s better to have them separate — to have girls first and then guys.”
Former president of the Interfraternity Council and Wharton senior David Moore declined to comment.
Despite the different process this semester, some who participated came away with mostly positive comments on their experience.
“Panhellenic is going through a transition year with a new advisor that caused logistical issues,” Lilley said. “They did the best they could and we did the best we could.”
In an email statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Eddie Banks Crosson said the changes made were beneficial, since the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life saw an improvement in retention in the week prior to the preference round.
“One challenge we were able to minimize this year was the volume of schedule conflicts during the open house round,” Banks Crosson said. “This provided a young woman an opportunity to see all eight chapters.”
The changes ensured that the social requirements of the rush process did not interfere with the academic commitments of the participants. Member of Sigma Kappa and College freshman Caroline Gibson said she was happy that the rush process started before actual classes started.
“I easily got the first leg out of the way and classes didn’t interfere as much, so that was helpful,” Gibson said.