Sorority Rush Revisions for the Best
Published: Sunday, February 19, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 01:02
The new rules that Furman's Panhellenic Council implemented for sorority recruitment definitely had a positive impact on the rush process this year.
These rules made the rush more time-efficient, enabled more girls to join sororities and ensured that there were fewer mismatched girls on bid day. Also, these new rules led to more smiling faces on bid day than there have ever been before. Yes, the number of girls who decided to rush was higher than ever before, but there was also a higher percentage of girls who were invited back to each round of recruitment.
This beneficial change enabled more girls to become members of a sorority. 91 percent of students rushing were invited back to at least one sorority's party for each round and a preference tea. In the past, this percentage has consistently been in the mid-80s. This means there were fewer girls released from all six sororities, a situation that used to occur more frequently in previous years.
This is an advantageous change for the students seeking membership because there is a higher chance that they will invited back to each round of rush, meaning they will have a higher chance of receiving a bid from a sorority.
The mutual selection process that Furman's Panhellenic Council used this year is also beneficial because of how it operates. For instance, if a girl seeking membership ranks a sorority last and that sorority decides to release her, she would never know that the sorority did not invite her back, and the sorority would never know that she ranked it last. In this way, disappointments are limited.
The nature of this new mutual selection process is definitely better than the previous "accept/regret" system because neither the sororities nor the students rushing know who released whom in many cases. With the old "accept/regret" system, the sororities knew exactly which girls they released, and the girls found out exactly which sororities released them. Additionally, the sororities also knew which girls declined an invitation to their round. The new system adds a little ambiguity to this entire process. If nothing else, it curtails some hurt feelings.
I recognize that the new system does not eliminate many of the disappointments associated with sorority recruitment. Girls rushing are going to be upset when they do not get invited back to a sorority they wanted to join. Likewise, sorority members will be upset when girls who are rushing decide not to attend their round or accept a bid from them.
A system cannot control which sorority releases which girls. However, it can be more time-efficient and ensure that more girls are placed in a pledge class on bid day. It gives more students an opportunity to become a member of a Greek organization, which is the main objective of formal recruitment.
I know that many people were concerned about the effects of girls receiving their invitations one hour before the next round, but this is not an entirely negative thing. Because emotions are high, it is easy to make a decision to drop out then and there. But now, girls are already dressed and ready for the round, so the natural thing to do is to proceed to the next round. This gives students a chance to reevaluate sororities they had not necessarily considered before.
This system also leaves room for more independent decision making. Immediately after the rounds, girls must rank the sororities. This leaves less time for consulting friends, and means less outside influence when girls are making decisions. I think giving girls the opportunity to make more independent decisions is a definite advantage of the new system. The system cannot work effectively when students are unduly influenced by the opinions of their peers.
One of the best features of the new system is that it cuts down on mismatches. A mismatch means that a girl did not receive a bid from either sorority she attended for preference tea. The new system ensured that there were as few mismatches as possible. Imagine the disappointment of attending two sorority preference teas and then finding out on bid day that you did not receive a bid from either sorority.
The size of the new pledge classes this year also indicates the success of the new system. Usually, the quota for a pledge class is around 35 members. However, the quota this year was 43 members, a substantial increase. The new system combined with the high number of girls rushing resulted in an increased number of sorority women on Furman's campus.
I think the new rules were definitely a positive change for sorority recruitment, because these new changes not only helped rush become more efficient, they helped achieve the ultimate goal of recruitment: matching more students with sororities.