83 women drop out of fall rush
By Brendan Woods
Published on Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Over 80 women dropped out of sorority rush this year, with just 227 out of 335 women receiving bids. The relatively large percentage of women who did not join a sorority may be attributed to a variety of factors, including the addition of Kappa Delta sorority, the perception that the College has a tiered sorority system and illness among students participating in rush.
About 67 percent of the women who began this fall’s rush process were offered bids, according to Michelle Chan ’10, vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council. Just under 76 percent of women who began the rush process received bids in fall 2008, and about 83 percent received bids in fall 2007.
Chan said that all women who completed the rush process “in good faith” received a bid, noting that this did not happen last year.
Alpha Phi sorority offered 23 bids; Alpha Xi Delta sorority, 33; Delta Delta Delta sorority, 31; Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority, 14; Kappa Delta sorority, 32; Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority 31; Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority 31; and Sigma Delta sorority, 32, according to Chan.
Panhell public relations chair Ashley Cartagena ’10 attributed the dropout rate largely to academic and athletic conflicts, and illness.
Others, however, pointed to the perception that some sororities are better than others. Emilyn Leiva ’12, who accepted a bid at Kappa Delt, said that she has heard of several women withdrawing from the rush process after they were not invited back to their first-choice sorority.
“I’ve heard of a good amount of girls dropping out,” Leiva said, “On our campus, it’s almost as if there are a few sororities that are really popular, and girls get really upset when they don’t get their first pick.”
Cartagena declined to disclose the number of girls who opted to “suicide” — electing to indicate a final preference for only one house instead of the standard two — or the bid quota this year, citing privacy concerns.
Cartagena suggested there may be a need to take steps to change people’s perceptions of certain houses, like encouraging sororities to hold more open parties.
“We cannot verify whether that happens here, but if that were the case, that is something that is alarming and that is something we would plan on addressing in the future,” Cartagena said, referring to the existence of sorority stereotypes.
Kappa Delt participated in rush for the first time this fall. Although some women said they did not know whether students would want to join a new sorority, those who accepted bids from Kappa Delt said the sorority’s relative newness is what attracted them.
Leiva, who “block-rushed” Kappa Delt with several others, said she liked the idea of taking a leadership role in the sorority.
“Everyone is super excited because we are going to make this something,” Leiva said. “A group of us decided to do it for real. It was about 20 or 30 of us. A few of the ones who decided along with us did not get a bid. We met above quota.”
Cartagena and Chan said the rush process is designed to make good matches between sororities and new members, adding that it would be difficult to verify whether block rushing occurs.
“We want to find good matches, and so that is what we promote,” Cartagena said. “Whether or not that means block rushing, I’m not sure. We can’t really comment on that because we don’t have any information particularly related to that, but what we want is for girls to end up in a good place for them.”
Chan said that Panhell is not necessarily opposed to women block rushing.
“We’re not against if it’s done in good faith and if the particular group of girls who are trying as a group to belong to a house really do feel that that house and that group of sisters is the best place for them,” she said.
Kappa Delt President Adriene McCance ’11 did not respond to requests for comment.
The original version of this article incorrectly stated that 98 women dropped out of fall sorority rush. In fact, 83 women dropped out of that process. In addition, the article incorrectly stated that 340 women began rush. In fact, 335 began the process.