68 percent of women extended bids in rush
By Manav Raj
Published on Thursday, September 27, 2012
Of the 413 women who registered for the formal sorority recruitment process, 280 received bids on Wednesday, according to Jane Cai ’13, Panhellenic Council vice president of recruitment. The majority of the 133 women who registered but did not receive bids dropped out of the process voluntarily, according to Cai.
All those who attended the final night of rush, known as preference night, and did not indicate a singe preference for a sorority received a bid, according to Panhell President Sarah Wildes ’13.
The number of bids extended this year declined from last year, when sororities extended a total of 300 bids. While 75 percent of those who registered for rush received a bid last year, the percentage dropped to roughly 68 percent this year. In 2010, 78 percent of women who registered for rush received bids, while 2009 saw just 67 percent of women receive bids.
Alpha Phi and Alpha Xi Delta sororities both extended 38 bids, Delta Delta Delta sorority offered 34, Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority offered 41, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority extended 44 and Sigma Delta sorority offered 37, according to sorority members in each house. Members of Kappa Delta sorority said that the sorority extended approximately 30 bids, though that number was subject to change. Representatives from Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority declined requests for comment.
Wildes said that women who dropped out of the rush process will have the opportunity to pursue recruitment again in a subsequent term.
“People who don’t have a great experience and drop can re-rush in the winter or re-rush next fall,” Wildes said. “Some people choose to rush in the winter because they feel more comfortable with the smaller groups than those in the fall or for any number of other reasons.”
Kara Farnes ’15, who received a bid at KD, said that the process allowed her to meet and connect with upperclassmen.
“It really opened up my eyes to the number of awesome women that are here on this campus, and the worst part was waiting around to find the results,” Farnes said.
Yu Jin Nam ’15, a new member of Sigma Delt, said she thought that the upperclassmen she met defied the houses’ preexisting stereotypes.
“It’s very easy to feel like this school is very small, and it’s very reassuring to find out that there are a ton of people out there that you’ve never met before and who are just this vast, diverse group of great people,” Nam said. “At every house I met at least one person I had a great conversation with, and regardless of how each house gets stereotyped, there are awesome people everywhere on campus.”
Students also noted, however, that the process can be unnecessarily stressful.
“It was definitely a lengthy time commitment and very much stress-filled,” Farnes said.
Lisa Li ’15 said that while she enjoyed the first phase of the process, she dropped out of the process after the second round.
“After the first cut, the general atmosphere changed, and people were getting upset and anxious,” she said. “I felt that it was ridiculous that so many girls were getting hurt over something that, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that important.”
Nam said that rush would be better for girls if each sorority’s method for selecting new members were explained more clearly.
“Maybe a little transparency would be better,” Nam said. “Would it be possible to know exactly how each house goes through the process and makes its decision?”
Li contrasted the process with men’s rush and said that men have typically spent more time in fraternities than women in sororities prior to rushing.
“Everyone agrees that the rush process for girls can kind of suck — even people in the system — but I guess finding an alternative isn’t feasible for now, at least, because girls don’t hang out in sororities like guys do in frats,” Li said. “With over 400 girls rushing and needing to understand the different sororities, it can be difficult to really get to know a house.”
Being unaffiliated can also be a positive experience and does not preclude involvement with the Greek community, according to Wildes.
“It may seem like joining a sorority is a huge, life-changing experience, but at the same time it’s not the end-all, be-all of your Dartmouth experience,” Wildes said.
Li said she thinks she can maintain an active social life without being affiliated.
“I dropped out of rush after the second round, mostly because I realized that I didn’t need to be in a sorority to feel fulfilled at Dartmouth,” Li said. “I’m going to meet cool people whether I’m affiliated or not, and my friends now will still be my friends no matter what.”
Those who regret dropping out of the process often feel more positively about the experience in retrospect, Wildes said.
“I know someone who dropped out of rush last year who at the time was really upset and was definitely planning on re-rushing but is now so happy that she didn’t go through with that,” Wildes said. “There’s no single Dartmouth experience, and there’s no single Greek experience at Dartmouth.”
The exact number of girls who dropped out of the recruiting process could not be confirmed by press time.