Formal recruitment sees record-breaking numbers

A total of 1,100 bids were distributed to the 1,452 potential members.
Members of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority cheer for their new members Saturday during Bid Day on Francis Quadrangle. Out of the 1,452 women signed up to participate in Formal Recruitment this year, 1,100 of them received bids to join a sorority Saturday.

Starting Aug. 16, masses of women wearing bright T-shirts crossed campus as a record-breaking Formal Recruitment for the Panhellenic Association sororities commenced.

According to a news release by PHA spokeswoman Michelle Hanko, a record-high 1,452 freshman, sophomore and junior women signed up to participate in Recruitment this year. In order to keep the Recruitment process unbiased, there were several rules the chapters and recruits had to follow. Freshman Lauren Heermann said she felt the rules came down to just basic respect.

“I don’t feel that there are too many rules, because many of them are simply codes of courtesy," Heermann said. “For example, we aren’t allowed to be looking at our cell phones right before or during a social.”

Greek Life Adviser Danny Jonas said following the rules is not an issue during Recruitment, because of the potential members’ busy agendas.

“When you are going through a university process, you are not allowed to consume alcohol and (the potential members) are not allowed to be on fraternity property,” Jonas said. “That is not usually a problem, because they follow a very busy schedule, it is very hot and at the end of the day they really just want to be in their rooms.”

The rules for Recruitment state that no men are to be involved in Recruitment unless approved by the PHA. Similarly, the potential members are not allowed on fraternity property until the entire recruitment process is complete.

The rules also state once Recruitment activities begin, potential members are not to visit any sorority houses except for designated events, any form of contact between a potential member and a chapter member is strictly prohibited, gift exchange is not allowed and attendance at orientation and socials is absolutely necessary, or the women forfeit participation in Recruitment.

Following the rules is necessary if the women would like to join a PHA sorority, Heermann said.

“The rules for Formal Recruitment may make us go out of our way, but for the most part, they make sense,” Heermann said. “Being late for a sorority social is everyone’s worst fear, because if you’re late, that means automatic release from the rush process.”

The rules are specific regarding the advertisement of Greek Life symbols and affiliation with chapters, so from June 1 until revelation on Bid Day, members of the Recruitment Team and Panhellenic Counselors, or Pi Chis, are required to disaffiliate with their sorority.

“It’s impossible to know for sure how many women will receive bids to each chapter,” Hanko said. “There is not a preset ‘limit’ on how many potential new members can receive a bid from each chapter. We want as many women as possible who want to join our community to be able to do so.”

The potential members received their bids on Saturday in front of Jesse Hall. At this time, the Pi Chis were able to reveal their chapter affiliations. Following the ceremony, the women ran through Greektown to their new chapter houses.

The Office of Greek Life keeps track of how many bids are distributed each Bid Day.

“There were 1100 Bids extended on Saturday," Greek Life Coordinator Julie Drury said.

Before and after Recruitment, the women are openly permitted to wear their symbols and decorate their houses at their leisure, but not all of the rules end on Bid Day.

Under MU’s PHA Constitution, lewd and explicit behavior will not be tolerated, hazing is prohibited and alcohol policies are in place in the PHA sorority houses.

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