PHA moves Bid Day to Faurot Field

MU’s recruitment ranked second in the country.
Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority members celebrate together on Bid Day at their house Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, in Columbia, Mo.

The Missouri Students Association’s list of 100 things to do before you graduate includes seeing Bid Day on the Quad.

That list will have to be reprinted after the Panhellenic Association moved the annual event from the Francis Quadrangle to Faurot Field as a safety precaution. On Aug. 23, Bid Day 2015, new PHA members found out their sorority.

Because to the move, only 25 members of each sorority can gather on the field to welcome the incoming members. Carolyn Welter, PHA vice president of public relations, said that this restriction is safer for the new members and that spectators were allowed at the new location.

“It’s a lot easier for spectators to view Bid Day from the stands than from the Quad,” Welter said. “It limits the number of seniors that can be on the field, but it allows more people to come and watch the event.”

The change in venue mimics the University of Alabama, which has Bid Day in Bryant–Denny Stadium. Formal recruitment at MU ranked second in the county behind Alabama. In the week before classes started, 1,892 women went through recruitment. That number is lower than previous years because there are fewer incoming freshmen, Welter said.

Preliminary reports from MU put this year’s freshmen class at 6,211 students while last year’s incoming class had about 6,500 students.

Some girls, like freshmen Hayley Odom and Isabel Crane, participated in recruitment because they wanted to follow in their mothers’ footsteps.

“My mom was in a sorority at Mizzou, and she would always tell me about it,” Odom, a Kappa Alpha Theta legacy, said. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be a part of it.”

Crane was initially less eager about the experience.

“My mom was in Delta Gamma, and she really wanted me to do (recruitment),” she said. “I didn’t picture myself as the kind of person who would rush.”

Crane’s enthusiasm grew during the week.

“I’m glad I did it and kept an open mind because the more I do it, the more I want to be part of a sorority,” she said at the end of the week.

Freshman Samantha DeBenedetti cited philanthropy, sisterhood and the feeling of a second home as reasons to participate in Greek Life.

“It seemed like a good opportunity and a good outlet to do all the things that I want to do and get out of college,” DeBenedetti said.

Odom and Crane said they both searched for a place where they felt like they belonged.

“Whenever I go into a house, I ask myself, ‘Am I able to be myself, or am I having to impress anyone?’ Odom said. “I want to be comfortable in the house. I want a family and lifelong friendships.”

Odom said her favorite part of recruitment was the preference round.

“A lot of girls share their personal stories and it gets really emotional and sentimental,” she said.

Kyler Garron said her favorite recruitment activity was Sisterhood Day, in which each house performed skits. She said it was fun to see the individual and collective personalities within each sorority.

“You get a sense of the sense of humor in each house you go to,” Garron said.

Looking back on the week, the women said they had an unforgettable experience.

“I met so many cool people, and it’s just been a whirlwind of fun,” Crane said.

The potential new members congregated for Bid Day on Aug. 23, at Faurot Field. When they were instructed to open their bid envelopes, the latest influx of Greek women ran off the field to celebrate with their newfound families.

“I had three different houses (in mind),” DeBenedetti said. “I mentally prepared myself for all three. I looked down and I saw my home and I ran. There’s no better feeling than finally finding where you belong.”

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