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New members are welcomed into sororities as Inter-Sorority Council concludes first fully in-person recruitment since 2020

Potential new members flooded Madison Bowl field for ISC’s annual bid day

<p>Over the course of a weeklong recruitment, over 900 women toured the University’s 15 sorority chapters in a four-round process including round-robins, philanthropy showcases, house tours and preference events.</p>

Over the course of a weeklong recruitment, over 900 women toured the University’s 15 sorority chapters in a four-round process including round-robins, philanthropy showcases, house tours and preference events.

The University’s Inter-Sorority Council chapters celebrated the end of a fully in-person recruitment process with bid day on Madison Bowl Field Sunday. Current members of each sorority met new members with balloons and colorful signs in hand after new members opened their bid cards together without the presence of COVID-19 gathering restrictions that had moved much of recruitment online in previous years. 

While this was the first year that ISC chapters were officially permitted to hold recruitment and bid day fully in person, a UJC report revealed that three separate sororities plead guilty of violating University gathering limits during the 2021 bid day. 

After the onset of the pandemic, some members of the University criticized the ISC and IFC’s overall responses to COVID-19, arguing that enforcement was overly lax. In the face of these claims, the University denied that Greek life recruitment practices directly contributed to COVID-19 surges on Grounds. 

Last year, the first three rounds of rush were held on Zoom and the preference round was held in person with masks required. While bid day activities were in-person last year, new and current members were required to wear masks when on the porch and in the sorority houses.

This year, without restrictions in place, over 900 women toured the University’s 15 ISC chapters in a four-round in-person process including introductory round, philanthropy showcases, house tours and preference events. At the end of the week, potential new members received bid cards from one of their two preferred sororities welcoming them into their respective organizations. 

Second-year College student Madison Obermeyer rushed this year and said she saw in-person bid day as a culmination of both sorority members’ and potential new members’ hard work over the past weeks. 

“It was definitely very exciting, just everybody being all together and getting bids and having everything decorated,” Obermeyer said. “There was a lot of energy in the air.”

All potential new members who received a bid gathered in Mad Bowl Sunday, waiting to get their official bid cards in the form of physical letters. During the virtual years of recruitment, members opened their sorority bids via email. 

Anjali Amazigo, returning Pi Beta Phi member and fourth-year College student, said she understands how important in-person bid day is for new members, as it marks the beginning of their process to join their new sorority. 

“I know they've all been really excited about it,” Amazigo said. “They've been able to see the houses, meet more of the girls and really get more of a general feeling from what they want out of each sorority.”

Throughout the rush process, potential new members only interact with a handful of chapter members. Bid day is a time for new members to meet the entirety of the chapter, often through activities and events hosted in the chapter’s house. 

Amazigo said bid day is also notable because it’s the first chance for new members to interact freely with members of the chapter as new members of the sorority — not as potential new members. 

“They get to meet everyone and we make the whole day all about them,” Amazigo said. 

In addition to a return to in-person bid-day, sorority members spoke to the excitement of in-person rush.

Stephanie Liu, Chi Omega recruitment chair and second-year College student, said that in-person rush is beneficial as it is easier for potential new members and current members to make meaningful connections. Additionally, potential new membersSs are able to assess the atmosphere of each house and the entire chapter as a whole. 

“When looking for [potential new members], some of our biggest targets [are] looking for genuine and intentional connections,” Liu said. 

Oberyer said she was also grateful for in-person recruitment because it allowed her to meet new people in addition to the women within her chosen sorority. 

“I definitely feel like even though I’m not in some sororities, I really did make friends through the rush process since it felt much less formalized and more casual,” Obermeyer said. “That’s really exciting for me.” 

Liu said that the ISC has used their experience during the pandemic to make recruitment more accessible to potential new members. Even while rush was fully in-person, hybrid options were available to potential new members who preferred not to rush in-person for any reason. 

“The ISC’s experience during the pandemic has allowed us to understand how to conduct the rush process virtually if potential new members in the future have extenuating circumstances where they can’t participate in in-person rush,” Liu said. 

Now that women have received their bids, they will begin an initiation process and become full members during the spring semester. After learning to make accommodations in light of the pandemic, Liu expects that the ISC and sororities will be better equipped to handle issues as they arise.  

“In the future, I hope that ISC continues to help girls find a community where they can support each other throughout their college years,” Liu said.