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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sororities welcome largest pledge class in UA history

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Keturah Oberst
Keturah Oberst/Arizona Daily Wildcat UA sorority members gather in front of the Student Union Memorial Center on Bid Day to greet their new “sisters”.

Before the semester began, many women contemplated what type of housing would best suit them. Last week, more women than ever joined a different type of house.

The UA saw more women join sororities this academic year than any other because of increased marketing and a rise in sorority popularity nationally.

Panhellenic Council President Jessica Hermann said that her council, the governing body which oversees 14 sorority chapters and their members, kicked up its marketing strategy. It did so by sending out a greater number of emails to potential recruits of “The Bond,” a guide to UA Greek Life, and passing out the guides at orientation sessions in addition to handing out information sheets to freshmen and their parents. It then emailed the women who filled out the sheets to remind them of upcoming recruitment dates and deadlines.

“We got a couple hundred interested girls just from that information sheet,” Hermann said.

More than 1,200 women rushed to join a sorority and about 79 percent were given a bid, or an invitation to join a sorority, according to Jenny Nirh, a senior coordinator for sorority programs at the UA. This is also an increase from last year when 1,100 women rushed and 75 percent received bids.

Some women were interested in joining a sorority because an elder family member or friend was in one.

Alexa Testa, an undeclared freshman and a new member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said she wanted to get involved in Greek Life because her cousin was involved in it and it looked like a “great experience.”
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet new people,” she said. “It’s also a way to help stay involved in your community by doing philanthropies.”

For others like Chanler Skeffington, a psychology freshman and a new member of Delta Gamma, Greek Life involvement is a staple in the college experience.

Skeffington said that sororities will allow her to experience sisterhood, events, school spirit and philanthropy, all in one club.

“If you’re not in a sorority, you’re the minority,” she explained. According to the Panhellenic Council website, an estimated 13 percent of UA students are involved with Greek Life.

The increased sorority involvement at the UA is in congruence with the national trend. Across the country, membership increased by about 15 percent from 2008 to 2011, according to a press release from the National Panhellenic Conference.

Hermann said that she believes women are becoming more interested in sorority involvement nationally because sororities are focusing more on academics and philanthropy instead of hazing and drinking.

“The Greek system is growing and growing in a positive way,” she said. “It’s a prediction of years to come and it will only continue to grow for the better.”

While more women are becoming increasingly involved with sororities, Greek Life is not a good fit for all students.
Cierra Sanderson, a biology freshman, said she did not feel the need to rush because she dislikes how women become after joining sororities.

“They are more snooty and put themselves out there too much,“ she said. “College is not just about looks and partying.”

Alexandra Rickert, a pre-physiology freshman, said that although she considered rushing, she decided against it.

Rickert explained that while sororities have many great things to offer, she does not “play well into that sisterhood mentality.”

“I think it’s a two-fold,” she said. “On one end, women are learning how useful a sorority is for networking. On another end, I believe Greek Life is used largely as a means of fitting in on campus.”

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