Members hope the second year of spring recruitment will be a success
In January, ten of CU’s Panhellenic sororities will conduct formal recruitment in spring instead of fall for the second time in accordance with university policy.
As Panhellenic sorority members have worked to adapt to new guidelines set by the university, the women have learned from other universities and from their experience last year.
Other campuses have found spring rush to be a positive experience because those who go through recruitment are more informed about the lifetime commitment to a sorority. Universities have noted that, as a result, sororities experience a higher retention rate, said John Henderson, director of Greek affairs.
Spring rush allows students to become more acclimated to their environment before making any commitments. Another positive aspect is that sophomore sorority members have a semester to live in the house and become acquainted with their sisters before rush takes place, said Emily Ambrose, Greek life coordinator.
This year, sorority leaders at CU are striving to emphasize the idea of one Panhellenic Greek system presiding over ten individual sororities, with hopes of decreasing competition among the chapters, said Jaynee Levit, membership education coordinator and a senior architecture major.
“We are trying to really encourage and improve the sense of community between the houses during recruitment,” said Tera Haselden, Panhellenic president and senior advertising major.
During rush week, the ten sororities will participate in a uniform set of activities. Within each activity, the sororities will have a chance to show how their chapter is unique from the others, said Henderson.
The leaders are trying to give potential members a genuine experience with each house in order to match women with the house that fits them best, said Kristen Burchinal, Panhellenic treasurer and senior history major.
Rush week will begin Jan. 11 with an orientation for all potential members. Over the five days following orientation, women will visit all ten houses and decide on their top three choices. On Jan. 17, potential members will receive bids from the houses.
Chapter selections are based on the applications and rush-week involvement of each potential member. Some important qualities the chapters are looking for in potential members are values and grade point average, Levit said.
The Panhellenic recruitment board has been organizing this spring’s recruitment since last summer. The board has been planning marketing strategies to inform women about the logistics of rush week, Henderson said.
Sororities have made an effort to increase their level of public relations so students are informed and women can decide if they are interested in joining a sorority, said Cassidy Rosenthal, membership recruitment coordinator and senior marketing major.
“We have learned how necessary it is for us to go to the dorms and reach out to freshmen as opposed to having them find out more about us through events,” Haselden said.
After having lived in the dorms for a semester, women have already made friends and may have less reason to seek out and join a sorority, Rosenthal said.
“Our goal is to have 550 women register and participate and that 78 percent of those women continue through recruitment,” Haselden said.
Women who are interested in joining one of the sororities that participate in formal recruitment must register by Jan 1. More information and applications can be found at www.colorado.edu/Greeks.