October 2, 2003

Cornell Panhel Association Sponsors Fall Recruitment

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Cornell’s Panhellenic Association kicked off Fall Recruitment this past Sunday after lifting the moratorium on all recruitment issued last Spring. Recruiting ended last Spring after many houses exceeded their quota.

While schools around the country, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hold Formal Recruitment exclusively in the fall, forcing students to decide on what chapter, if any, they wish to join while picking out their fall schedule, Cornell has always taken a different route. The fall recruitment process at Cornell is limited to students who did not participate during the previous spring.

For this reason, Fall Rush is notoriously less formal than Spring Rush. Certainly, many fall rushes appreciated this more informal, less prolonged approach. “I’m completely in awe of someone who was able to last the full week of rush, but it was a fun weekend,” said Anthea Dexter-Cooper ’06, who participated in the recruitment.

Many of those perusing houses were sophomore students who either transferred to Cornell from other schools or did not want to rush in the Spring. They signed up and visited houses this past weekend. There was a lot of diversity in those who did choose to rush, at least among female participants. “Actually, not all of the people were transfers. A lot of us realized that we were interested in rushing after [the bigger recruitment in the Spring]. Some people were rushing again after not getting bids at houses they had thought they wanted,” said Dexter-Cooper.

Fraternities on the other hand did not hold any sort of formal or centralized recruitment. Houses invited those who were interested in getting bids to their houses, much like what is done in the spring.

Though Fall Recruitment is not usually considered the primary enrollment in the Greek system, the number of participants this year was encouraging.

“Usually, 40-50 women sign up for fall recruitment with Panhellenic. This year, 108 women went through the Fall Recruitment process,” said President of the Panhellenic Association Meghan Dubyak ’05.

Dubyak attributed the increase in participation to a number of new policies the Panhellenic Association has instituted in the planning of Fall Recruitment. These policies focus on more coordination between those houses participating.

“These initiatives included a moratorium of Continuous Open Bidding for the first three weeks of fall classes for all chapters making quota last spring, and the restructuring of our Fall Recruitment process to ensure that all prospective members visit all chapters participating in fall recruitment,” said Dubyak. “We institutued a new stucture and attempted to centralize the process with a visitation week, more Panhellenic involvement and coordinated schedules.”

Increased participation might also have had to do with the planned events, which included ice cream and pizza. “We had two events,” said Amanda Stein ’06, a member of Alpha Chi Omega, one of the participating houses. “The first day we just had pizza and talked to the people who came, and the second one we had ice cream. It was fun.”

Dubyak said that to get a more complete view of Cornell’s Greek Life opportunities, “over the course of the weekend, these women will have visited all participating chapters.”

Only those houses that did not accept the maximum number of pledges last spring participated in Fall Rush. Consequently, most houses that had filled quota were reluctant to participate because of the time and money Fall Recruitment can require. This year the Sororities that took part were Alpha Phi, Pi Epsilon Phi, Delta Phi Epsilon, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi and Kappa Delta. Many of these houses seek fall pledges to satisfy the standards of their national organizations. It allowed the sororities to increase funding for activities and event as well as boost membership.

This status was the source of some of the complaints about the process. “There were so many girls and so few spots, some houses could only take a small number of girls and others had a lot of room, so some houses put more effort than others and got more into it,” said Dexter-Cooper.

Another sore spot came from the small voting body used to decide who does and does not receive bids to the houses visited. After what Dubyak and Panhel termed Visitation Weekend, many participants were given bids to houses, though others were left disappointed. “You had to look at every house so we ended up spending about 40 minutes at the each. You didn’t get to meet everyone, though, so it was important that you meet the right people. Not everyone in the house voted, it was usually 15 or so people, so if you didn’t meet them they might not be able to discuss you,” said Dexter-Cooper. Consequently, not all those who visited houses received bids, which were emailed this week.

Archived article by Logan Bromer