Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Rush week breaks past records


On trend with record-breaking numbers seen in previous years, this year’s Panhellenic sorority recruitment at the University of Alabama made The University the first to surpass 2,000 for the number of women registered, said Director of Greek Affairs Kat Gillan.

A total of 1,895 women received bids out of the 2,081 who participated in recruitment, an increase of 208 more bids handed out than those in 2012.

“Having worked in greek life since 2002, I can recall a time when the thought of 1,500 women participating in recruitment was unfathomable, and now here we are at 2,081,” she said.

A total of 2,113 women registered for recruitment; however, 2,081 actually participated in the first round, Gillan said.

Along with an increase in the number of bids issued, this year the overall match rate also rose from 86 percent in fall 2012 to 91 percent this year.

“The national average for women receiving a bid is 79 percent, and UA is always well above that average,” Gillan said.

Sam Gaffney, director of recruitment counselors for Panhellenic, said several adjustments had to be made in the recruitment of Sigma Rho Chis after over 2,000 women registered for recruitment.

“Back in January, 100 active sorority members were hand-selected to become Sigma Rho Chis for this years recruitment,” Gaffney said. “In preparation for this year, a little over 20 more Sigma Rho Chis were selected than last year, which was very beneficial to have more hands on deck.”

Gaffney said three to four Sigma Rho Chis were responsible for a group of about 80 women.

The construction on sorority row also presented its own set of challenges for recruitment, Gillan said.

“The construction on sorority row, while definitely a sign of growth and progress, required that we think differently in terms of how we get women from one place to another on the row, specifically, how we rotate the chapters on Open House as well as the order that the chapters were released on Bid Day,” Gillan said. “All chapters were very understanding as well as accommodating.”

For newer houses on campus, learning how to adjust to the larger numbers of women was also difficult at times.

“For us it was only our second recruitment ever, so with none of us having been on the other side of rush, it was a huge learning curve,” Recruitment Chair of Delta Gamma Ashley Posey said. “I know a lot of other houses had a lot of trouble adjusting to the number of women, but we kind of lucked out since we’re new and didn’t have something to base it off of, so we started fresh.”

One problem Delta Gamma, which pledged a class of 123 women, encountered was fitting so many women into their home at one time.

“We didn’t have seating for 100 girls, so we had to get Special Events to move in furniture for us because our house isn’t meant for that many girls,” Posey said. “But having a bigger and new house is an advantage because the rooms are a lot larger, so people aren’t so on top of each other making it so you can’t even hear.”

Another sorority, Chi Omega, was displaced in Alpha Gamma Delta’s old home during rush this year while their previous home undergoes renovations, which will be complete by summer 2014.

“Being in a new house definitely posed new challenges, especially because it was a smaller space than we were used to,” President of Chi Omega Mary Morgan Weed said. “However, our rush chairs, Mary Riley Ogilvie and Jennifer Locke, worked extremely hard this summer planning everything out. By the time workshop was here, they had made all the big decisions, and all we had to do was trust them and follow their directions.”

Weed explained that while the new house added stress to their planning phase of recruitment, she didn’t believe it made any significant different in their rush experience overall.

“We just weren’t sure how everything would work out when the [potential new members] actually got here, but I think it also helped bond our members together,” Weed said. “We all had to be on the same page and keep a positive attitude to keep things running smoothly.”

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