Panhel changes system: new member cap affects fall recruitment

While previously all sororities accepted new members during informal recruitment, this year
only Kappa Kappa Gamma and Alpha Delta Pi actively recruited. Allegheny Panhellenic Council
and all five sororities voted to implement a two-tier total system changing the recruitment
process. Although this by-law passed last spring, upperclassmen women looking to join a
sorority are just now seeing the effects because of the differences of informal recruitment.

National Panhellenic Conference, NPC, recommended deferred recruitment schools (a school
waiting to recruit freshmen women until second semester after a GPA requirement is met)
implement the two-tier total system. Total is the maximum amount of women that are allowed
to be in each sorority and is decided by the average existing chapter size. Allegheny Panhellenic
Council used to evaluate their sorority totals once a year, after formal recruitment in January;
however, the two-tier total system requires an evaluation at the beginning of fall semester as
well.

“It’s really looking at the chapter sizes as they are now and taking into consideration that they
had seniors graduate in May,” Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Co-Advisor of
Greek Life Kate Gullatta said.

Total is essential during recruitment because sororities can only admit a certain amount of
women to reach their total.

“All sororities have to abide by that one number because, according to NPC, they want to make
sure that all the sororities on campus are strong,” Gullatta said.

Because expectations were already made based on past years, some upperclassmen, non-
Greek women are confused about the internal change. Bethany Crile, ’15, went through formal
recruitment last January as a freshman and was planning on going through informal this fall
after getting to know sorority sisters better. But without all the options available, she didn’t go
through.

“I’m not a fan of the change,” Crile said. “I wish informal would have been open for all the
sororities instead of just the two that did and they were still very private events.”

Gullatta predicts this semester students will be least receptive to the change.

“I think this semester will probably be the most difficult,” Gullatta said. “I think that the fact
that our chapter sizes – and we’ve had large senior classes graduate in the past handful of years
allowing for all of our sororities […] to have open spots to recruit a whole range of women – has
really given a mentality for women that they have the option to join in the fall.”

Allegheny Panhellenic Council VP of Recruitment Jen Heinaur said while this change is drastic
for Allegheny, it’s basically resorting back a single large recruitment period, the same as much of
the country.

“If you look at most other schools across the United States, they have their large recruitment
period and then the much smaller ones here and there that don’t even get termed an informal or
whatever,” Heinaur said. “We’re kind of reverting back to that.”

While the change this fall is obvious, it’s difficult to predict how this will affect spring formal
recruitment.

“Will it increase our formal recruitment, where we have a much larger pool of women to join our
sororities because many of them are pushed at that as their only opportunity to join Greek life?
Or will it turn women away from joining our Greek organizations?” Gullatta said.

Heinaur said she’s hoping for a large turnout during spring recruitment.

“[We’re] really trying to prepare ourselves for possibly a much larger spring recruitment,”
Heinaur said. “[…] That’s something we’re prepared for and hoping for because it’d be exciting
to make that bigger and better for everybody.”

Based on the stressful pressure connoting formal recruitment and the lack of the informal
recruitment Allegheny students expected, Crile said she doesn’t think formal recruitment will be
as successful.

“I think just not giving people the option [to go through informal recruitment] is going to
discourage people from doing it,” Crile said.

Crile also said that formal recruitment doesn’t seem to be the best method of recruitment for
everyone. With such limited time to meet all the sororities, she said it was difficult to decide
which would be best for her on an individual level.

“You don’t know who I am in 20 minutes,” Crile said. “No matter what I say, you don’t know
who I really am.”

Despite the intimidating stigma around formal recruitment, Heinaur said it makes more sense
on a large scale.

“It’s a change for all of us, but we’re doing the best that we can with it and I think that it’s been
successful so far,” Heinaur said. “And it’s been weird for the rest of the campus to think that they
can’t recruit, but it’s been even harder for the sorority girls that are like, ‘What do I do?’ We’re
lonely, so to speak, without these events right now.”

While also agreeing with the change, Gullatta said she understands the other perspective as well.

“I think that while it’s good for our sorority community and I think it’s healthy and a good
decision for our chapters, my heart also goes out to that sophomore woman out there, who I
know is out there, who is really interested in one particular sorority and for some reason she
did not join past January,” Gullatta said. “She’s looking to explore her options of within sorority
life this semester and all of our options weren’t available to her in the fall. For those women out
there that have those feelings, and I know that they’re out there, I would hope that they would
go through the process in January.”