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Sorority informal recruits double

BY CAITLIN FRY | FEBRUARY 03, 2011 7:10 AM

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The number of University of Iowa women who decided to “go greek” and participate in this spring’s informal recruitment has doubled last year’s figure.

UI greek-life officials pointed to the rescheduling of the fall’s formal recruitment and a changing social scene in Iowa City as the causes of the spike. Some speculated the increase may be partly due to the 21-ordinance.

In 2010, roughly 100 women went through formal recruitment; the number is 201 this year, officials said.

UI junior Laura Reali, the vice president of programs for Delta Zeta, called the increase a “staggering surprise.”

She has been a member of Delta Zeta for three years and helped in various recruiting drives during her time as a sister.

While she agreed the increase in informal recruitment is partially due to the restructure of formal recruitment — officials moved formal recruitment to the first two weekends of the academic year — she also believes the 21-ordinance also may have influenced some women.

“[Sororities] are helping to fill the social gaps that the 21-ordinance has created,” she said.

Gamma Phi Beta President Kelsey McCormack, also believes the 21-ordinance has had an effect on the informal recruitment numbers.

“I’m not sure if it’s about the bars changing,” she said. “But girls do want something to do now and become more involved socially.”

This year’s informal recruitment lasted three days, beginning on Jan. 28 with potential pledges touring different classrooms in the English-Philosophy Building representing different chapters. On Jan. 29, the women visited the houses they had chosen and spoke with members. They made their final decisions later that night. On the final day, Jan. 30, the women visited their preferred houses and returned to the IMU where sorority heads presented them with a bid and an invitation back to the chapter’s house.

UI freshman Ann Crary participated in formal recruitment earlier in the year, but she decided to drop out early due to the high stress level. But Crary went through the process again during this spring’s formal recruitment, which she said is known for being less stressful and quicker.

“I wanted to meet new people and become more involved with things on campus while also making a big school feel more small,” said Crary, who eventually accepted a bid from Kappa Alpha Theta.

McCormack said she believes informal recruitment is an important part of greek life because it helps the chapters gain as many members as possible while giving the women on campus more opportunities to enter greek life.

“Many girls who participated in informal had participated in formal recruitment, but because of the large numbers, we couldn’t take them all and informal gives them another chance,” McCormack said.

Melissa Shaub, the assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, said she hopes officials can sustain the interest in greek life for future recruiting, calling the increase a “nice, big surprise.”


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