UPDATED: Recruitment places 256 WKU women in sororities

Phi Mu sisters meet and congratulate their newest members Sunday outside of Mass Media and Technology Hall during sorority bid day.

Amanda Young

The Hill was alive with cheers and excitement Sunday as fall 2011 formal sorority recruitment came to a close on bid day.

Bid day is a fall tradition in which girls who are accepted into a sorority receive their acceptance letters, or bids, from the organization.

Kristen Smith, a graduate assistant for Student Activities and Organizations, said recruitment began with 442 women last Wednesday, the third largest number in WKU history. On Sunday, 265 women were placed in sororities, and 15 did not receive a bid.

Throughout the five-day recruitment process, 157 women withdrew from the process, Smith said. Reasons ranged from deciding Greek life wasn’t right for them or they did not enjoy the process, she said.

Additionally, a new sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, is colonizing on campus and will host informal rush in September, which also contributed to some formal recruitments withdrawing, Smith said.

Rush week is not all fun for the pledges. The selection process can come with a lot of stress.

“[The sororities] are judging you,” said Sarah Calvert, a new member of Alpha Gamma Delta. “And you wonder what they thought about you.”

Sorority recruitment is a mutual selection process, said Charley Pride, Director of Student Activities and Organizations.

Not only do sororities select recruits, but recruits also select which sorority they want to pledge.

“After each round, the sororities release some women because they can only invite so many back each time,” Pride said.

“A lot of the rules and formulas we use are through their national organizations. There’s a (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) formula actually used for all of this and we have a specialist that we deal with.”

Phi Mu new member Ashton Wheeles said the hardest part of the week was choosing the sorority she would join since she was torn between two.

After receiving their bids, the girls made their way to Guthrie Bell Tower to meet and celebrate with their new sisters.

The sororities filled the area surrounding the tower with colors, chants and the excitement of a new year and new friends.

“I can’t wait to meet my whole new family of sisters,” said Allison Martin, a Sigma Kappa pledge.

Many recruits came into the process without knowing anyone.

“I came from out of state,” Wheeles said. “It was great meeting so many different girls.”

Allison Sawyers, an Alpha Omicron Pi pledge, agreed.

“I didn’t know anyone at WKU and I wanted to make new friends,” she said.

For some, rush was not only a selection process, but also a lesson on stepping out of their comfort zone.

“It was a great experience,” Sawyers said. “I had to get over nerves to make friends.”

Wheeles said, “It taught me to go in with an open mind.”

Reporter Tessa Duvall contributed to this story.