GONE GREEK: WKU Greek community has biggest sorority Rush in 20 years

From Right: Alpha Omicron Pi junior, Ashley O’Bannon, from Muhlenberg, Ky. hugs new freshman member, Caitlin Stephens, from Nashville after the sorority announced their bids for new members on Sunday. “It was the most excited I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Stephens said.

Katherine Wade

Yellow “Go Greek” buttons and shouts for sororities drifted up and down the Hill last weekend as the annual fall tradition began.

This year marked the second largest sorority Recruitment Week, commonly known as Rush Week, in WKU’s Greek history with 429 women participating. It’s the largest in the past 20 years.

Recruitment Week allows potential new sorority members to visit different sororities and then select or rank their choices. The sororities then select or rank the women and a mutual selection is made.

Lauren Gray, a senior from Franklin, Tenn., and the Panhellenic recruitment chair, said the system is designed to get as many women into a sorority as possible.

“Our goal is that every woman going through becomes a Greek woman,” she said.

Gary Wiser, coordinator of Student Activities, said he believes the reason for this growth is due to this year’s freshman class being more engaged.

He said significant growth was a good problem to have.

“It shows that sororities have something to offer women,” Wiser said. “We’re excited they want to join our community.”

Gray said Greek organizations also benefit the community as a whole through their philanthropy work and events, many of which are open to non-Greek members of the WKU community.

Pleasureville sophomore Heidi Smith joined her sorority during last year’s Recruitment Week.

“I came here not really knowing anybody,” she said. “I just really wanted that close sisterhood that I knew most sororities had.”

Smith said she remembered Recruitment Week as being an enjoyable but stressful week.

“It’s a really fun and entertaining experience, but stressful because you’re nervous, you want to make a good impression, and you want to make the right decision,” she said.

Murray sophomore Amy Winkler participated in Recruitment Week this year and selected Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She said it was a difficult decision because her sister is the president of Alpha Omega Pi sorority at Murray State University.

“It was a really hard part of the whole process,” she said. “You have a feeling when you find the right sorority, and I had that feeling about Alpha Delta Pi from the first day.”

Because the process requires mutual selection, not every woman gets the sorority they choose.

Paducah sophomore Emily Evanko said she wanted to get involved on campus and decided to join a sorority. She narrowed it down to her top two choices but wasn’t accepted to either.

“I had a lot of fun and met a lot of great girls that I’d like to keep in touch with,” she said. “I got to learn a lot about Greek life. It was a great experience.”

Wiser said about 270 women ended up joining a sorority this year.

Gray said Recruitment Week is important to sororities because it allows them to have new ideas and continue traditions. She said it’s important to the women because it helps them find a niche.

“It can be overwhelming to come here,” Gray said. “This gives them a chance to make a big campus smaller and find people they connect with.”