Sororities Extend Bids to Record 215 Women

Alpha Phi
Members of sorority Alpha Phi await outside the Sheraton Commander Hotel to welcome the new members after getting their bids.

Harvard’s four sororities collectively accepted 215 women this year, marking yet more growth in the budding Greek system.

Tuesday’s “bid day”—when participants receive bids, or acceptance offers, from sororities—marked the conclusion of this year’s new shortened rush process, for which a record 280 women registered. The number of bids extended this year is also the highest yet, marking an increase from the 174 offered in 2013 and roughly 150 offered last year.

According to Ting-Ting H. Liu ’15, president of the Cambridge-Area Panhellenic Council, each of the four sororities—Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Kappa Alpha Theta—accepted at least 51 new members on Tuesday. The sororities’ collective retention rate was 77.9 percent, as 276 women actually participated in rush, according to Liu.

Leah C. Goldman ’15, vice president of recruitment for the Cambridge-Area Panhellenic Council, said retention of women throughout the process was particularly high this year and that many of those who did not receive bids had voluntarily dropped out.

Liu said she thought rush went “really smoothly in terms of logistics” this year despite the snowstorm that hit New England and prompted Harvard to suspend most operations for two days.

“It was a little harder with the snow, but I think it was so well-organized that overall it went without any road bumps,” Liu said, adding that the only change organizers made because of the snow was to move bid day, originally set for 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, to Tuesday afternoon.

At bid day Tuesday afternoon, prospective new members tore into envelopes containing their invitations to join one of the sororities, screams and chants filling the Sheraton Commander Hotel George Washington Ballroom as they ran to join their peers.

Cool "Kiting" Thetas
Members of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta outside of the Sheraton Commander Hotel as new members of their sororities exit the hotel after receiving their bids.

Alina G. Munoz ’18, one of the women who rushed, milled around with friends as she waited with letter in hand. While she recalled having to avoid stepping in puddles in full make-up and a dress while passers-by stared as she walked to a rush event, Munoz said she overall had a fun experience and was looking forward to celebrating on Tuesday night with her new chapter. As in previous years, each sorority hosted a welcome event for their new members.

Goldman said sorority leaders will decide in the coming weeks whether to keep continue the shortened rush, but said she thought the schedule changes had been well-received.

—Staff writer Quynh-Nhu Le can be reached at quynhnhu.le@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @qnhule.

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