This fall, some sororities have chosen not to accept any new students until the spring semester, which has caused some confusion to prospective pledges. One of the sororities is allegedly only accepting a single recruit for the fall.
According to Poulomi Banerjee, president of the Panhellenic Association, the reason is simple: there is not enough space.
“We moved into a two-tier system of recruitment,” Banerjee said, “which is what a lot of schools around the nation use to balance out how many people are in each chapter and push people towards formal recruitment where every person that comes out to rush has to go to every chapter’s events and the bids are split up evenly.”
The organizations participating in this two-tier system are those of the Panhellenic Association, including the sororities Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Mu Fraternity for Women.
Through the system, sororities are required to evaluate the total number of students in each chapter during the fall and spring semesters before accepting new recruits. This is done to distinguish the number of recruits needed that year. For UMBC’s Panhellenic organizations, this means scaling back recruitment until the spring.
“Typically fall total was set so that all chapters would recruit more women, but PHA changed our recruitment process for the fall this year,” said Julia Knapo, senior biology major and president of Phi Sigma Sigma. “So from now on, fall will be smaller numbers while spring will be larger.”
Knapo explained that the amount of new members accepted this fall isn’t up to their chapter. “A total is decided based on certain statistics, and if you have more girls in your chapter already then you don’t recruit anyone that semester. Otherwise, you would recruit until you reach that number.”
“It’s not that sororities have chosen to not rush,” Banerjee said, “it’s that they were above the total number so they were unable to.”
Many colleges and universities across the country have followed similar models, including Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The system is intended to help larger chapters grow, and show that UMBC’s Greek life is growing, according to Knapo.
“It’s the system bigger schools use,” said Knapo. “It’s weird to get used to, but it’s definitely a good thing.”
According to Banerjee, the sororities who will not be recruiting are Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Mu, while Alpha Sigma Kappa and Alpha Sigma Alpha are accepting new members at this time. The number of new members they will be accepting has not been released to The Retriever.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that Phi Sigma Sigma was accepting new members during rush week; this was incorrect. We apologize for the error.