The Duke Chapel bells had guest accompaniment on Sunday—the gleeful chanting of women accepting membership into their respective “Best Damn Pledge Class.”
Duke’s nine Panhellenic Association sororities extended invitations to 367 women on Bid Day, the conclusion of a recruitment process that began on Jan. 14. In total, 511 women registered for recruitment. The offering of 367 bids represents an increase from last year’s 311 women out of an original group of 434 registrants.
In past years, Panhel has released quota numbers—the maximum number of bids each chapter is allowed to give. This year, Panhel decided not to release the numbers. Senior Laura Krieger, Panhel vice president of recruitment and membership, said the decision to make those numbers public was the prerogative of each chapter.
Otherwise, the form of recruitment this year was consistent with the recruitment calendar that was introduced last year. Instead of five consecutive days of recruitment like in 2009, recruitment took place over two weekends after classes had started. Recruitment events also took place on both East and West Campuses for the second consecutive year. The only difference in format from last year, Krieger said, was accommodating the larger number of potential new members.
“I am very excited for all of the new members,” Krieger said. “Everyone in the Panhellenic community is very excited.”
Also notable this year was the larger number of sophomores, who comprised 46 of the 511 registrants. Kreiger said she did not have information about the number of sophomore women out of that group who were given a bid.
“It’s tougher for sophomores to find a home during recruitment,” Krieger said. “It’s a combination of numbers and pledge class dynamics. That being said, they’re honestly given a fair chance and the chapters are very excited to have them.”
Also new this year was the existence of the Recruitment Conduct Board, Krieger said. The board was born out of increased concern about “dirty rushing”—improper conduct between sorority members and rushees, which can range anywhere from casual talk about the recruitment process to the guarantee of an offer of a bid. Kreiger, however, said she did not know how the number of complaints concerning “dirty rushing” this year compared to last year’s statistic.
The excitement palpable on West Campus on Sunday was shared by new members and women well-established in the sisterhood.
“I was really nervous at the beginning,” said freshman Emily Pott. “Now I’m ridiculously excited to be a Kappa. It was my number one from the start.”
Seniors Nina DeHaas and Mary Fletcher King, presidents of Delta Delta Delta and Chi Omega, respectively, were pleased with the outcome.
“We’re thrilled about how recruitment went this year, and it’s really exciting that so many girls want to be a part of Panhellenic life,” King said.
But amidst all of the excitement on Sunday, there was also some disappointment. Not all women who participated in recruitment ultimately joined sororities.
“I know there were some people upset, but the process can’t be perfect,” said freshman Hannah Brown, who received a bid from Alpha Delta Pi. “I think for the most part, it worked out how it should.”