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Task force to examine bid day

New sorority members running down the Bryan Center walkway, past male bystanders and screaming sorority sisters, caused people both inside and outside the greek community to question the National Panhellenic Council's changes to bid day this year. In response, a task force could start meeting as early as next week to discuss the day and to offer revisions.

Representatives from most of the Panhel sororities are expected to meet regularly to review the changes, although there is no set time frame for these meetings. The members will present their thoughts and make recommendations to the Panhellenic Council.

"Basically, it's my opinion that with any organization, the best thing to do when you make changes is to revisit them and to talk about how they went," said senior Kerianne Ryan, former Panhel president, who will lead the group. "It's a way to gather... opinions from people who are not in touch with the administrational decisions."

Nicole Manley, program coordinator for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the task force would offer proposals for bid day next year that could give it a completely new face again.

"I have no idea what [bid day will] look like," Manley said. "I know that whatever they come up with will be new and different for next year.... What we can't let them do is let [rushees] receive their bids in their room."

Ryan said Panhel--which represents about 1,200 female students at Duke--is committed to upholding security measures such as restricting upperclassmen from entering first-year residence halls and holding events only on West Campus.

Many new sorority members said where they received their bids did not matter--if they received a bid from the sorority they preferred.

"It probably would have been easier to get it in my room," said freshman Catherine Boysen. "It seemed like a huge ordeal."

Others said the new bid day structure forced them to decide more quickly if they wanted to join a sorority, although they did not have to officially sign their bid day cards that day.

"For some girls it was [an issue] because it was a very quick turnover," said freshman Ashley Fitzgerald. "The girls who didn't get a bid from their first choice probably want to put some thought into whether they want to join a group they didn't choose."

On the other hand, some new sorority members said the shortened time period between when students received their bids and when they joined their sororities allowed students to quickly rebound if they were disappointed by not receiving a bid from the sorority that was their top choice.

"Girls who didn't receive the bids they wanted didn't have time... to be upset about it," said Katie Fisher, a freshman.

Ryan pointed out that the prospective members officially had 72 hours to sign their bid cards to accept membership into a sorority, but she added Panhel was flexible if a student needed more time.

"They don't have to make a commitment on bid day," Ryan said. "It gives them the opportunity and encourages them to see what it's like.... It's better to start doing it and then decide you don't want to do it."

Many Panhel members also agreed male onlookers on the sidelines of the Bryan Center walkway was an unexpected presence on bid day.

"I think that members of the Duke community are more mature than that, but apparently that isn't the case," Ryan said. "That's something we need to think about for the future."

The prospective sorority members who walked down the walkway themselves considered the situation more lightly and thought the male students just wanted to have fun.

"[The male spectators were not] a big deal," said freshman Erika Cabo. "I don't think there really needs to be any changes."

Other new sorority members, however, said the procession down the Bryan Center walkway gave off an image they did not want to portray.

"It was more of a spectacle than it needs to be," Boysen said.


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