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Panhel sororities give out 305 bids

After a week of parties, skits and cheers, sorority recruitment ended Sunday.

Three hundred and five freshman and sophomore women received bids to join one of the 10 National Panhellenic Conference sororities.

This year's recruitment was an "overwhelming success," said senior Katie Jandl, president of the Panhellenic Association, the sororities' governing body.

"All the numbers were very in line with what they have been for the past years," she said.

The quota, or maximum number of new members each chapter is allowed to accept, was set at 31 this year, she added.

Although Panhel leadership declined to provide official figures, members from nine of the 10 sororities reported that their groups had met or exceeded the quota.

Last year's quota was 34, and the decline this year can be attributed to the addition of Zeta Tau Alpha to recruitment, Panhel officials said.

"We did not have any increase in withdrawals [from the process]," Jandl said.

She explained that, similar to years previous, "each woman who maximized her options and went back to every party that invited her received a bid."

The only chapter that reportedly did not reach this year's quota was Alpha Omicron Pi.

At this point last year, Alpha Omicron Pi handed out approximately 16 bids, and the numbers obtained by The Chronicle indicate that the sorority again offered the least number of bids.

Jandl stressed that any chapters that do not make quota have the opportunity to woo members up until next January's recruitment period, an informal practice known as "open recruitment."

"Generally, if chapters come in under quota... they have a very successful open recruitment," she said.

Senior Christin Lawler, vice president of membership recruitment for Alpha Omicron Pi, refused to confirm her sorority's recruitment figures, but she noted that "informal recruitment has been incredibly beneficial to our chapter in the past."

Jessica Brinker, program coordinator for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, added that Alpha Omicron Pi continues to have "the full support of the Panhellenic Council."

In a controversy that marred the end of recruitment week, more than a dozen women were barred from entering Page Auditorium Sunday by Duke University Police Department officers because of suspicions that the women were under the influence of alcohol.

The students, who were just feet away from several members of the Durham community entering the Chapel in anticipation of Harry Belafonte's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speech, shouted expletives and loudly challenged the officers to breathalyze them.

"This is the appropriate time to moon someone," one unidentified woman yelled.

Leanora Minai, senior public relations specialist for DUPD, confirmed that officers responded to Page Auditorium Sunday morning,

"We showed up because some of the [sorority] monitors suspected that some of the students had been drinking," she said.

Minai noted that no citations were ultimately issued.

There is a general rule that no alcohol may be consumed during bid day events, Jandl said.

Any infractions of that policy would have to be addressed directly by the Greek Judicial Board, Brinker said.