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Panhel chapters dole out 305 bids

The Best Damn Pledge Class Ever has officially arrived. Ten of them, to be exact.

After four rounds of small-talk, smiles and crafts, more than 300 freshman and sophomore women received bids to the 10 sororities of the Panhellenic Association yesterday.

Following a pattern from previous years, most of the sororities filled their target quota of 32 new members. Nine of the 10 groups met or exceeded that goal.

Delta Gamma finished with 34 new members, the most of any sorority, while Alpha Omicron Pi had a total of nine, according to figures obtained by The Chronicle as of Sunday.

"It's just part of the recruitment process, different chapters are going to have different intake sizes," said senior Samantha Prouty, Panhel vice president of recruitment and membership. "It just depends."

AOPi plans to extend snap bids to expand their pledge class, as they have in past years, incoming president Grace Reilly, a junior, said.

She added that four women who joined in the Fall will also be members of the new pledge class.

Recruitment's early start this year mirrored the 2006 schedule, when all the events took place in a one-week period.

"It was more organized this year," Prouty said. "We made it so that it went back to the normal time schedule, time-structure, so it didn't go on so long, and I think that helped out a lot of people."

Out of the approximately 400 girls who began the recruitment process, about 100 dropped out or were cut prior to bid day. Though the overall number of freshmen entering recruitment was smaller than in previous years, the number of bids doled out matched those in the past.

In another change from last year's pep-rally-esque bid day, new members donned their letters and joined their sisters in several different locations-including commons rooms-across campus for food and entertainment.

Delta Gamma President Hayley Meyer, a senior, said joining a Panhel chapter marks a commitment to the larger greek community.

"This year Panhel was very interested in promoting more of a greek unit-being in a sorority as a unit of 1,400 greek women, as opposed to being split up," Meyer said.

Prouty said she was pleased with the entire incoming group of Panhel women.

"I think Duke is definitely in a fortunate position in which the majority of our chapters had a great recruitment," Prouty said. "All the new members are really going to be great additions to Panhellenic council."