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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Officials record small uptick in Panhel recruitment numbers

Danielle Towers | Senior Staff Photographer
Residence Hall Association President Vero Famadas said the RHA plans to establish hall councils in nontraditional residence halls, including Strong Hall — which houses the Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Alpha Theta sororities.

Spring sorority recruitment participation remained at its lowest level in recent years during the Panhellenic Association’s second year of virtual recruitment.

About 275 students participated in formal recruitment, and 222 accepted bids this year – totals that are less than half of the recruitment numbers recorded in 2018, which preceded a multi-year decline heading into the pandemic. Panhel’s total participation and accepted bids increased by less than 3 percent from last year, as sorority recruitment numbers for the first year back to in-person classes have stayed around the pandemic levels of the last couple years.

Panhel and chapter leaders said they plan to host events and partnerships with other organizations like Students Against Sexual Assault. Chapters moved their recruitment agendas online in January after the University announced that in-person operations for sororities were canceled for the start of the spring semester.

Brian Joyce, the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said Panhel’s ongoing continuous open bidding process, which allows students to accept bids after the formal deadline, has raised the total share of new members to 290 this spring. He said recruitment numbers have continued to decline by about 100 participants compared to before the pandemic because of the online switch.

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

“We also know that there is work to do to rebuild the culture of our fraternity and sorority community,” he said in an email. “We are actively working with our fraternity and sorority leaders to strengthen the fraternity and sorority experience in such a way that the espoused values of our community are reflected in our actions.”

He said sororities handed out between 19 and 25 bids per chapter.

Joyce declined to state how many students joined each chapter during formal recruitment.

Junior Lloyd Woods, the president of Panhel, said chapters’ recruitment chairs had to restructure their internal workshops and recruitment events to make them “compatible” with an online environment after GW announced that recruitment would be held virtually.

“I am really proud of each chapter for their flexibility and dedication to creating a safe recruitment process,” she said in an email. “The Panhellenic Association and its member organizations have continued to meet virtually throughout the month of January to be in accordance with aforementioned COVID-19 policies.”

She said potential new members could could meet with every organization via Zoom and engage in conversations with chapters. 

She said Panhel leadership met with chapters’ recruitment officers in the months leading up to recruitment to plan events that would support sororities throughout the recruitment process. She said many of the events planned by Panhel leadership were also focused on supporting potential new members through the recruitment process as well.

Woods said Panhel hopes to continue planning events while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. She said Panhel will host events during March, the Month of Sisterly Love, and is also collaborating with SASA to create a sexual violence prevention training program for all members in the coming months.

“A goal of this Panhellenic administration is to plan more events for all members while continuing to abide by GW COVID-19 guidelines,” she said. “We are currently in the process of planning a meet and greet with the new Panhellenic Executive Board, in accordance with GW and local COVID-19 policies.”

Junior Abigail Ingoglia, the president of Kappa Delta, said the sorority was prepared for both an in-person and online recruitment and built on last year’s virtual recruitment format to recruit new members this year. 

“The potential new members got to know members in each chapter,” she said in an email. “But the connections were made in Zoom rooms instead of meeting rooms in the University Student Center.”

She said since new members have been joined the chapter, the sorority has hosted virtual sisterhood events for new members to get to know the current ones. 

“New members get to know current chapter members in small groups virtually, so new members can ask older sisters any questions they may have,” she said.

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