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UNC sororities distribute bids to hundreds of students

Bid Day at the Arboretum Thursday.

Coker Arboretum became a hub of chanting sorority members, pop music and fluorescent hats and tank tops as the Panhellenic Council’s recruitment process ended Thursday evening.

As the students opened envelopes and discovered the sororities they had received bids from, tears and hugs abounded as sororities welcomed the new members into their midst.

Lindsey Stephens, president of the Panhellenic Council, said despite about 100 more potential new members than last year, this year’s one-week process went smoothly.

But it differed from previous years because of changes designed to make the process more inviting for upperclassmen.

The University affairs committee of the Board of Trustees began a review of the Greek system last fall. The issue of upperclassmen acceptance in sororities surfaced in meetings.

In the past, each sorority has had to divide its bids between all potential members. This year, the houses were given separate quotas, different for each house, for freshmen and upperclassmen prospective members.

Stephens said the process reduced the pressure on freshmen to join a sorority.

Katie Chubb, vice president of recruitment, said there was a lot of promotion of the new quota system, as well as a significant increase in upperclassmen who participated in the process.

Aaron Bachenheimer, interim coordinator of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the process required adjustment as sororities had to divide their recruitment focus between upperclassmen and freshmen.

Stephens said one of the biggest challenges in the process was explaining the quota system to chapters.

But despite these adjustments, Bachenheimer and Stephens said they were happy with how the change was implemented.

Laura McNamara, a senior and a recruitment counselor, said she had eight upperclassmen in her group of 28 potential new members.

“A majority of them kept with it,” she said. “Everybody is happy, it seems like. I was pleasantly surprised.”

In addition to the students involved in the process, there was a crowd of outside spectators watching the event.

“I’ve heard it’s a frantic mess,” said junior Alex Herzing, who was in the crowd watching. “A lot of over-emoting girls.”

As sorority members welcomed new members into the arboretum, a man in blue underwear and a red cape ran through the crowds.

Bachenheimer said that while the process was successful this year, he hopes the office will address the impact the recruitment process has on sorority members themselves.

“Sometimes that gets lost,” he said, adding that rush is a significant time commitment that comes during a crucial part of the academic year.

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