Almost 500 female students, a nearly 9 percent increase from last year, braved the cold, lining up eagerly outside of Sorority Village for Intersorority Council (ISC) recruitment during the last two weekends.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC), however, saw the number of recruitment participants drop from 408 to 332 students – about a 19 percent decrease – between 2013 and 2014.

Of the 251 fraternity bids given, 180 students accepted them, down 18 percent from last year, when 322 bids were given and 223 were accepted, according to College senior and IFC President Jason Stern.

New fraternity members may receive up to three fraternity bids – or invitations to join a particular chapter – while new sorority members may receive only one bid per student.

“Although recruitment numbers were lower than in years past, I believe that most chapters are happy with the quality of their new member classes,” Stern wrote in an email to the Wheel. Numbers aside, 2014 IFC recruitment was an overall success, Stern said.

“Run the Row was extremely successful again this year,” he wrote. “The fraternities always get very excited, and we appreciate a strong showing from the sororities and the surrounding Emory community.” Run the Row is an event where new fraternity members run to their chosen houses at once. Stern added that each fraternity hosted two Sunday Night Dinners during the course of the semester, which “provided good opportunities for fraternities to meet freshmen students and for the guys to get a sense of what each chapter is like.”

Participants of ISC recruitment, on the other hand, received a total of 403 bids, up about five percent from last year, when 385 bids were given. Nearly 400 accepted bids this year.

About 81 percent of sorority recruitment participants were given bids, down about two percent from last year.

Despite the increase, ISC Vice President of Recruitment and College senior Rebecca Rosen said she thinks the addition of a seventh sorority, returning chapter Sigma Delta Tau (SDT), could “even out” the disparities between pledge classes this year.

“Overall, it will likely be a one-to-one ratio,” Rosen said, referring to the number of “bigs” and “littles” paired within each chapter this year, as opposed to multiple sorority members being assigned two “littles.”

SDT’s national chapter halted the Emory chapter’s recruitment last year because of its small chapter size, vacating Eagle House F as members graduated. During the fall 2013 semester, however, the chapter engaged in a recruitment revamp in an effort to fully participate in 2014 ISC rush and reestablish SDT at Emory, according to Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life President Megan Janasiewicz.

“I think that they’re a really strong chapter,” ISC President and B-school senior Lauren Browning said of SDT. “They even had the national chapter president here, which is really big.”

As for the impact of the addition of SDT on pledge class numbers, Browning said that “it will likely be very similar” to those of last year, due to the increase in bids. Rosen agreed that the extra chapter could in fact affect pledge class sizes.

– By Lydia O’Neal

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The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

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