Sorority recruitment has record numbers

For pre-major Audra Proctor, joining a sorority made sense. The first-year student hoped to find her network of friends and expand her social calendar.

“I feel like it was giving me an opportunity to meet a whole bunch of close friends and a whole bunch of new girls I wouldn’t normally have met,” Proctor said. “I really like going to social events and helping plan that stuff and getting dressed up.”

According to TCU Panhellenic, more than 700 other first-year women had the same idea as Proctor. This year, 809 women registered for recruitment and 797 actually started the process.

Panhellenic advisor Jordan McCarter said that of the women who started the process, 708 were first-year students.

“We thought the number would grow a little, but not by as much as it did,” McCarter said.

According to TCU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life website, 43 percent of the undergraduate population is affiliated with a fraternity or a sorority. McCarter said this year’s first-year class has about 1,100 women, making the female class of 2015 about 63 percent Greek.

Last year, 720 women started the process. Despite the jump in enrollment figures, McCarter said the process went smoothly.

“Recruitment is the same process, regardless of if there are 200 people or 800 people,” McCarter said. “We added more Rho Gammas, [current sorority members who help guide potential new members through the process,] so it was fantastic to have more help throughout the week.”

Kappa Alpha Theta president Hayley Lyddon said the recruitment process has become more casual over the years.

“On bid day, we used to dress up,” Lyddon said. “Now, each chapter wears t-shirts. It’s less pressure on the girls.”

Lyddon also said schedule changes helped manage the recruitment process. Women must follow structured schedules and attend “parties” during the day, where they visit each sorority house. In order to deal with the larger amount of women coming through the houses during recruitment week, Lyddon said sororities held more optional rounds.

“You can have optional parties to have some girls come back later,” Lyddon said. “It helps to have fewer girls in the house at a time.”

Lyddon said the Kappa Alpha Theta house was looking forward to having so many new women interested in sororities.

“It was really exciting to see a lot of girls get involved,” Lyddon said. “It was exciting for our chapter as well.”

Excitement spread to a new Theta, too. Proctor accepted her bid to Kappa Alpha Theta and said she looked forward to being a member of a TCU sorority.

“A lot of times sororities get a bad rap, but at TCU, I think that they’re a really fun opportunity,” Proctor said.