Sorority property now open for first-year women

Girls prepare to open their bid cards during sorority recruitment in 2015. ZACH TAYLOR / THE DEPAUW

First-year women can now visit Panhellenic houses starting Oct. 2.

DePauw University Panhellenic chapters agreed last Wednesday to allow first-year women on sorority property earlier than in years past.

“We’re trying to prevent women from getting to a spot where they don’t get asked back to their top three chapters and drop recruitment,” said Breanna Kloczkowski, Panhellenic president.

Recruitment numbers have been falling every year, said Kloczkowski. The change is aimed to combat that by reaching out to more first-year women and to encourage chapters to invite over women who they may have not invited before.

However, making Panhellenic chapters more accessible can also have negative consequences.

“It can cause recruitment to be on the minds of first-years while they are trying to adjust as college women and make friends,” said Jodie Hutchins, Vice President of recruitment for Alpha Chi Omega. “Women may see others get invited to chapters that they were not and think that they’ve done something wrong, when that’s not true,” Hutchins said.

Another potential downside can be that women will go to certain chapters repeatedly, which can raise their hopes and expectations of getting into that chapter, said Kloczkowski. It’s also unknown whether chapters will use this extra time to broaden their horizons of potential recruits or reproduce the same groups.

In the past, Panhellenic hasn’t seen a correlation between the date first-year women can visit sororities and the number of women who decide to go through or withdraw from recruitment. “We figured it was a good time to test this,” said Kloczkowski.

Potential new members are only allowed to visit sorority property on Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This allows chapters at least one day of the week to discuss recruitment, express any frustrations and plan ahead, said Kloczkowski.

“There are good things about every chapter,” Kloczkowski said, “and we want first-year women to see that.”