Following the growing membership trend established in recent years, interest in sororities continues to increase among the women at Virginia Tech. This year, 632 women registered for the Pan Hellenic Council sorority recruitment program, which is an increase of almost 8 percent over last year.

Recruitment numbers have been steadily climbing each year for Tech’s National Panhellenic Conference sororities, and this year’s group represents the largest number of prospective members in at least seven years.

One factor that may have led to the increase is a new policy instituted this year called 365 Recruitment. For the first time, sorority members were allowed to openly encourage prospective members to join the Greek community, although they could not promote any specific chapter or approach recruits outside of the scheduled events. Previously, sorority members were not permitted to influence potential members at all before recruitment was complete.

The formal membership recruitment process, which takes place over two weekends in January each year, includes a Go Greek Kick-off event and four rounds of parties where potential members learn about the Greek community, the sorority chapters, and what it is like to be a member of a sorority.

Potential new members are assisted throughout the recruitment process by a group of Rho Gammas—sorority members trained to guide women through formal recruitment and teach them about becoming a part of the Greek community. During the process of recruitment, the Rho Gammas conceal their chapter affiliations to keep their guidance neutral.

“Recruitment teaches the potential new members what to expect from Greek life, and about the lifetime commitment of being in a sorority,” said Patrick Romero-Aldaz, assistant director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Formal recruitment is a mutual selection process in which sororities and prospective members narrow down their preferences after each round of events. On the last day, sororities extend membership bids to the potential new members at an invitational celebration, and the prospective members then decide whether or not they will accept a sorority’s bid.

For more information about joining a Greek organization at Virginia Tech, visit http://www.studentprograms.vt.edu/greeklife, or e-mail the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at gogreek@vt.edu.