On Jan. 8, 574 freshmen and sophomore women returned to school early from winter break, and gathered in Bartley Hall to kick off the 2020 Panhellenic Recruitment weekend. The National Panhellenic Conference at the University is made up of the following eight sorority chapters: Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Delta and Kappa Kappa Gamma.
The women rushing, or attempting to join a sorority, were known as PNMs, or potential new members. The PNMs were split up into groups led by Rho Gammas, a group of 45 girls selected by the Panhellenic Council to guide PNMs during the recruitment process. Rho Gammas are all members of sororities who have disaffiliated from their chapters to be completely unbiased and the best prepared to help the PNMs.
Panhellenic Recruitment, planned and run by the Panhellenic Council and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life staff, was held at the Villanova Inn from Thursday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 12.
The recruitment process consists of three rounds. First, the “Sisterhood Round,” held on Thursday and Friday, was when every PNM could see all eight chapters in different rooms at the Inn. The PNMs were able to talk to different girls in each chapter and listen to a presentation on aspects of membership.
On Saturday, or “Philanthropy Day,” the PNMs were invited back to five chapters. The PNMs were then able to talk to other chapter members and learn more about each chapter’s specific philanthropy. Recruitment officially ended on Sunday with “Preference Round,” when the PNMs returned to their top two chapters and ranked those they still wished to join.
Monday, Jan. 13 was “Bid Night” when the PNMs received a bid to join a chapter and finally became new members. After, each sorority spent the night doing fun activities such as bowling, roller skating or exploring Philadelphia as they got to know their new sisters. In total, 454 girls received bids to join a sorority. Although many women dropped throughout the process for various reasons, anyone who did not accept a bid can choose to rush again next year.
Fr. Bernie Scianna, O.S.A., Ph. D., Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, believes sorority life strongly promotes Villanova’s mission. “Greek life allows you to find a small community of people with the same value and purpose as you, working together to serve others,” Scianna said. “That is what Villanova stands for.”
Service is a very important part of the sororities on campus and last year Greek life collectively raised around $400,000 for their philanthropies. Also, almost a third of Villanova’s population is a part of Greek life, belonging not only to one chapter, but also to a larger community.
Sarah Hernandez, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, believes there is something to be said about the single sex experience. “Sororities provide a unique experience, as you are both empowered by your sisters and you can always count on them to support you,” Hernandez said.
However, both Scianna and Hernandez recognize that Greek life is not for everyone. There are plenty of other ways to get involved on campus and so many other communities that students can join. “As Villanovans we support each other and there is a place for everyone here on campus,” Scianna remarked. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life encourage anyone with any questions to stop by Dougherty 108.