The rush for sisterhood

Panhellenic Council to recruit new members next week

The Spectrum

Chelsea Sullivan, a junior English major, did not enjoy being around girls in high school. She had always preferred the company of a small, male group of friends.

Now, Sullivan has a sisterhood.

She is an active member of Delta Phi Epsilon (DPE) and is currently the vice president of special events for the Inter-Greek Council (IGC). She has been steadily involved for the past two years.

DPE is one of the six sororities that form the Panhellenic Council under IGC. These sororities include Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Phi Sigma Sigma and Sigma Delta Tau.

The sorority recruitment is held from Feb. 6-10 and ends with a bid day celebration. The sororities will meet with Potential New Members (PNMs) through a specific and involved process, according to Pamela Stephens-Jackson, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life.

Stephens-Jackson said there will be about 400 women at the recruitment and said the group will "take over Ellicott for a weekend."

On the first night, PNMs will be split up into small groups and enter classrooms where sorority members will try to "impress" the recruits and encourage them to join their sorority, Sullivan said.

In each room, PNMs will sit with sisters and engage in icebreaker activities.

"We could all be sitting in a circle and having a great time but when the time is up and you have to leave, you know a sorority is good when you don't want to leave the room," Sullivan said. "For me, that was the best part - having that instant connection with one girl and meeting another girl from the same sorority and having that, too."

Sullivan's advice for freshmen attending next week's formal recruitment is to "keep an open mind." She believes PNMs should formulate their own opinion on the sororities and would do themselves a disservice by listening to gossip or being influenced by people's negative comments on certain sororities.

Elana Cwass, a freshman undecided major, who is going to participate in the rush week, believes she is ready to join a sorority now that she has finished her first semester. She said she spent her first semester teaching herself how to study and cope with classes, which UB requires all freshmen to do. Freshmen are not eligible for Greek Life membership until their second semester at UB.

"It's great to have sisterhood and a close group of friends," Cwass said. "The philanthropy aspect of [Greek Life] is really good, as it helps you get in touch with the community. I have a lot of older friends who are already in sororities and they absolutely love it. So I want to do that, too."

Greeks are sometimes stereotyped to be people who "just drink and party" and Stephens-Jackson constantly reminds IGC and its sub-councils to not reinforce these perceptions.

Students who are interested in pledging one of the six sororities must register for the rush week at

The university specifies that students need to have earned at least 12 college credits and have a 2.0 GPA to join a Greek society; some of the societies, like DPE, have slightly higher GPA requirements.