Of the 1046 girls who rushed this semester, only 737 were offered bids from sororities. While some of these girls dropped out of the race on their own accord, countless others were disheartened after not receiving a bid. As depressing as the situation is, asking sororities to offer more bids is not the solution.
I participated in rush this semester, but my goal wasn’t to join a particular sorority. I talked to a lot of girls during the process, and most of us were there for the same reason: we wanted a smaller, tight-knit community within the larger body of USC.
I witnessed many crying girls throughout the week – and, to be honest, was a bit of a mess myself at times. Joining a sorority has always been and will always be a stressful process, and many feelings are crushed along the way.
But suggesting that sororities offer bids to all who desire them is ultimately hurting the girls who elect to participate in rush. No, it doesn’t feel good to be dropped from a house you like – or dropped altogether. But most girls participate in the process to find a small group of girlfriends. If 200 more girls are thrown into the system, that small community becomes larger.
The 309 girls who started rush week and left without finding a sorority could pursue another social niche—joining a club, for example. But many girls are specifically attracted to the frequency of Greek activities, so a club is not a sufficient replacement. Sororities should offer those not accepted a more Greek-oriented alternative.
The houses could implement a system of “honorary” members—girls who would be invited to mixers and invites, but kept from the exclusivity of the house and chapter meetings.
The honorary members would repeatedly spend time with the same group of girls, providing them with the smaller community they previously desired. This would maintain the prestige of the house while still allowing more girls to participate in some of the big draws of Greek life.