New sorority recruits accept bids during Jump Day
About 400 women jumped off a stage at Finch Fieldhouse and ran into the arms of their new sorority sisters Friday during Bid Day — the last day of Panhellenic recruitment.
Rochester freshman Abby Devilling said she was ecstatic because the stress of recruitment was about to end as she waited in line to jump with hundreds of other new members.
“This morning I was very nervous,” Devilling said. “When I found out my bid I was so excited, my heart kind of dropped.”
New members in groups up to six announced their names on stage before running as fast as they could toward their new sorority. They were greeted with pure joy and cheers echoing in the bleachers.
Women going through recruitment selected up to two chapters they were interested in joining. The potential new members were notified Friday morning if they didn’t receive a bid. Recruitment counselors told women who received bids from the 11 sorority chapters participating in Panhellenic recruitment 4 p.m. Friday, just a half hour before they jumped.
“(Most of us) don’t really know who we’re getting because we want it to be a surprise when (new members) jump off the stage so our excitement is genuine,” said junior Olivia Oquist, a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma.
Bid Day, commonly referred to as “Jump Day,” usually takes place at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, said Fraternity and Sorority Life Assistant Director Katrina Crawford. This year, it was moved to Finch Fieldhouse because of inclement weather and CMU’s football game against Western Michigan taking place the following day.
“(Greek Life) gives students an opportunity for leadership development, networking, friendships and getting involved (on campus),” Crawford said. “We know students involved at Central (are more likely) to stay longer, graduate and have a good experience.”
Crawford said she was satisfied with recruitment this year. The number of potential new members who received bids was approximately the same as last year, she said.
Sydney Steger, a Clarkston freshman, said she hoped to get a bid from her top choice of sorority, even though her parents are against her being in Greek Life.
“I have friends in sororities at other schools and everyone says it’s the best thing they’ve ever done,” Steger said. “But my parents are against (Greek Life) so I have to pay for it all myself.”
Steger said a sorority that didn’t invite her back the previous day had dues of about $900. Steger said she wasn’t too disappointed it was no longer an option.
“Social sororities that go out and do more activities are more expensive, but they’re all pretty pricey,” she said.
Sororities participating in formal recruitment require members to pay dues, which vary in price, said recruitment counselors. Most offer scholarships or payment plans if members need help financially.
Despite pushback from her parents and the potential financial strain, Steger said she is excited to forge new friendships in the Greek community.
“Back home I had a lot of friends, but we kind of all went our separate ways,” she said. “It’s also just a way to get involved and the philanthropy part is cool too.”
Sanford sophomore Sarah Stockford said she is also joining to find new friends at CMU.
“I want to find a group of girls I can do things with all the time,” Stockford said.
She said the values-based recruiting approach stressed this year helped her learn more about herself as a person and connect with women in chapters based on her own personal morals.
“I’m interested in good conversations and genuine girls — people I click with,” she said. “I hope to find normal connections that don’t feel forced.”
At the beginning of the recruitment process during the start of the week, potential members were asked to think of values they identify with strongly. Stockford said humor and balance are two of her main values.
“You figure out people who have similar tastes as you and find out what your actual personality is,” Stockford said.
For Amanda Arendts, the focus on values helped her learn a lot about herself and where she fits in on campus.
“I figured out there’s another side of this campus I definitely didn’t see myself fitting into, and now I figured out I’m definitely supposed to be here,” said the Romeo sophomore. “I suggest people definitely try this if they’re considering it. It’s a good experience no matter what.”