Greek community life gets exciting start with Bid Day

After putting in countless hours of preparation, University sorority women don’t hold back their excitement when it comes time to hand out bid cards on Bid Day.

Caroline Cavallo, Panhellenic Council vice president of recruitment and senior in ACES, said that a lot of work was put into planning this year’s event.

“It’s been in the works since last spring, and we’re just now finalizing,” Cavallo said. “We’ve been planning every recruitment event pretty much since the beginning of the summer.”

Starting Aug. 18, University sorority women returned to campus early after a long, relaxing summer to begin work week. During the week before classes begin, work week is when each chapter practices its conversation skills as well as organizes, learns and perfects its recruitment entertainment, songs and dances. Though it may seem silly to some people, these songs and dances truly are important as they are each chapter’s first impression for potential new members, or PNMs.

Recruitment then began Aug. 23 and ended this Sunday, the day before Bid Day.

There are four rounds of recruitment during which PNMs can get a feel for which sorority is their best match. Each round is longer and more formal than the last.

The first event is the open round, where PNMs go to 18 chapters within two days. During this round, anyone walking around campus can usually hear each chapter yelling as loud as possible as PNMs get a first impression of each sorority.

The next round is called first invitational. PNMs can go back to a maximum of 13 chapters and learn about the sisterhood of each chapter. This round is a little more formal than open, and PNMs get more time to get to know a few girls in each chapter they return to.

The second weekend of recruitment begins with second invitational. During this round, PNMs can go to a maximum of seven chapters where they learn about their philanthropy projects and are usually given a house tour.

Sunday was the final day of formal recruitment. This round, called preference, is the most formal, extended round of the entire process, and PNMs can only go to a maximum of three chapters to further engage with chapters’ members.

After the last round of recruitment, each PNM has an important decision to make that will most likely shape the rest of her college experience. This decision starts with Bid Day. All of the work that PHC and sorority members put in leads up to this end goal: welcoming new members into the University Greek community. It’s one of the most exciting days of the year for Greek community members. Even students who are not part of the Greek system can show up at the Quad and be a part of the excitement.

On Monday, this year’s sorority representatives covered the Quad in anticipation as more than 1,000 new members waited to open their bid cards. Soon, they would begin the dash to their new sorority’s chapter house to begin the Bid Day festivities.

Being a part of Bid Day is definitely an experience that no sorority woman wants to miss.

Standing on the porch of the Alpha Omicron Pi house, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new members of my own sorority, I could hear cheering coming from the Quad as new members read their new sorority’s name. Seeing the new members running toward us as we chanted our Greek letters, I could tell that every woman in my chapter was just as excited as I was to welcome the newcomers into our chapter. Once new members arrive at the house, they spend the rest of the night getting to know their new sisters.

Just two years ago, I was one of the nervous PNMs going through recruitment. When it was finally Bid Day, I had no doubt as to which sorority I was going to be a part of, and luckily, they thought I would fit in as well.

When I went through recruitment my freshman year, my sister was a senior at the University and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. It was the very first round of recruitment, and I was about to walk into my sister’s chapter. Standing outside, I was a nervous wreck. Once I stepped in the house, I immediately felt at home with the familiar faces of my sister’s friends. Then on Bid Day two years ago, I got to know some of the funniest and most genuine women that I have ever met, and I am so lucky to be able to call them my sisters.

When I saw the faces of the new members Monday, I know that they felt exactly how I did when I opened my bid envelope.

Yes, the process is a little strange and scary, but opening my bid card on Bid Day was one of the most exciting moments that I’ve had during my time at the University. I have already made some great memories, and I cannot wait to see what these next two years will bring.

Olivia is a junior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]