A Panhellenic Association panel of representatives voted Monday to expand the number of chapters eligible for Continuous Open Bidding.
PHA spokeswoman Michelle Hanko said in an e-mail the number of women each chapter is allowed to recruit changed from 188 to the chapter average of 207. There are now six chapters eligible to participate, though all six might not to choose to participate.
"Whether or not a chapter decides to recruit depends on the number of people in the sorority, if they are content with their size and if the sisterhood is strong," PHA External Recruitment Vice President Lori Hofsess said in an e-mail.
According to the PHA Web site, fall recruitment involves a week of socials that concludes with Bid Day, when participants are invited to join certain chapters. When fall recruitment is over, PHA uses a system called COB, which is less formal than fall recruitment.
"Interested girls fill out a form on the Web site or contact certain chapters," Hofsess said. "The chapter then decides if they are a good addition and will extend a bid."
According to the Interfraternity Council Web site, IFC also holds an informal recruitment similar to PHA's COB.
"It is not mandatory to keep your chapter growing, and it is directly up to the recruitment chairman to find students that already attend the university to join their organization," IFC Recruitment Vice President Ryan O'Connell said in an e-mail.
Unlike chapters in PHA, which are limited with eligibility to recruit, most chapters in IFC generally participate in spring recruitment. The level of participation varies from chapter to chapter, O'Connell said.
Hanko said this year, there is an unusually high number of PHA chapters eligible to participate in the COB program.
"This is a great opportunity for potential new members seeking to participate in the COB process," Hanko said.
Students who participate in PHA's COB and IFC's spring recruitment often missed the opportunity to be involved with fall recruitment.
"Informal recruitment is like an added bonus for girls who couldn't participate in formal recruitment, are transfer students who missed formal recruitment or that did not finish the formal recruitment process the previous fall and wish to join a chapter now," Hofsess said.
In other instances, fall isn't a convenient time for some students to rush.
"Often times, students need a semester at college to adjust to the complexities of living on your own, class load and managing time," O'Connell said. "These students might also not have a lot of information or background on fraternities and it takes a semester longer to find the right fraternity for them."
In preparation for spring recruitment, chapters in IFC generally continue their daily operations.
"By doing this, potential new members can hopefully get a good idea of how each fraternity that they take a closer look at works and how life would be in that certain organization," O'Connell said.