First officially mandated dry week for PHA sororities ends


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Three Northwestern students celebrate after opening their bids on the final night of sorority recruitment. The recruitment period this year added a new no-drinking policy for active sorority members.

Alice Yin, Development Editor

Northwestern’s Panhellenic Association banned alcohol consumption during this year’s sorority recruitment.

PHA added the rule to its Recruitment Agreement, effective this year, said Sarah Parker, the association’s vice president of membership. The rule applied to all active sorority members, both during and outside of affiliated activities.

“Every year, the Panhellenic Association and chapters plan changes to the Recruitment Agreement to make the process more values-based,” Parker, a SESP senior, said in an email to The Daily.

Sorority members were informed of the ban, which lasts through Wednesday, before recruitment began. The rule also applied to members who are of legal drinking age.

Parker said PHA takes a look every year at its previous recruitment cycles and at guidelines for recruitment from the National Panhellenic Council, which is the national umbrella organization for sororities.

Officially, the rule states that each university’s Panhellenic Association must “prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in membership recruitment and Bid Day activities,” according to NPC’s website.

The changes, which were enforced by chapters individually, were meant to align with NPC’s guidelines.

NPC published the change in a press release on its website last November. The new rule was included in its tenth “Unanimous Agreements,” a set of guidelines for all sororities. Sorority members are required to adhere to NPC’s standards, and individual chapters and universities are not allowed to enact policies that contradict them.

“I’m surprised this rule wasn’t put in place sooner,” said Weinberg sophomore Cara Fromm, who is a member of a PHA sorority. “It’s only fair to potential new members if recruiters are clearheaded when they make decisions about who joins their sororities.”

However, McCormick sophomore Helen Lou said the rule extends too far.

“I think they are trying to come from a good place to make sure no people from PHA are … giving their sororities a bad name,” Lou said. “But (PHA) should not control what’s going on (beyond) its own houses.”

Lou, who is a member of a PHA sorority, said members who are 21 and can drink should be allowed to, especially if they do so outside of school grounds.

Sorority recruitment, which officially started last Thursday, ended Tuesday night.

Hal Jin contributed reporting.

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