On-campus sororities’ popularity increases
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 02:02
A record-high number of 225 sorority pledges registered for last month’s sorority recruitment. With 147 girls receiving bids, this figure rose from the 118 bids given in the spring 2012 semester, according to Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone.
The increase in numbers this year matches the hopes and expectations of the Panhellenic community, Panhellenic Council (PhC) President Carolyn Pruitt, a senior, said.
“We were definitely expecting it to get bigger this year, so we weren’t surprised,” Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) President Sarah Gannon said. “All of the sororities had bigger new member classes than last year.”
McGlone believes the increase in sorority participants reflected increased appreciation for the Greek system’s positive aspects.
“[The sororities] are helping to create an environment for the sisters that are fostering both high academic ideals as well as service and involvement with the community,” she said.
The rise in interest may also have to do with more advertisements from sororities than in the past, McGlone said.
“We’ve consciously tried to have a bigger impact on campus and a bigger presence on campus,” Gannon, a junior, said. “I think that’s showing in that more freshmen see us in the fall and want to join in the spring.”
The sororities offer support systems that some of the girls are looking for, McGlone said.
Gannon added that when she was a freshman, sorority recruitment offered an exciting way to meet new people.
“Coming back for spring, a lot of freshmen are at a stale part where it’s getting harder to meet people,” she said. “[Joining a sorority was] a way to branch out and meet people I never would have met otherwise.”
Upperclassman interest in joining a sorority also increased this semester, according to Chi Omega President Nina Denison.
“We attracted a lot of sophomores, sophomore transfers and even a few juniors this year, which we haven’t seen as much of in the past,” Denison, a junior, said.
Though the surge in new participants is exciting for the on-campus sororities with houses, there are logistical and space issues to having an increase in girls, Denison said.
One of the main reasons for adding a fourth sorority is the increased demand on campus, Pruitt said.
“Right now we are at this place where we can still handle the sizes and we are still happy to have them,” Pruitt said. “But more people have been registering for recruitment every year for the past several years. If more people continue, eventually it does become an issue.”
According to McGlone, the sorority extension process is ongoing and one organization will be chosen to come to campus at the end of the semester.
“We are at the point where we have received applications from a number of organizations, and there is a committee that is working right now to read through and evaluate those applications,” Pruitt said.
The new sorority will help to revitalize the Greek community on campus and bring the existing sororities together, Pruitt said.
“We don’t want to turn any girls away, so it’s cool that we can add this new sorority that will take a little bit of pressure off the current ones,” she said.
Denison noted that the participation increase is a positive result for the sororities.
“I am really proud of the way the recruitment process went,” she said. “We’re all so excited for the new girls we have, and I think it’s going to be a great year for us.”