Drop in new greeks

Sorority recruitment sees rising trend in recent years.

After a record-setting year in Greek recruitment in 2012, this year’s rush week saw numbers drop slightly, resulting in the recruitment of 234 new sorority members and approximately 130 fraternity members.

Temple’s Greek life has been experiencing an overall surge of interest in the registry of recruits for the Fall 2013 term. Student Activities’ data shows a doubling in registry during recruitment week, from 216 in Fall 2008 to 440 in 2013.

“In the last few years, interest in joining a Panhellenic sorority has increased tremendously,” Temple’s Associate Director of Student Affairs Veronica Hunter said. “Many of the fraternities and sororities showcase their organizations in a variety of different ways, which might also attract students to these groups.”

Bid Day, when fraternities and sororities offer formal invitations, signaled the end of recruitment week. Of the 415 registered, 234 women were offered bids to join one of the four Panhellenic sororities on campus. Data is still being compiled for Interfraternity Council fraternities, however preliminary numbers provided by Student Activities show that IFC fraternities have added 40 new members.

“I think we have been advertising it a lot more,” Ember Schaeffer of Alpha Epsilon Phi, said. “Before, we had little events for just the Greeks, but now we have more events over the campus for non-Greeks.”

Schaeffer, a senior public relations major who transferred to Temple in 2010, said getting involved in Greek life at Temple was one of the first things she explored.

“Usually, it’s like you have to know about Greek life before you get to Temple, but now you see it all over the campus,” Schaeffer said.

According to the National Panhellenic Council, the growing numbers at Main Campus are not a local phenomenon. The NPHC’s statistical report showed a national spike in recruitment numbers in 2009. During that year, there were 90,704 new members at more than 654 campuses across the country.

Since 2009, national recruitment to fraternities of Panhellenic, NPHC, Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council and others have also been experiencing an annual increase in recruitment.

This recent trend to pledge, some said, is a result of media exposure.

“I feel like more students are interested in Greek life than ever,” Temple’s IFC president Sean Casey said. “It’s been largely popularized through movies and other media. I mean, ‘Monsters University’ was about joining a fraternity, and that’s a kid’s movie, so obviously Greek life is trending.”

Overall though, this year’s total recruitment for sororities on campus was 440, which is lower than last year’s 481. Although lower in numbers, sorority recruitment is still significantly higher compared to past years. Temple University Panhellenic Association President Lili Zheng said this might be because of an increasing student body.

“I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the student body at Temple is getting larger,” Zheng said. “I work for undergraduate admissions and it’s really great to see our university grow bigger and bigger each year.”

Zheng also attributed the rising trend in the students, who she said are looking for ways to get involved in a relatively large campus, making Temple feel more like home. Zheng said joining a sorority was one of the reasons that she remains at Temple today.

“[It’s] why I stayed at Temple, because it helped me become involved and meet people who I honestly can’t picture my life without today,” Zheng said.

Brian Tom can be reached at brian.tom@temple.edu.

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