By Lexi Kerzman & Cecilia Gillen
This years sorority recruitment saw growth and fraternity recruitment saw small decreases in numbers from previous years. Greek life aims to find people a place they can call home.
Sorority recruitment took place in the week before the traditional move-in day, and the fraternity recruitment took place during the first week of classes.
Taylor Gustafson, chapter president of Pi Beta Phi and senior nursing major, said this year’s recruitment was a success for their chapter and campus-wide.
“We’re pleased that many of the women who participated in recruitment found their home away from home,” she said, “There were 46 women who pledged Pi Beta Phi this year.”
Chesney Arend, president of USD’s Panhellenic Council and senior criminal justice major, said sorority recruitment has been seeing an upward growth in the last few years.
“Looking at our numbers from two years ago and last year, we are seeing an upward trend in the women interested in joining sororities we have on campus here,” Arends said. “I think with any organization they are going to see some sort of upward trend in numbers because our freshmen population is unlike it’s ever been before.”
Although the number of women rushing is continuing to grow, the fraternities are seeing a small decrease in the numbers of people rushing this year compared to two years ago. Laura Anderton, director of sorority and fraternity life and leadership, said the required GPA for fraternity members was raised this year from a 2.0 to a 2.5 and that may be the reason for the slightly smaller numbers.
“We were finding that when we compared statistics a lot of people who were in that 2.0 and 2.5 range were not doing as well in school with that commitment of fraternity life in that first semester of college,” Anderton said. “One of our values with greek life is scholarship, so we are looking for people who are going to match that value.”
There were 305 men registered for fraternity recruitment and 24 who did not reach the required GPA.
Through the recruitment process, sororities and fraternities aim to find people that connect with their philosophies and people that have a connection through the recruitment.
Wynona Steenhoven, a first-year wildlife biology major, went through the recruitment process but decided not to join a sorority. Steenhoven said she was curious about what the sorority recruitment process entailed.
“I decided that I would rush just to meet people and see what it was all about,” she said.
Steenhoven said she was interested in two of the sororities, but after realizing the requirements, decided to drop recruitment.
“Most of them have a certain GPA and they all have different rules,” she said, “I just left home for the first time. I don’t want to have some different set of rules telling me what I can and cannot do.”
Anderton said people generally willfully choose to withdraw from the recruitment process because they are overwhelmed with the process, or didn’t find a home where the conversations are beneficial to them. Besides the people who will drop the recruitment process, there are a number of people who do not receive a pledge during the recruitment process.
“Women are asked to submit an application that lists out their activities if they don’t put much there the chapters will take that into consideration because they are really looking for a well-rounded individual,” Anderton said. “(They are looking for) someone who embodies that value we have for campus leaders.”
People may also be released because of low GPAs or a lack of connection.
“If the conversations were not beneficial conversations, the chapter may not want to continue the process,” Anderton said. “Perhaps the potential new member came in with a stereotype of sorority and fraternity life and that’s all they choose to talk about in the conversations. They are looking for those well-rounded individuals to match our values, not some stereotypes.”
Gustafson said although some people may choose to not pledge because of the commitments, joining a sorority has been beneficial in her life.
“I’ve gotten more from my sorority experience than I’ve given and expect that will be the case for the rest of my life,” Gustafson said.