More join fraternities, sororities

BY JAKE HOLMES
Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 10, 2007

Interest in campus Greek life has increased for the sixth consecutive semester, statistics released Monday by the Office of Greek Life show.

Campus Pan-Hellenic sororities and Interfraternity Council fraternities reported larger pledge classes than last fall.

Pan-Hellenic sororities saw a 16 percent increase in new members, with 683 women joining Pan-Hellenic chapters this fall, said Pan-Hellenic spokeswoman Carlie Kleinman.

Also, 200 more women registered for rush this semester than they did last fall, Pan-Hellenic President Emily Gomes said.

"We haven't seen numbers like this in quite some time," Gomes said.

IFC chapters accepted about 10 percent more new members during this fall's rush than last fall's rush, said IFC spokesman Evan Waters. They added about 420 new members.

IFC President Jared Averbuch said the increased recruitment might be because of better marketing about Greek life. He said the IFC sent more mailings and e-mails to freshmen than in previous years.

The IFC also added an extra day of open houses and pushed its Diag recruitment day back to give prospective students more time to adjust to campus and learn about Greek life, Waters said.

Gomes said that the Office of Greek Life's "Choose Your Letters" advertising campaign and efforts to send information to freshmen helped make people aware of the Greek system.

The two other Greek umbrella organizations - the Multicultural Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council - haven't released fall recruitment numbers.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council - which oversees historically black fraternities and sororities - doesn't induct members until the end of the semester.

Multicultural Greek Council President David Mickey said statistics about new members are not yet available because the council doesn't require its member chapters to provide information about prospective members.

Both Averbuch and Gomes said they think student perceptions of the Greek system have improved in part because recent press for the Greek System has been mostly positive. Averbuch said he thinks University students are realizing how being in a fraternity can benefit them both on campus and in their professional lives.

"It's lifelong membership," Gomes said. "And it gives you all these tools and opportunities that you can take past your collegiate years."

The extra pledges shouldn't pose a problem to Greek houses, which Averbuch said have enough space to accommodate the new members.

At Zeta Psi fraternity, sophomore Michael Weist said he saw a larger number of students take interest in his fraternity this fall than did last fall. As part of the rush committee, he said Zeta Psi took efforts to attract more attention to their chapter this year.

"We make sure to bring people to the house and make them feel comfortable," he said.

LSA freshman Chandra Pathuri said he noticed his freshman hallmates talking about the Greek system and saw advertisements for rush activities all around campus.

"It's pretty in-your-face," he said.

Pathuri said he's not interested in joining a fraternity, but received many e-mails and mailings sent over the summer about campus Greek houses.