U greeks hope to overcome low enrollment problems

As U greeks hold their traditional recruitment functions on campus this week, they are fighting a pattern of growing disinterest in the greek system.

Recruiting new members has become increasingly difficult for U fraternities and sororities in recent years. Only 54 men attended the first day of recruitment last year, and administrators say enrollment numbers in the U greek system are dropping.

“It’s been dipping slightly every year,” said Lori McDonald, U greek adviser. “We’re hoping it will change.”

Leaders in the U greek system say they are taking a different approach in some of their recruitment strategies at Recruitment Week events and enrollment to prevent another year with low turnout.

The women of the Panhellenic Council for sororities have restructured their recruitment activities so they are “less formal” and can accommodate women who have evening classes or jobs that would prevent them from attending the lengthy functions.

“It really does help on a commuter campus,” said Stephanie Steimke, recruitment chair for the council.

While the men of the fraternities have not made as drastic changes-their recruitment activities were already less formal-they say they are being more aggressive in their marketing efforts.

Stephan Penn, president of the Interfraternity Council, said he is wary that turnout at recruitment will be low again, because only 35 men had signed up for the activities as of last week. However, he said, it is typical of the men to wait until the last minute to sign up.

“(Low enrollment) is making the greek members now work harder,” he said. “I think it will make us stronger in the end.”

He said U fraternity members have been calling interested students more diligently and have been walking around campus dressed in Greek costumes to educate students about the program.

Recruitment activities for sororities started Saturday, and they will start today for fraternities. Recruitment week is open to all U students and requires a $35 fee.

Lisa Teran

A group of 25 women are welcomed into the Pi Beta Phi house Saturday to tour the home and acquaint themselves with the sorority sisters. Recruitment for sororities continues this week; approximately 125 women will submit their first and second choices on Wednesday. They will learn their placement Thursday.

Lisa Teran

During Recruitment Week, approximately 125 women tour of each of the sorority houses on Greek Row. At the Pi Beta Phi house, Jill Browning chats with Heather Miller about joining. Miller’s family has three generations of sorority members, and she would like to follow in their footsteps. Some of the improvements made to the 80-year-old Pi Beta Phi house this summer included new carpeting, new wood floors and fresh paint throughout the house.