The number of women participating in sorority recruitment this spring fell slightly, while fraternities saw a greater number of recruitment participants this year.
About 40 fewer potential new members registered for sorority recruitment this spring than last year, and fraternity leaders said the 224 men who participated in recruitment is up from the previous year. Greek life leaders said recruitment resulted in new member classes that are about the same size or larger than last year.
Seamus Cullen, the Interfraternity Council’s vice president of recruitment, said the total number of participants increased from the previous year, but declined to say how many men participated in recruitment last year and the year prior.
After recruitment last year, the IFC also declined to reveal the number of men who participated but said turnout was lower than the year before.
At the time, fraternity leaders said recruitment numbers may have fallen because students may have already found their place in other organizations on campus by the time recruitment came around in the spring. The University instituted a deferred recruitment policy for the first time last academic year.
Cullen said members of the Interfraternity Council are “excited” about the growth the organization saw and attributed the increased interest to social media outreach that was recognized at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values conference last weekend.
“We continue to expect GWIFC fraternities to be an active part of our campus and the surrounding D.C. community for years to come,” Cullen said in an email.
Interfraternity Council President Jared Levinson and Vice President of Public Relations Steven Shi declined to comment on recruitment trends.
Panhellenic Association President Izzy Griffith said 576 women participated in recruitment this year and 460 women joined a sorority, a slight drop from the 481 women who joined a chapter last year. Griffith said that while the number of individuals who went through the process decreased, the size of new member classes stayed about the same for each chapter because fewer women withdrew or were released from recruitment.
“We continued to see that women are very excited and engaged with their chapters and the recruitment process,” she said in an email.
The number of students participating in formal sorority recruitment has fluctuated in recent years. Sororities saw a spike in potential new members last year after a drop the year before.
Griffith said that in addition to hosting an annual “Meet the Greeks” event in University Yard last September where interested students could meet members of every sorority and fraternity, the Panhellenic Association held an event in the Marvin Center last November for women to mingle with sorority members. The association also hosted a resume workshop in October where sorority women advised interested students on how to best format their resumes and LinkedIn profiles to foster connections, she said.
Griffith said the Panhellenic Association also launched social media campaigns and participated in fall and spring student organization fairs to spread the word about sorority recruitment. She said deferred recruitment continues to allow potential new members to acclimate to campus before deciding to join a sorority.
“It is my hope that we will see all areas of our GWU community from [fraternity and sorority life], clubs, sports teams and other student organizations and opportunities continue to grow and thrive in the years to come,” she said.
Meredith Yarp, the Panhellenic Association’s vice president of recruitment, said registration for sorority recruitment was “pretty consistent” with last year’s turnout. She said the size of the Class of 2022 – which included about 200 more students than past classes – likely did not impact the number of students who chose to participate in formal recruitment because “with more students also comes more opportunities on campus for everyone to find what they love.”
“We hope that more women are able to find their home among the large student body here at GW, whether it be in the Panhellenic community or in the many other organizations on campus,” she said in an email.
This article appeared in the February 14, 2019 issue of the Hatchet.