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Sororities see spike in recruitment

September 2, 2011

Kimarri Campbell - Members of Kappa Kappa Gamma prepare for potential new members to arrive on the third night of recruitment at the historic Stewart House.

With a boom in this year’s Panhellenic Recruitment, Monmouth College’s Greek life system will experience a minor overhaul in the amount of women each sorority can have. This increase could lead to the introduction of a fourth women’s fraternity, according to members of the Panhellenic Council executive board.

“It’s certainly not off the table,” said Assistant Recruitment Chair Brittany Smallberger.

Each of the women’s fraternities has a limit to how many members can be in any given organization, known as a total. Previously, total had been 55 members but with a large number of women going through recruitment, Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi all have numbers exceeding 60.

“This year has been phenomenal,” said Michelle Merritt, associate dean of students. “We were up 30 percent of women just going through [recruitment].”

As a result of exceeding total, the Panhellenic Council will have to move to either increase total or  move to allow a fourth sorority on campus. Members have a plan, but have currently elected to keep their proposed plan confidential.

Panhellenic executive board members have also said that this option of adding a fourth sorority would help balance out Monmouth’s Greek system. Currently, there are five men’s fraternity organizations to only three women’s sororities.

“We’ve talked about it,” said Merritt, “but we wanted to make sure everyone was above total.”

With the increase recruitment numbers, no sorority failed to meet quota, or the number expected of each sorority. Kappa recruited 21 women, Pi Phi, 22 and Alpha Xi, 23.

“For Alpha Xi, it was the first time ever we’ve hit total since I’ve been in it,” said Panhellenic Council President Sam Jagust, who went through recruitment in 2008.

Kappa and Pi Phi fell on hard times last year as well. Because none of them met their quota, all three organizations continued recruitment with informal recruiting, known as continuous open bidding or COBs.

“We were nervous that it was going downhill from last year,” said Alyssa Trotter, Panhellenic vice president of recruitment. “You can’t make assumptions.”

At the end of last semester, 23 percent of women enrolled in Monmouth College were involved in Greek life. While statistics for this year have not been compiled, the 66 women who joined sororities account for approximately 10 percent of the women on campus, or approximately 5 percent of the overall campus population. If the trend continues, approximately 40 percent of women could be in a sorority by 2014.

Numbers for men will not be figured until after fraternities finish their recruitment periods. The Panhellenic Council will discuss their options at a meeting on Sept. 13.

Andrew Drea

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