The number of sorority recruits is slightly down this fall. Last year, 174 girls showed up for recruitment and 141 received bids to join a sorority chapter. This year, 145 came to recruitment and 124 received bids.
But the slight drop in numbers isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to Kim Vance, assistant director of Student Life, and Amanda Turfan, president of Northern Kentucky University’s Panhellenic Association.
Even though the numbers were higher last year, 10 to 15 women ended up dropping out of their sorority within the first 10 days of being accepted. Turfan and Vance said that the women drop out for several reasons, mainly being overwhelmed by the amount of time needed to be in the group.
“Every once and a while, you get someone who says ‘This is too much for me, I can’t do it,'” Turfan said. “I think it’s more how the chapters approach the new members.”
The sororities have changed the way they approached potential newcomers. Instead of explaining everything about sorority life in one chunk, they started during the summer at the freshman orientations.
During the orientations, they explained about the time involved, the GPA requirement of 2.5 and the costs of joining.
“We’re doing a better job of explaining ourselves up front,” Vance said. “In the end, I think we’re doing a lot better.”
Vance and Turfan said they feel that because of the new programs, women know more of what to expect. With a better understanding of sorority life, potential members can make a better decision on whether or not they are ready for it, Vance said, and in turn, that made women more prepared to take on sorority life.
Turfan said so far, no one has dropped out of a sorority since the August bid day.
Another contributing factor to the number drop is that sorority recruitment was held two weeks earlier this year than it had been in years past. Usually recruitment took place after Freshfusion. Vance said this cut down on the number of women who signed up.
Now that recruitment is over, Turfan said some of the women who didn’t think they would be able to join a sorority in the fall are seeing their friends in sororities and are deciding that maybe they are ready for sorority life. She said there is talk of another recruitment in the spring for those women, though nothing has been decided.
Vance and Turfan aren’t distressed by the slightly lower numbers. Not only did they say that they feel that their members are better prepared and willing to take on sorority life, but also they are at the same level as other sororities in this region.
Last year, each of NKU’s five sorority chapters had a limit of 29 women they could recruit, which was higher than University of Louisville’s and University of Cincinnati’s quotas for each of their six sororities. “We’re running right with the pack,” Vance said.
Vance said she is excited about the future of NKU’s sororities. She said right now the sororities don’t have much room to grow, but when the new Student Union is built, they will be able to increase their memberships.