Despite an increase in recruitment for few Georgia State sororities upon the completion of fall 2014 Rush Week, others had a different story.
In spring 2014 there were 22,991 undergraduate students and 746 involved in either a fraternity or sorority, according to a Georgia State’s Greek Life data sheet. This represented 30 percent of that population.
In order to join a student organization one must be a student and each Greek-letter organization has a grade point average and credit hour requirement specific to each chapter.
Pan-Hellenic pledges and potential pledges increase
The university has four councils: Interfraternity, Panhellenic, National Pan-Hellenic and the Multicultural Greek Council. Under the governing councils there are 16 sororities and 14 fraternities.
The Panhellenic Council governs five sororities at Georgia State. Formal recruitment for the council is divided into four days of events: orientation, Philanthropy, Sisterhood and Preference, according to the council’s website.
Potential members select the sororities they would like to visit again at the end of each day and the sororities then select who they would like to see again in the next round of events.
Matthew Mitchell, Greek Life coordinator, said this council had the largest recruitment based on information he had dating back to 2009.
Chapters in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) conduct membership intake at various times throughout the year. Each chapter has a process specific to their organization and host an informational program for prospective members to better understand membership expectations and application processes, according to the University’s Greek Life website.
NPHC hosted Meet the Greeks in the Student Union Ballroom Sept. 8 and approximately 800 students attended, according to Mitchell.
Interfraternity Council 2014 pledges decrease
The Interfraternity Council (IFC) governs six total fraternities on campus and is a member of the National Interfraternity Conference, an association for the collegiate men’s fraternities, according to IFC’s website.
Chapters in this council conduct informal recruitment processes throughout the year. This is a mutual-selection process requiring interested members to attend fraternity sponsored recruitment events at the beginning of each semester, according to the University’s Greek Life website.
Mitchell said the Interfraternity Council had about 100 students attend their Meet the Greeks informational this fall.
Lanier Henson, president of the Student Government Association (SGA), is a member of Kappa Sigma and said the council’s membership has decreased. Every year Kappa Sigma takes a pledge class of 17-25 students.
“The number of students coming through rush is lower and the number of students accepting bids is lower,” he said. “I’m pretty sure for the last two years there has been a steady decrease.”
Henson also said the lack of alcohol and drugs at his fraternity’s events sometimes drives rushees away.
“Society teaches young men in high school that fraternities are nothing more than wild party animals, while in realty most the chapters are comprised of young men who everyday prove themselves as business men, leaders and role models,” he said.
Weak leadership within IFC’s executive board could also result in less rushees going through the process because of the confusion around how it works, according to Henson.
“If chapters can’t follow the rules or trust one another to work collectively on making sure the young men coming through find the chapter which they will fit in best, then how can the council function efficiently,” he added.
The chapters must work together as a whole to determine the best way to facilitate the rushees meeting the brothers of each fraternity because each chapter is based on brotherhood, according to Henson.
“Going Greek was one of the best decision I have ever made. We are a family of brothers who are always there for one another no matter the circumstance,” he said.
Greek-life members discuss low recruitment
Elizabeth Cannon-Washington, president of the Multicultural Greek Council sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma, said the organization at Georgia State faces not recruiting enough girls to remain active on a campus where Greek Life isn’t idolized.
Sororities like Gamma Sigma Sigma are accepting applications. They are looking to gain 10 or more new pledges this fall but larger numbers aren’t their goal, according to Canon-Washington.
“I have noticed that some schools have big lines. Sometimes organizations with big numbers lack in connections. I’ve met life long friends,” Canon-Washington said.
Chapters in the Multicultural Greek Council are culturally based but are not culturally exclusive in membership. Each individual sorority conducts membership intake at different times throughout the year, according to the University’s Greek Life website.
The Multicultural Greek Council will host their Meet the Greeks Oct. 1, according to Mitchell.