Recruitment numbers show high interest in Greek life

Greek houses on campus saw a large increase in participation during this year’s recruitment.
The number of students involved in rush week was higher than figures in recent years for both initial applicants and accepted pledges.
Sororities had notably higher numbers of applicants than predicted averages, with pledge classes ranging from 53 and 57 students per house.
“As far as the number of students who signed up to participate, we were about 75 above in raw numbers from where we were last year,” said Becky Druetzler, director of Greek life.
Only 8 percent of this year’s total applicant pool withdrew from the recruitment process, which is unusual considering that number is typically in double-digit percentages at minimum, Druetzler said.
“The students who were in the process were very intentional about wanting to be there and wanting to stay until the end,” Druetzler said. “We had a larger pool, and we lost fewer people, so that influenced what finally happened.”
According to Will Butler, Interfraternity Council vice president of recruitment, 256 male students went through the recruitment process, which is consistent with past years.
Taking into consideration there is one fewer house on campus this year, however, another concern is raised about how houses will accommodate next year’s sophomore and junior pledges.
“Sometimes, the sophomore class doesn’t all get to live in the chapter house,” Butler said. “There are pros and cons to that, and I don’t think it’s the end of the world.”
Butler said many Greek chapters in universities across the country function without a house and are able to work efficiently.
The reality is that not everyone will get to live in his or her respective house—an experience, Butler remarked, that will make some students “miss out a little bit.”
“It is nice to be with your pledge class, living together,” Butler said. “That’s where you make the memories.”
New regulations imposed this year by the council, which raised the standards for recruitment across the board, hardly stemmed the flow of applicants.
“The Interfraternity Council raised their academic requirement this year,” Druetzler said. “It had been a 2.3 (GPA), and they unanimously raised that to a 2.5 pretty early on in the semester. Each individual organization was a 2.5 or above already, so it made sense.”
In addition to this, another regulation initiated by the campus’ Alcohol Task Force last year prevented students with a record of alcohol or substance­ related probation from participating in this year’s recruitment process. This new restriction stopped only five or six students from participating in recruitment.
The Butler University class of 2016, being the largest freshman class in Butler’s history with 1,111 students, gives some explanation for the high participation numbers.
“Students seem to be looking to Greek life,” Druetzler said. “They seem to frimly believe that their expectations can be fulfilled by going through the recruitment process.”
The unexpectedly low number of student withdrawals from the process as well as applicants exceeding academic standards shows students are increasingly turning to Greek life as a means to progress both their personal lives and professional careers, Butler said.
“I think the university has brought in a little bit higher caliber of students who are already getting higher GPAs than we had a few years ago,” Butler said. “I think it comes down to networking. You see somebody in Greek letters around campus, and you go from there.”

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