Amy Booker

Despite changes made for Greek women’s organizations, sorority recruitment numbers at Miami University are on track in comparison to last year.

Panhellenic Association (Panhel), which includes 18 sororities on Miami’s campus that participate in formal sorority recruitment, are expecting numbers similar to last year, but predictions are difficult for the organization, according to Ali Cook, vice president of recruitment for Panhel.

“(We are) right on track,” Cook said.

The major change to take into account this year is the GPA requirement for potential new members.

Cook said this year’s GPA requirement for all Panhel applicants is 2.6, up from last year’s requirement of 2.3. The requirement began as a proposal made by Cook last year and was approved by more than two-thirds of the required majority of the Panhellenic sororities.

“Girls are more nervous to register but sill showing strong interest in the last weeks of the semester,” Cook said.

She said she is confident that Panhel will still see the same amount of applicants, but applicants are more hesitant while making sure their grades meet the requirements.

However, most chapters have minimum GPA requirements at 2.7 or 2.8 that are either set by the chapter or a sorority’s national headquarters.

Robles said she does not foresee the GPA requirement increase as a problem for applicants. Since the majority of the applicants are first-year students, they will not have a formal GPA until January 2009 when grades for the semester become conclusive.

In addition to the new GPA requirement, the dress code will see changes in 2009. Rushees will have to wear a designated T-shirt for the open house round.

In an article in The Student earlier in the year, Cook said the change is intended to help women focus on personalities, not wardrobes during the initial round of recruitment. For the rest of the rounds, potential new members can choose their own attire, although dress gets increasingly formal throughout the stages of recruitment.

Additionally, bid day-when potential new members get membership offers from sororities-has been changed from Martin Luther King, Jr Day.

“Out of respect for the observance of this holiday we will no longer hold the event on this day,” Cook said. “There are no events on any holiday that the university observes, therefore we believe that Martin Luther King is due equal respect as the rest of the holidays.”

As for predicting increased participation, it might still be too soon to tell. Recruitment closes Dec. 19.

“It’s hard to judge if numbers are increasing because we did away with early bird registration,” said April Robles, director of the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership.

According to Robles, so far there are 608 women registered for recruitment this year.

Although at this point, it is inconclusive whether overall numbers will be up for this academic year, the 608 students proves that Panhel numbers are well over the halfway marker of last year’s final total of 1,144 registered by January 2008.

“This number is not including transfer students,” Robles said.

Robles also said numbers are generally the same each year with Miami having the highest enrollment among any other Mid-American Conference (MAC) school. Thirty percent of Miami’s students are affiliated with Greek life, compared to 11 percent at other MAC schools with 12 percent average participation in Greek life.

Robles and Cook both said the numbers for recruitment this year will not be finalized until after the last day of registration.