From athletes to music majors, computer technicians and even journalists, the student body at Washburn is just as diverse as any. The opportunities available to these students are just as varied as the people they’re offered to.
However, one of the more storied institutions, the Greek Community, seems to have been receiving fewer looks from students. Spring recruitment levels are down, and this has left many Greeks wondering why.
“Spring recruitment generally is a smaller push that fall recruitment, so students may not even be looking for it in the springtime,” said Marsha Carrasco-Cooper, who is currently filling in for Dawn Shew as head of the Student Activities and Greek Life office while Shew is on maternity leave. Factors for why levels are down have a wide array of possibilities.
“I would say that the numbers are down just because there are a lot of complications with people being more Greek. Washburn isn’t really known for their Greek system, and we’re trying to improve that,” said Melanie Gormley, vice president of marketing for Alpha Phi. Among the reasons listed by Gormley was the switch to a formal spring recruitment process for the sororities, where in the past it was more open.
The way that Washburn is set up as a more non-traditional campus, it is less likely that people will go Greek, said Katherine Mack, vice president of recruitment for Alpha Phi. The drop in numbers can also be illustrated by the fact that while the Alpha Phi house is capable of housing 47 members, they are only at 35.
While it is widely accepted that fall is a much bigger time for Greek recruitment, there are some who point the blame at the university.
“I feel that Washburn hasn’t put into the Greek system as much as they’ve used to. I’d like to see them help us put the Greek community out there,” said Matthew Moxter, recruitment chair for Alpha Delta.
“Right now, what they’ve been doing with the Village and LLC, they’re taking all that business, and then they’re not trickling anything down to us. They just want their money,” said Moxter.
The main problem for Alpha Delta is that there are currently more “townies,” people who are members but don’t live in the house, than live-in members, said Moxter.
For now, the current plan of action is for the different Greek houses to work together to rectify the current situation. The general consensus seems that, whether it is partially the university’s responsibility or not, the Greek system needs to be sold better to potential members.
“The better we market our image, the better recruitment will go for us,” said Gormley.
Other things that can be and are currently being done to assist in promoting Greek life is the involvement of members in leadership roles on campus, as well as forums used to see how the student body perceives the different houses.
“Recruitment is on the forefront of every fraternity and sorority’s mind right now. It’s more than just numbers. It’s about doing the things that attract the right students,” said Cooper.