USF sororities have been seeing an increase in membership over the past five years, and some believe it is linked to a change in recruitment methods.
In 2008, sororities switched their recruitment dates, or Rush Week, from before the start of the semester to during it, making it easier for women to join.
Before the switch, students needed to find accommodations off-campus for the week when school did not convene. For those who did not live in the Tampa Bay area, travel arrangements were also a problem.
“I had some family close by I had to stay with because I couldn’t afford a hotel,” said Kappa Delta alumna Jessica Russo. “You couldn’t move in because your lease hasn’t started, and it was just an overall pain.”
Although some women may have found these additional recruitment hurdles taxing, the change provided students more opportunities to participate in the recruitment process.
Today, membership is up by 10.2 percent since that change was made three years ago. According to the USF Panhellenic Association 2011 Formal Recruitment Report, 515 women registered for recruitment last year. In 2007, only 243 registered.
Sororities agree that the move was for the best.
This semester, sororities increased recruitment efforts by setting up areas in front of Cooper Hall at the Tampa Campus to hand out booklets outlining the tenants of each sorority.
They answered questions and persuaded women to register by directing them to open laptops for quick and easy registration. They also held an exhibition in the Marshall Student Center to showcase each sorority and its involvement on-campus.
Junior Meghan Krstyen joined this year because she noticed the involvement of other sorority girls on campus.
“I was finding it difficult to find a place to get involved,” Krstyen said. “I figured that by going through recruitment, I would be faced with ample opportunities to jump head first into involvement at USF.”
Panhellenic President Erin Potter explained that membership also increased after eliminating quotas for juniors and seniors, since said students were further along in their college careers.
“Freshmen and sophomores were valued more because they can take on more roles and develop more throughout their time in their sororities,” Potter said. “Now that the quota is only set for lower-classman, this evens the playing field.”