More than 100 women dropped out of the rush process before Call Night. Although about 370 women registered to rush, only 279 women decided to pledge this fall.
Tom Craig, director of student organizations and productions, said registration opened in April and many women changed their plans by the time Bid Night took place on Sept. 29. Craig also said busy schedules with work and school or family reasons can also cause women to drop out of the pledging process.
“It is not an usual process to have some natural atrophy in those numbers,” Craig said. “Sometimes other things come up in their lives and they change their mind.”
Pledging numbers may change if students decided not to complete pledging, but currently 142 men are pledging and 279 women are pledging for a total of 421 students in the pledge process. This amounts to about 46 percent of the sophomore class which has 904 students, although some of the pledges are juniors and seniors.
During the last few years, the student population has grown more diverse with a rise in the number of black and hispanic students. Clubs typically mirror the student population, Craig said, but the data will not be available until later in the year. Frater Sodalis sponsor Tim Yandell said he thinks about 25 percent of the club’s pledge class is ethnically diverse. He said the pledge class has students from Brazil, Thailand, Hong Kong and Africa.
“We’re very, very culturally diverse,” Yandell said. “We were chartered by a Japanese guy in 1943. That has to do with the very core of who we are and what we believe as Frats.”
Frater Sodalis also took its largest pledge class ever with 35 new members.
“The growth that Frats has experienced in the last two years,” Yandell said, “happened because of the drive and the leadership abilities and qualities of our officers.”
Along with changes to the pledging process and a review of pledging, Student Life also tried to double communication efforts to current and prospective members, Craig said.
The review of pledging, overseen by Dr. Chris Riley, vice president for Student Life, will include focus groups with students, club sponsors, faculty, staff and alumni and a look at pledging for the university’s sister schools. Craig said a Student Life team went to Lipscomb University for the school’s version of Bid Night.
“We look at other schools to see if our process is serving our needs the way we want it to and to look at other opportunities that we might not have realized to improve our process,” Craig said. “Reviewing our pledging and our club process is pretty normal. We do that every two years.”
Sigma Theta Chi 68
Ko Jo Kai 63
Tri Kappa Gamma 40
Delta Theta 29
Alpha Kai Omega 14
Zeta Rho 5
Frater Sodalis 35
Gamma Sigma Phi 39
Sub-T 16 23
Pi Kappa 5
Noble Kings 0