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Sororities see skyrocketing numbers

NO FLASH IN THE PAN Greek Life, already a staple on Miami's campus, is only becoming more popular. Last year, more than 850 girls joined sororities. The number is expected to rise.

Photo contributed by Panhellenic Association

By Nora Molinaro, For The Miami Student

Greek life, already an influential force on Miami's campus, is about to become more dominant. At least, that's what the numbers for women's formal recruitment indicate.

In the last few years, there have been consistent increases in the women of Miami "going Greek." At Miami, there are 17 official sorority chapters, governed by the Panhellenic Association. Each year, Panhellenic collaborates and establishes a number or quota that defines the number of each incoming pledge class; it sets the bar for the number of bids offered to potential new members by each sorority.

"Since 2010, we have seen a consistent increase in the number of women registered for Panhellenic Recruitment," Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment Bianca Misiti said.

In 2010, the bid quota was set at 45. The following year in 2011, the quota rose to 52. In 2012, the number set by the Panhellenic council was 47. Fifteen out of 16 sororities participating in formal recruitment surpassed this quota. The following year in 2013, the bid quota rose to 56 and then to 59 in 2014.

The quota continues to rise because of demand - more girls are seeking spots, so Panhellenic is pushing up the number chapters can accept. Between 2010 and 2014, there has been a 31 percent increase in the quota number. Fifteen chapters bringing in 59 new girls means 885 more sorority women in each year's pledge class.

"With the rise of numbers, our pledge class sizes go up which just means more sisters," Recruitment chair of Alpha Omicron Pi Lesley Spaeth said. "In my mind, what could be better than giving someone the chance to be a part of something that I love so much?"

The Panhellenic Association has yet to decide the exact quota for this spring's recruitment. The number will come out after Jan. 1, when registration for formal recruitment closes. However, the council foresees the growth in Greek life to continue at Miami and a need for even higher quotas in the future.

Excitement is in the air for this year's women's formal recruitment on both sides of the fence - existing chapter members and those hoping to gain membership this spring.

"Recruitment is truly about finding your home," Spaeth said.

With Panhel pushing up quotas each year, it makes the already dominant Greek presence and culture on campus even larger.