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Students registered for Greek recruitment down

The number of students registered for both formal Panhellenic and Interfraternity recruitment dropped between 10 and 15 percent this year, according to Miami's Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

This drop was anticipated, said Colleen Blevins, associate director of student activities and the Cliff Alexander Office.

"We've seen schools across the nation have a slight decrease in [registration] numbers as well," said Blevins.

Emily Wolfzorn, president of Panhellenic, agreed that registration numbers are consistent with universities across the country.

"This slight drop in numbers is not specific to Miami, as the average number of men and women joining fraternities and sororities across the nation this year is slightly lower," said Wolfzorn.

Following several student deaths last semester in hazing incidents, several universities suspended Greek life in response.

Despite the recent national negative attention on Greek life, Blevins does not believe it has adversely affected sorority and fraternity life on Miami's campus.

"If anything, it has directed conversations to be centered around overall well-being and focusing on care and concern for [Greek] members and fellow Miamians," said Blevins.

The Cliff Alexander Office has introduced educational programs such as "Greeks Step Up," which is in its fourth year, and an online course for all potential new members, which is being offered for the second time this year. The goal of these programs is to dispel common myths associated with the new member process, Blevins said.

On January 28, Panhellenic and IFC held a "State of the Community" event with guest speaker Dr. Louis Profetta, an emergency physician based in Indianapolis who doubles as a public speaker and writer.

At the Panhellenic and IFC-sponsored event, Profetta spoke about alcohol, drugs, sexual assault and other dangers facing college students across the country, Wolfzorn said.

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This semester, chapters within both Panhellenic and IFC are also hosting their own events to encourage safe and enjoyable transitions for new Greek members.

Phi Delta Theta is hosting a recruitment workshop on Feb. 3 for chapters across IFC.

John Binder, Phi Delt's recruitment chair, believes that Miami's Greek community is taking steps to ensure a positive upcoming recruitment season.

"[We are] hosting a recruiting workshop to make sure all fraternities are on the same page when it comes to a safe, by-the-book, but enjoyable recruiting process," said Binder.

Last year, The Miami Student reported that 21 students were hospitalized for alcohol-related incidents in the weekend following Bid Day. Those numbers prompted concern from parents, students, faculty and staff, and President Greg Crawford called an emergency meeting Greek leaders that week to address the issue.

This year, Panhellenic is taking extra precautions, Wolfzorn said.

Chapters will host sisterhood events and dinners throughout the week following Bid Day, she said, and will increase the amount of sober events while limiting those with alcohol.

"I believe we have actually been able to use this as a learning opportunity for our community and as a starting point for many critical conversations," said Wolfzorn.

Panhellenic formal recruitment begins on Thursday, Feb. 2 and Bid Day will take place on Feb. 11 in Millet Hall. IFC Open Houses will take place from Monday, Jan. 29 through Saturday, Feb. 3, while bids must be accepted by Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.