Five hundred and fifty women at the University of Miami were offered bids to Panhellenic sororities this past spring, shattering the expectations of recruitment officers. While the large numbers represent an exciting time in sorority life, the volume of students participating in Greek life presents new challenges.
Certain sorority members are already concerned with the overcrowded pledge classes. Some have complained about packed, overheated suites, while others have voiced that the amount of members makes it difficult to get to know everyone in any given sorority.
In order to deal with the congested suites, the university and its sororities have few theoretical options. UM could expand its options of chapters on campus, work with the chapters to find alternative accommodations and possible housing, or the sororities themselves could simply reduce the quantity of bids they offer.
At this point, expanding sorority facilities is a nearly unachievable task. Every sorority would have to agree to off-campus housing in order for the university to pursue that option, and even then the real estate would be expensive and hard to find. Each sorority would be tasked with finding the space and then subsequently raising the money to pay for it.
The only real choice the sororities have is to get smaller at a steady rate. Currently, sororities are expected by the national organizations to accept a minimum number of women depending on the number of people participating in the recruitment process. As more women participate in recruitment, the sororities must increase bids at an unsustainable rate. Despite concerns regarding exclusivity, the sororities on campus would benefit from cutting the amount of bids they offer.
Sororities have every right to be exclusive when there is such high demand, particularly if exclusion benefits the greater good of the sorority. When there are so many different ways to get involved on campus, groups should not have to bloat their numbers without benefit. If the sororities find a way to reduce bids while staying true to their missions avoiding discriminatory recruitment practices, then the entire Panhellenic system would benefit. Smaller numbers would leads to closer friendships — and more comfortable suites.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.