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The Dartmouth
April 18, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Sorority Rush Numbers Not Lower Than Last Year

To the Editor:

I would like to offer a different analysis of the rush statistics than the one offered in "Sororities witness five-year low in fall pledge numbers," (Nov. 4). Instead of focusing on the number of women who drop out of rush compared to the number who ultimately sink bids, it is more significant to look at the percentages. In 1994, 282 women signed up for sorority rush, and of these women, 25 percent dropped out. In 1995, 220 women signed up, and 10 percent dropped out. Finally, this year, 260 women signed up, and 19 percent dropped out.

Anyone with a basic understanding of statistical analysis can see that these fluctuations do not constitute a significant "trend" in the numbers of women dropping out of the rush system. If anything, I think that these statistics show how unpredictable rush is, and how the dynamics of the sorority system can change within one year.

This year, the Panhellenic Council tried to stress the fact that the sorority system is not for everyone, and that there are other options on this campus besides the Greek system. In addition, we worked hard to get the message out that the sorority system has a lot to offer women and can supply them with many opportunities. I think that this accounts for the increase (260) in initial sign-ups going into rush this year as opposed to last year's rush (220), and for the higher percentage (19 percent) of women dropping out this year compared to last year (10 percent). This year, more women entered rush with an open mind, and likewise, more women gave greater thought to their decision to join a Greek organization. I do not see these numbers as a negative sign for the rush system. Rather, I believe that it points to an increased awareness on the part of the rushees.

Finally, I would like to add that the total number of women joining a sorority this year was 176, which is down from last year's total of 193. However, if you add to that total the women who formed the new sorority this past spring, you will find that the total number of women joining a sorority this year is actually 193, a number consistent with last year's total. After this discovery, can we really claim that the "six Panhellenic sororities received their lowest number of Fall-term pledges in five years" as The Dartmouth reported? It doesn't appear that way to me.