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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 9, 1973)
The1 numbers remain
in fraternities and
by Mary Voboril
So who wants a pin?
That question set the tone for the Greek section of the
1968 Cornhusker, UNL's defunct student yearbook.
In the '60s, sororities and fraternities on a national level
were headed for trouble. At least that was the popular notion.
It was the decade of hippies, of do your own thing, be your
"I am an Island," Simon and Garfunkel sang.
But real trouble for the Greek system never accrued for
Greeks nationwide or at UNL. In fact, the call to go Greek,
seems to be getting stronger, according to Jayne Anderson,
UNL coordinator of Greekcooperative organizations.
Anderson said the number of UML Greeks vacillates, but
estimates about 2,000 men belong to 27 fraternities and 1,400
women to 15 sororities. The number is rarely constant, she
said, because students either are joining or leaving the Greek
houses at almost any given time.
Anderson, who assumed her position of responsibility for
fraternities ami co-ops only last summer, has been Panhellenic
adviser since 1962. Despite the fact that two sororities have
closed during the last three years because of insufficient
membership, Anderson said the number of women in sororities
has not decreased in the last six or seven years.
The number of women rushees (prospective members) also
has remained stable at between 525 and 550 each fall, she said.
Of this number, between 475 and 500 usually pledge.
Why don't the others join sororities? Anderson offered
-Some women go through rush week only to meet other
women already on campus.
-Some decide they can't afford it.
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-Family emergencies arise during rush week, causing
women to drop out.
But this year, the figures don't seem to jive.
Anderson said that of 570 women who applied for Rush
Week last summer, 378 pledged. Eight dropped out before
rush began; 13 decided to participate in open rush; 42 did not
pay the registration fee ($10 for Lincoln girls; $35 for girls
living in the Rush Week dormitory;) nine had no intention of
pledging in the first place; four decided to attend another
university; 33 chose not to pledge a particular house or were
unsure about the Greek system.
Other women could not participate because they did not
graduate in the upper half of their high school class, a
requirement for women who go through rush.
Two years ago, the Panhellenic Council voted to lower the
number of women who could live in a sorority from 90 to 85.
"But there is nothing magical about the number 85 or 90,"
Anderson said. "However, we feel that it is very difficult to
have any kind of close feeling in a group much larger than 90."
"We. talk to almost every girl who decides not to pledge
during Rush Week," said Anderson. "Almost all tell us they
had a great time during Rush Week, but just aren't ready to
Anderson said that any year between 60 and 80 women
participate in informal (open) rush. However, she could cite no
figures on how many women acutally joined a sorority during
She also said her office kept no running tally of how many
girls depledge or deactivate from sororities, but there were
many reasons for such a decision. Among them:
A girl may feel she made too hasty a decision about the
house she joined.
-She finds her academic load heavier than anticipated.
-A family setback may necessitate a cutback on funds,
dropping out of school or living with relatives.
Anderson said UNL fraternities pledged 412 men in
summer rush and 112 during their Rush Week.
Neither Anderson or Interfraternity Council president Dave
McBride could cite other figures concerning fraternities.
However, there is no restriction of members in a fraternity,
and criteria for pledging or initiation are much more relaxed.
For example, it doesn't matter where a prospective male
pledge stands in his high school graduating class. To be
initiated into most soiorities, Anderson said, a woman must
have attained at least a 2.2 average. Some fraternities have no
Anderson said the Greek membership at UNL compares
favorably or a little better to Greeks nationwide. She said she
could not estimate the number of Greeks nationally,
However, she said that in the past few years, the number of
Greeks nationwide has been on the upswing.
"On campuses you'd least expo.ct-Berkeley, Ohio State,
Michigan State students are going back to the fraternities and
sororities," she said. ,
She admitted that the number of Greeks nationally
declined in the mid GOs.
"There was great confusion on the campus scene. People
were not concerned with the living learning situation a Greek
house has to offer. People then were more concerned with
state, national and international issues. It was not an 'in' thing
at that time to belong to an organized group," she said.
But Anderson indicated that, for many, the answer to "So
who want a pin?" might well continue 1o be, "I do," now and
in years to come at UNL.
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