As the season of formal Greek recruitment at Wittenberg comes to a close, sororities and fraternities begin to educate and integrate their new members into their organizations. For one chapter on campus, these new members are more essential than ever to its continual presence at Wittenberg. With the addition of eight new members, Lambda Chi Alpha’s total membership stands at 20, making it the smallest Greek organization on campus.
Over the past few years, member retention and low recruitment numbers have contributed to the chapter’s decreasing numbers. About eight members deactivated last year, causing numbers to fall as well. Last spring, the chapter members voted to sell their house, due to increasing upkeep expenses and potentially higher dues. With fewer members contributing dues to the organization, the ability of the chapter to host events that require a budget has been restricted.
“Not that we couldn’t exist at Wittenberg with below 15 people, it just wouldn’t be financially feasible at all,” said Nelson Laracuente, a senior member of Lambda Chi Alpha. “We couldn’t do anything as a chapter. Even now, we can barely do anything as is.”
However, eight new members in formal recruitment is about average for fraternities on Wittenberg’s campus. Regardless of how many members Lambda does or doesn’t gain, there is no need to fear them being removed from campus due to small membership. Unlike sororities, fraternities do not have a total or specific number of members required to stay on campus. While it may be easier to finance events or projects with more members, the decision to remain on campus or pull off is ultimately up to the individual chapter.
“I see a lot of potential,” said junior Mike Southard, fraternity and sorority life senator of Student Senate. “If a fraternity doesn’t feel like they’re meeting their own standards, not recruiting, or not contributing to campus, that would be a decision by the chapter [to leave].”
Southard did point out, though, that Lambda was confident enough to vote ‘yes’ on introducing Alpha Tao Omega as a new fraternity on Wittenberg’s campus. He explained that when new fraternities come to a campus, chapter numbers usually increase, which would ultimately help Lambda.
“I think we can definitely increase the size of our chapter and be a force on campus,” said Morgan Miller, a sophomore member of Lambda. “Lambda Chi Alpha as an international organization believes in brotherhood for a lifetime, and those are the kind of guys we want in our chapter, men who believe in brotherhood and will work to preserve it.”
In the upcoming semesters, Lambda Chi Alpha will seek out more recruitment opportunities.