The University of Kentucky made changes to the sorority recruitment process this year and, as a result, many female students won’t be able to attend the football team’s first game.
Instead of having all of recruitment finished by the start of the school year, the process now ends on September 4th. The second round of Primary Recruitment, Philanthropy Day, will be held on Friday, August 31st and Saturday, September 1st, affecting student attendance at the first football of the season.
Not only will freshmen participating in recruitment miss Kentucky’s first football game, all upperclass sorority members who are participating in recruitment will as well.
University of Kentucky spokesperson Jay Blanton said the decision to move recruitment came down to three components:
- UK wanted to give all students the opportunity to move in at the same time
- Previously, students going through recruitment moved into the dorms a week earlier
- The new process allows more students to participate in K Week events
- K Week was held August 17-21
- The new process was a part of an overall redesign of the first-year experience
“That was a lot of the reason we moved the recruitment back, was thinking about how to get students more involved, foster more of a sense of camaraderie, allowing more students to participate in that,” Blanton said.
“We know how big a deal athletics is and being a powerful avenue for building community, fostering belonging.”
Blanton says the new process is not perfect, specifically speaking on the student attendance issue.
“I think that’s just the kind of thing we’re just going to have to work through and think about. Not at all trying to say it’s perfect and that we’re gonna get it right the first year out, that we’ve gotten everything right or everything’s flawless. We want to work through that because we don’t want to compromise student attendance at games. We want students to attend games.”
The decision to move recruitment was not made lightly. It was made by the University with the advisement of members of student academic life who are part of the redesign of the first-year experience. The process also included information sessions with current members and alums of Kentucky’s Panhellenic.
The University looked at peer institutions to see how they handled recruitment, specifically naming Ole Miss.
“None of the processes are ever perfect and we are going to continue to work with athletics on how we maximize student attendance at games,” Blanton said. “I think everyone wants as high of student attendance at games as we can get.”
And we can all agree on that.