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Z-O-U! More Mizzou students living on campus, joining Greek organizations

Increases in fraternity and sorority life come following changes to recruitment activities

August 23rd, 2019

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – With nearly 30,000 students at the University of Missouri, more students are opting to live on campus and join campus organizations. Residential halls are now full, and both fraternity and sorority recruitment saw significant increases in preliminary fall data.

“From making the Greek recruitment process align with students’ schedules to improving our residential life experience, we are committed to providing the best campus experience to students,” said Bill Stackman, vice provost for student affairs. “Our goal is to ensure that every single student makes the most of their time at Mizzou, and that includes life beyond the classroom.”

On campus, more than 6,700 students are choosing to live in residential halls with a 42% jump in the number of returning students choosing to live on campus. The demand for on-campus housing is so great this year that Mizzou entered into partnerships with three private apartment complexes to establish other residential experiences for students.

Over the last two years, Mizzou lowered housing and dining costs in an effort to help students live on campus. As a result of the rate reductions, eight out of 10 students who live on campus are paying less for housing this year. Mizzou also offers freshman interest groups, or FIGs, where a small group of students live near each other and enroll in a few classes together. FIGs provide opportunities for Mizzou students to meet others with similar interests as well as form natural study groups, contributing to overall academic success.

Recent changes in fraternity and sorority life also had a positive impact on recruitment. Before classes began, more than 500 men registered for the Interfraternity Council recruitment event, a 90% increase from last year and the third-largest formal recruitment class in Mizzou’s history. More than 1,400 women participated in Panhellenic recruitment, an increase of 20%.

“Moving IFC recruitment to coincide with move-in week and Panhellenic recruitment was a major benefit to young men interested in joining fraternities,” said Jeff Zeilenga, dean of students at Mizzou. “Fraternities and sororities have been an integral part of student and campus life for nearly 150 years, and Mizzou is committed to partnering with students, alumni and national organizations to ensure students who participate in Greek life thrive in a safe environment that supports our university values.”

MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright says the increases in on-campus living and Greek life indicate that students understand the value of the Mizzou campus experience.

“We continue to emphasize to our students that getting involved at Mizzou is incredibly beneficial to their success,” Cartwright said. “To enable as many students as possible to have these important experiences, we work every day to ensure our state’s flagship university is accessible, affordable and safe. Their involvement has a direct impact on our local and global community — from the thousands of volunteer hours to the millions of dollars in donations that come from our student community to local organizations — I am so proud of how our campus continues to show why we are the University for Missouri.”

On Monday, MU announced that 5,459 freshmen began classes, an increase of 16% compared to last year. Overall enrollment at Mizzou increased approximately 1%, with a total of 29,677 students on campus. Additionally, both online and transfer student enrollment saw double-digit percentage growth.

Editor’s note: This is the final story in a series of news releases about the opening of MU’s academic year distributed by the MU News Bureau. The first release focused on freshman and overall enrollment, and the second release focused on online and transfer student enrollment.