The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Record freshmen class strains FLOs, sororities

photo by Lindsey Gawlik
FLO counselors promote their groups outside the Academic Building.
 
photo by Lindsey Gawlik FLO counselors promote their groups outside the Academic Building.  

Ten thousand freshmen are searching campus to find the perfect fit among more than 1,000 student organizations, and many look to Freshmen Leadership Organizations and Greek Life. However, with the record freshman class, these organizations have to reject more freshmen than in recent years.
A&M sororities had 1,300 women go through recruitment and were unable to accept about 300. Because Blinn Team students are now allowed to go through recruitment, this year was the largest recruiting year in A&M history.
Bethany Nolan, panhellenic president and agricultural communications and journalism senior, said in coming years sororities will look into ways to allow more students into their organizations.
“We hope to improve our schedule so that we can accommodate more women going through recruitment,” Nolan said.
After panhellenic sorority recruitment ended, FLO recruitment hit its stride. Recruitment started on Monday, and Ian Fortney, director of Federal Leadership Advisory Council and finance senior, said FLOs expect an increase in applications.
Last year, Fortney said 3,000 freshmen applied, but just under 1,000 were accepted into a FLO.
The first FLO was started in 1978 and there are now 16, which Fortney said are all intended to enhance leadership ability in freshmen. Some FLOs are affiliated with the MSC while others have focuses like service, Student Government Association and Class Councils.
Despite the increase in enrollment, FLOs will likely choose to maintain their planned size.
Holly Warwick, director of Freshman Leaders in Christ, said organizational structure keeps her FLO from taking more freshmen.
“If we changed the number of freshman we accepted we would also have to change the number of staff that we have, but we made our staff last year, so at this time we are not able to do that,” Warwick said.
Ayland Letsinger, director of Aggie Fish Club, said changing the number of members could compromise the organization.
Common among FLOs is the idea that FLOs are unique because they take a manageable group of freshmen and turn them into a family. The concern is if the numbers were increased, it would become harder to accomplish that trademark closeness.
Matthew Smith, biomedical science sophomore from ASSIST, said they have a strict cap of 48 members.
“If you have a working business model, you want to keep it that way,” Smith said. “ASSIST was a blast last year, and we want to keep it as consistent as possible.”
One way to incorporate more freshmen is to add more FLOs. This year, two degree-specific FLOs were added — Freshman Leaders in Education and Human Development, FLED, and Freshman Reaching Excellence in Engineering, FREE. Mckenzie Maclehan, allied health sophomore from FLED, said adding FLOs gives more students the opportunity to get involved.
“At some point each FLO becomes too big, and you don’t get that individual unique experience,” Fortney said. “We really try to have a personalized experience.”
While he said FLOs are a good transitional organization for students as they enter college, Letsinger offered some advice for those who do not make it in to a FLO.
“If you don’t get in, it’s not the end of the world,” Letsinger said. “Things are going to happen the way it needs to.”
FLO applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday in Koldus 104.

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