The tradition of Step Sing has grown and changed since its beginnings in 1951. Step Sing groups have come and gone throughout the years. With 16 groups participating this year, it seems like there would be many options to choose from. But is there really an option for everyone?
Samford is known for having a higher percentage of female students, and this is no different in Step Sing. Out of the 16 groups involved in Step Sing 2024, only four are male groups: Dudes-A-Plenty (DAP), Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Chi, and Pi Kappa Phi. Looking at Samford’s ratio, these numbers make sense, but it does leave many male students without an opportunity to participate in this tradition.
In 2005, the first male independent group, Dudes-A-Plenty, was created. This small group entered the grid with quite the first impression. Their show, “Pirates,” won sweepstakes, securing the group’s popularity in the coming years.
“It’s definitely a legacy, and a large part of why DAP is so special is that it has stayed a source of fun and friendship for independent guys at Samford,” Dudes-A-Plenty director Jacob Norvell said.
Since it remains the only male independent group for Step Sing, Dudes-A-Plenty has only grown since their first win. Each year, the group becomes more competitive for those hoping to join. However, it is only open to independent men, and not every fraternity participates in Step Sing. With the co-ed group Spectrum not performing this year, many brothers in these fraternities have no place to join Step Sing in any group.
“As a small fraternity, it is harder for our guys to get into Step Sing groups,” Beta Theta Pi’s chapter president Jackson Fraser said. “It’s hard for those guys to experience what a lot of us got to experience our freshman year with Step Sing.”
The main issue for these fraternities is numbers. The minimum number of people that can be in a Step Sing group is 55, which leaves smaller fraternities in the dust.
Lambda Chi brother Joseph Williams said, “Lambda Chi doesn’t have enough members to make the cut this year. Fall rush this year will help us get our numbers back up.”
Other fraternities are also hoping that rush can give them enough members to join Step Sing, but the numbers are not the only concern for these fraternities. New groups often struggle to get their footing in Step Sing.
“When we finally are big enough for Step Sing, no one will have experience with it, and [that] makes it difficult to establish a group,” Fraser said.
What’s the solution? Should Samford allow smaller groups to be a part of Step Sing? Should small groups come together to form a combined Step Sing show? Jackson Fraser believes that there should simply be more male options for Step Sing groups.
“We need more men’s groups because Greek like is growing more for men at Samford,” Fraser said. “I could see it affecting the great tradition of Step Sing and its future.”
Arts & Life Editor