Perhaps the issue here is, then, not that you need more people joining at the beginning of the semester but to take a look at the curriculum to see if what is being taught during the semester and how it is being taught should be examined?
Thats it there. Generally we get 15-30 new people come to the first class of the year at the uni club, quite a few hang on untill christmas and then dont really come back after the holidays. Generally get one person who stays from each year and grades etc etc. I've spoken to a few people who no longer train and they tend to feel like they didnt learn much and that they couldnt defend themselves if the need arose and they would prefer to do a 'striking' art. My reply is to go try everything, but you get out what you put in...