The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 20.0°F | A Few Clouds

Fewer frosh pledge ILGs; dorms cited as problem

By Brian Rosenberg

Fraternities and independent living groups cited lack of access to freshmen, active rushing by dormitories and possible changes in Institute orientation procedures as reasons for the below-average rush many experienced. Several houses called rush a success, however, and a few garnered larger classes than they had expected.

As of last night, fraternities and ILGs were reporting 314 pledges, not including Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), for which statistics were not available.

Although Advisor to Fraternities and Independent Living Groups Neal H. Dorow refused to comment on this year's rush, he told The Tech last year that between 360 and 370 freshmen pledge in an average year.

Late last night, 11 houses -- again, not including Fiji -- had bids still outstanding.

InterFraternity Conference President Holly L. Simpson '92, felt that "rush went pretty well." She added, "People are concerned that a few houses didn't get as many pledges as they wanted, but that happens every year. Overall, things were fine."

IFC Rush Chairman Kenneth A. Chestnut '92 was unavailable for comment.

Many individual fraternity rush chairs felt differently, however. "Freshmen seemed more interested in staying in dorms than they have been," said Phi Kappa Sigma Rush Chair Robert M. Polansky '92. He added that PKS had been looking for eight freshmen, but wound up with only five pledges. Polansky cited numerous other problems, including trouble with Clearinghouse and apathy at dormitory desks about signing freshmen in and out.

Many houses felt restrictions on the release of freshmen's phone numbers hurt their rush efforts significantly. After much effort, Nu Delta found only seven of the nine freshmen they were looking for, and attributed much of their difficulty to the lack of phone numbers.

Beta Theta Pi, which got 5 more freshmen than the 12 they expected, also reported that freshmen disappeared for long periods of time. "It was very hard to get in touch with people we were interested in," said Frank J. Leibly III '93, BTP rush chair.

But several houses said rush went as smoothly as, or even better than, most years. Delta Tau Delta gained 12 new members, exactly the number they were looking for. Scott T. Rickard Jr. '92, the fraternity's rush chair, attributed his house's success to help from alumni and "intense rushing by our brothers."

Zeta Psi's rush was also right on target at 19 freshmen. One member called it "a good year for meeting guys."

Andrew T. Liu '92, rush chair for Phi Sigma Kappa, said things went "exceptionally well." PSK got 19 pledges, though they had been looking for only 13. Liu attributed his house's success to the motivation of its seniors. "Seniors are the most experienced rushers, and if they are motivated, you can have a really good rush," he said.

Fenway House enjoyed unusual success this year, with nearly twice as many people coming through the house as they expected. Nine freshmen joined Fenway House, well within their goal of seven to ten.

Three groups involved in

first R/O week activities

Three independent living groups -- Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Pi, and Alpha Epsilon Pi -- participated in their first R/O Week this year.

KAT rush chair Yvonne G. Lin '93 said this rush was very different than the rush the Thetas held last spring. "In the spring, we knew people who were rushing were interested in us, but we couldn't be sure in the fall. It was up to us to show freshman women what Theta had to offer them, to present ourselves as well as possible," she said.

Lin added that she thought the chapter, which was founded in October, did very well during rush. "Of the 25 bids we gave out, 23 or 24 have been accepted, and our pledges seem really psyched," she said.

Delta Pi ran its rush efforts out of their lounge in Room 7-005, said Rush Chair Richard G. Payne '93. DPi obtained use of the room from the Provost's Office and will stay there for two years, according to Payne. "Other fraternities can give house tours and other things to keep freshmen occupied, but in one room you basically sit down and meet all the freshmen," Payne said.

"Also, unlike other fraternities, our freshman class will live in the dorms, so it becomes a question of whether you want to be in a fraternity at all rather than a choice of where to live," Payne said.

Despite the disadvantages posed by their lack of a house, Payne felt DPi had done "fairly well during rush." DPi was looking for 12 pledges and had six late yesterday evening, with four bids still outstanding.

"I'm not horrendously disappointed," Payne said. "We only had one class that had run a rush before, and the others weren't really sure what was going on. Things could have been a lot worse," he added.

AEPi found rush

"very difficult"

AEPi, though not a member of the IFC, won approval to house freshmen over the summer. AEPi President Jonathan A. Oleinick '94 said this situation created unique problems for them. "Without Clearinghouse and without IFC membership, rush was very difficult," Oleinick said. "None of us have ever rushed before, and we didn't have a `rush machine' like many other houses. We made many mistakes, but I think we learned a lot and will be much more efficient for next year," he continued.

AEPi was looking for between 10 and 15 freshmen, and actually got 10 pledges. "We just came across as an honest fraternity, which really attracted people," Oleinick said. "Our status as a nationally Jewish fraternity also attracted many people," Oleinick said, though he stressed that membership in AEPi is not restricted to Jews.

AEPi cross-rushed significantly only with Pi Lambda Phi, and Oleinick said that "no significant problems" resulted. However, PLP rush chair David J. Harrison '93 said that he plans to discuss the results of the cross-rush with both the IFC and Neal H. Dorow to decide "what action, if any, is appropriate." He would not comment on details of the upcoming discussions, however.

Oleinick said that one of the 12 freshmen to whom AEPi extended a bid had gone to PLP, and another who had also been rushed by PLP had decided to live in a dormitory.