ILGs Look for New Members to Offset Poor Fall RushBy Joey Marquez
In a break with tradition, a number of independent living groups decided to rush for new members this spring. Several factors contributed to the decisions, including an unsuccessful rush last fall, according to several ILG rush chairmen.
"We had a poor fall rush. We received fewer pledges," said Ekrem S. Soylemez '93, Epsilon Theta rush chair. He said that since the rush is ongoing, it is difficult to predict what the results will be. ET hosted a party in December as well as numerous events during IAP in order to meet a large number of people, Soylemez said.
The Women's Independent Living Group also had a spring rush for many of the same reasons. "We didn't have a successful rush this year and we had some people graduate after the fall term," said Suchita Natarajan '93, WILG rush chair. "We had a lot of space, so we decided to rush." At the end of WILG's rush, which was held during IAP, three bids were extended, all of which were accepted.
Natarajan could not identify any reasons for the poor outcome of rush last fall, and indicated that it is difficult to pinpoint any specific causes. "It really fluctuates from class to class," she said. This year, "a lot of freshmen wanted to live in dorms."
Both Soylemez and Natarajan said that even though living groups were rushing in the spring, the rules set by the IFC for Residence/Orientation Week still applied. Both agreed that everyone would abide by these rules.
But despite what ILG rush chairs said, Neal H. Dorow, advisor to fraternities and independent living groups, said that living groups did not have a "bad rush" last fall. "Nobody reports a bad rush," he said, and to call a rush less than successful "depends on a subjective viewpoint." Even if a group fell short of its new member goal, one could still say it had a good rush, he continued.
Money also a factor
Dorow said financial difficulties motivated some ILGs to rush this spring. He said in order "to operate a facility, you need a certain number of people to pay bills." Fixed expenses are probably the main reason for a spring rush, he said, because adding members to a house lowers the cost for each member.
Residents of Student House, who need six additional members to fill their house to capacity, face such monetary constraints. According to Rush Chair Laura M. Gatewood '93, if six individuals are not found, the house will have to ask graduate students to live there or raise the monthly rent. But instead of hosting rush activities, Student House has posted flyers to introduce the house. "Pretty much, the house sells itself," Gatewood said.
In general, Dorow said he "encourages groups to rush throughout the year if they find someone who meets their needs and goals" after fall rush has ended.
Spring rush for AXO
Alpha Chi Omega is also rushing this spring, but not because their fall rush went poorly. "We had an excellent rush. We just decided to hold two bids," said Monica B. Emelko '93, AXO rush chair. Emelko said that since the sorority had the option of holding their bids until the spring and several people had expressed interest in them, the chapter decided to hold an open rush this spring.
Emelko said that AXO would also abide by the R/O rush rules, as well as upholding rules set by the National Panhellenic Conference, a national organization that governs sororities.
AXO President Stefanie A. Spencer '93 said that each sorority is allowed to extend a total of 29 bids and that only two bids could be set aside for the spring. She said that AXO's decision to rush this spring was intentional rather than forced upon them.
Kappa Alpha Theta President Gabrielle L. Rocap '92 said that although her sorority has four bids left over from last fall's rush, the chapter decided not to rush again this spring. "We want to concentrate to make our chapter stronger, and we'd rather wait until the fall to have another rush," she said.