Record Number of Students Accept ILG Bids This RushBy Hyun Soo Kim
A record number of freshmen accepted bids from fraternities and coed living groups this year, with 401 freshmen pledging by 2 p.m. yesterday. The previous record was set last year when 380 freshmen pledged independent living groups, according to Clearinghouse Committee Chair Daniel J. Dunn '95.
The former record for accepted bids was set in 1988, Dunn said.
"We probably had the best rush in four or five years," said Michael J. Daly '95 of Delta Tau Delta.
"The weather cooperated, and people worked harder. I think overall it was an outstanding rush, but there's always going to be a couple of disappointed houses," said Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean and adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups.
Many houses closed early, for example, Sigma Chi closed at 9:55 a.m. Monday.
Independent living groups are no longer actively rushing, but about 10 houses are waiting for outstanding bids, Dunn said. He expects about another 15 freshmen to accept bids from ILGs within the next 36 hours.
According to new rule changes, houses must remain "open" if there are more than three outstanding bids, if there is a student who is cross-rushing with another group, or if the group has more bids to extend, Dunn said.
Many ILGs exceed targets
Many ILGs have met or exceeded their targets as of last night: Alpha Delta Phi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Beta Epsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, pika, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Women's Independent Living Group, Zeta Beta Tau, and Zeta Psi.
ADP exceeded its goal by nine freshmen, said Rush Chair Mithran C. Mathew '95. "The quality of people going through was great. Everyone jumped on our bids. Last year was successful, but this year was incredible for us," he said.
SAE did not rush with a specific target in mind, said Rush Chair David M. Sukoff '95. "Our goal was to get every single quality freshmen there, and we did," he said. "We don't even consider numbers, we don't care if we are overcrowded, we just take everyone who is cool."
"We just pack them in. The freshmen don't mind because they are so happy to be here," Sukoff added.
Summer rush gave some fraternities a head start. "[Rush] went really well; freshmen were much more informed this year," said ATO member John J.S. Park '95. "A lot of houses stepped up summer rush, and a lot of freshmen knew what to look for."
PSK Rush Chair Brian L. Petersen '96 said, "We had a great rush. It all started with a good summer rush. We had eight summer rush parties, and many personal contacts and phone calls."
Record rush violations
An unprecedented number of rush violations have been recorded by the Interfraternity Council, said Dunn, who is also the IFC Judicial Committee Chair. "None are particularly vindictive," he said.
The new Clearinghouse software helped keep track of freshmen, because the houses could input information using MITnet instead of calling it in over the phone, Dorow said. "It made rush less stressful for many rush chairs." Dorow said.
The improved Clearinghouse system also brought more violations to light, Dunn said. "Clearinghouse enabled us to keep closer track of trip lengths. A lot of charges won't be pressed, even though now we know about all of them. We'll only press the ones where people" were angry, he said.
Freshmen delay pledging
"Rush is going on while orientation is going on [which] causes a lot of troubles for ILGs and doesn't help turnout in many of the events," said Pi Lambda Phi Rush Chair Mark A. Herschberg '95. He added that more rush activities ended later in the week, as freshmen took more time to make a more informed decision.
Some rush chairs felt there were fewer men in the freshman class.
"It seemed like this year less freshmen were randomly stopping by. We had to go out and actively meet them," said Theta Chi Rush Chair Jason A. Deich '96. Theta Chi fell slightly short of its goal this year.
Some houses, like ZBT, simply had bad luck with their events. Taking over 70 freshmen on a trip to play paintball, they arrived to find the facility closed, said Irwin Lee '95. Also, the comedian did not show up at their scheduled comedy night.
Phi Kappa Theta also had bad luck. "People kept getting lost at places, and it rained on our picnic," said Rush Chair Robert J. Powers '96.
PKT especially had reason to worry - they received zero pledges before Wednesday night, when all of their freshmen pledged at once, Powers said. It was nerve-wracking, he said. "We had 60 hours and 20 minutes without any pledges. We were counting the minutes."
PKT had tried a different approach this year. Instead of spreading out the bids over the entire week, they gave out all the bids Sunday night, Powers said. "I was pushing people to meet people. And I was trying to avoid having people pledge Wednesday and Thursday."
Many rush chairs were reluctant to reveal the number of bids extended and their targets. Rush Chair Robert O. Grimm '95 of Delta Psi, also known as No. 6 Club, refused to divulge any statistics on its rush because of house policy.