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Rush Changes Are Hypocritical

The Interfraternity Council and the Residence and Orientation Committee have made some important changes for the upcoming rush. These changes, which involve Thursday Night Dinners and alcohol policy, are a step in the right direction. Yet they do not go far enough toward eliminating the hypocrisy of rush.

Last year, a mob of upperclassmen, primarily from fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, eagerly rushed to Briggs Field to invite freshmen to Thursday Night Dinners, interrupting Project Move Off Your Assumptions. Campus Police had to be called in to contain the crowd.

This year, the administration has been working to ensure a more controlled atmosphere. Despite the fact that Thursday Night Dinners is not a rush event, the administration gave veto power to any changes to the IFC. When the IFC balked at major change, only slight modifications to the dinners were made.

The Institute bills Thursday Night Dinners as a chance for freshmen to get out and dine on local cuisine while socializing with a few helpful upperclassmen. Few freshmen realize that the dinners are a rush event. The Institute doesn't tell freshmen that FSILGs use both the dinners and Project MOYA as major rush events.

The public discussion has revealed that both the administration and the IFC consider Thursday Night Dinners essential for rush. If that is so, it is hypocritical to advertise them otherwise. Freshmen should be told that rush begins Thursday night and that the events are not mandatory.

The second change in FSILG rush this year involves alcohol. While the administration had pressured the IFC to adopt a dry rush, the IFC rejected proposals that have limited consumption of alcohol to private rooms. In stead, the IFC limited consumption to members of the fraternity. This will probably end the practice of holding large parties where alcohol is served. "Dead week" events would not be changed. While the new rules are a step in the right direction, they represent only minimal change.

The IFChas long claimed to have a policy of "dry rush." In the past, this has meant little more than that the IFC would abide by state laws. Now fraternity rush will be arguably more dry than before, but that's not saying much.

Many incoming students find Residence and Orientation Week stressful, deceptive, and unpleasant. The hypocrisy of Thursday night rushing and "dry rush" contributes to the atmosphere of negativity that pervades the week. If the administration and the IFC want to improve the experience for incoming students, they could come clean on Thursday Night Dinners and alcohol.