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Uncertain Future Prompts Houses to Try IAP Rush

By Kevin R. Lang
STAFF REPORTER

With fewer students pledging fraternities and independent living groups and the possibility of rush changing dramatically in the near future, off-campus living groups have started to rush over Independent Activities Period.

Epsilon Theta, Phi Beta Epsilon, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Fenway House, and Tau Epsilon Phi are among the fraternities and independent living groups running an IAP rush. Number Six Club is currently planning to rush during the first week of spring term.

Neal H. Dorow, assistant dean for residence and campus activities and advisor to fraternities, sororities and independent living groups, said that "this IAP rush is probably unique," and that this might be the "first time people are maybe looking to fill beds ahead of time."

Some hold IAPrush for first time

TEP is rushing over IAP for the first time, in an effort to make up for a slow fall rush which increased the house bill. However, rush chair Dylan J. McConaghy '00 said that "it also became somewhat apparent that this may prove to be what happens in the future." TEP hopes to be prepared for changes to rush when they might occur, McConaghy said.

Sarah J. Little '01, rush chair at No. 6, said that her house is running a non-traditional rush for the first time almost as a preemptive measure. "We felt that in the future rush would be changing, and we wanted to be more proactive and see what could be done,"Little said. No. 6 also has an uneven distribution between classes, and the house does not want to be short of residents in a few years, Little said.

Unfortunately for TEP, IAP rush has been slow. McConaghy noted that their publicity was not as extensive as they had hoped it would be, as planning for drop posters and other large-scale advertising was not started soon enough. He added that "it's not a time of year when people are used to thinking about questions of housing," and that it's "very difficult to convince someone to come away from IAP activities to come across the river."

Only a few people have attended each event of IAP rush, and TEPdoes not expect to get the five or six pledges it wants, McConaghy said.

IAP similar to fall rush

Events of IAP rush have been similar to fall rush events, although McConaghy noted that "summer events don't translate very well." Food, parties, games, and study breaks are being used to attract potential residents. However, TEP's budget for IAP rush "is small because we hadn't planned on needing to do IAP rush," McConaghy said.

"My guess is that if this is to become more of a standard thing in the future, I think it'll start to go better because it'll seem less like a quirky thing."

Unlike fall rush, IAP rush is conducted on an individual house basis without Interfraternity Council oversight, Dorow said.

"Because it's IAP it's that much more difficult to organize" with new IFCofficers entering office soon, Dorow said. While the clearinghouse and messaging systems are not used for IAP rush, fundamental regulations are still in place, he added. Rush events must still be dry, and fraternities and ILGs are still prohibited from criticizing other living groups.

Dorow did not know how many students were expected to pledge over IAP, and noted that his office learns of winter pledging only when students cancel their on-campus housing.

"There's probably a little bit going on behind the scenes that we don't know about," such as fraternities possibly meeting students during fall term and pledging over IAP, Dorow said.

ET, PBE, AEPi, and Fenway are rushing over IAP, but their respective rush chairs could not be reached for comment Tuesday night