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FSILGs Explore Non-Residential Pledging to Prepare for Rush ’01

By Mike Hall

As rush 1999 comes to a close, MIT’s fraternities, sororities and independent living groups are now turning their attention to the challenges of next year’s rush.

Faced with the possibility of all freshmen being housed on campus, many houses are seeking alternatives for rush 2000 and beyond.

Non-residential pledging is the primary plan for post-2001 rush. Todd W. Nightingale ’01, rush chair for Zeta Psi, said that his house would rush freshmen “to get first crack at the best guys... Even without living here, we could give [pledges] a taste of frat life while still in freshman year.”

Most houses considering non-residential pledging would charge non-resident members a standard dues fee, similar to the current fee system at MIT sororities.

Many houses also plan to begin rushing upperclassmen in 2001. “If necessary, we are considering upperclassmen pledges,” said Mehul P. Shah ’01, rush chair for Beta Theta Pi. Shah added that Beta would also consider a continuous rush to draw in students not satisfied with their housing.

In addition to pursuing upperclassmen, Student House rush chair Jennifer K. Son ’02 said that her house would also pursue transfer students throughout the year.

Fenway House already has started pursuing both upperclassmen and graduate students, according to rush chair Rebecca A. Bish ’02. “[The 2001 mandate] will affect us less than other houses because we have a strong upperclass and graduate base,” Bish stated.

Additionally, FSILGs are considering alternate uses for their facilities following 2001. Phi Sigma Kappa has already obtained approval for converting its property at 485 Commonwealth into apartments, according to rush chair Tyson T. Lawrence ’01. “We’re prepared for whatever happens in 2001,” Lawrence said.

Shaida C. Boroumand ’00, rush chair for pika, said that her house plans to offer a non-residential dining package to MIT students. Boroumand added that the package would include a nightly “home-cooked” dinner at pika for a small fee and occasional clean-up duties.

Unlike fraternities at larger schools, most of MIT’s FSILGs offer housing to all of their members. The Institute’s 2001 mandate would force many houses to revert to non-residential membership in order to maintain the fraternity structure.