The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 36.0°F | A Few Clouds

IFC Keeps Close Eye On This Year’s Rush

Rules Regarding Females More Stringent

By Jennifer Krishnan

NEWS EDITOR

This year’s rush has featured higher budgets, more vigilant Interfraternity Council policing, and guest appearances by the Cambridge License Commission.

Delta Kappa Epsilon Rush Chair Nicholas A. Nielsen ’03 guessed that most fraternities were spending $20,000 to $30,000 on recruitment this year.

“They’re probably spending a little more than usual this year, because they’re trying to stay strong,” he said. “But these are already such high budgets that it doesn’t really matter.”

The IFC Judicial Committee investigators “are always around,” said Phi Beta Epsilon Rush Chair Jae K. Ro ’02.

The CLC sent its own investigator to each of the fraternities in Cambridge “to make sure everything is okay,” said IFC Recruitment Chair Joanne Chang ’03. The investigator checked for alcohol and made sure that building capacities had not been exceeded. “They know about rush ... they know the chaos, and they wanted to see for themselves” how rush is going, she said.

About 350 freshmen stayed overnight in fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups on Saturday night, Chang said.

Last year, about 400 freshmen stayed overnight at FSILGs on Saturday night, according to Chang. However, a new IFC rule forbidding females from staying overnight in all-male living groups may be responsible in part for the lower figure.

IFC watches women closely

Chang said that IFC representatives stopped by the front desks of all the FSILGs immediately after Killian Kickoff to make sure there were no problems and address any concerns. At that time, IFC representatives checked, among other things, to make sure no women were checked into all-male houses.

This year, freshmen women are not allowed to sleep over at all-male living groups. “Freshman girls should not be overnighting where they are not potential new members,” Chang said. In past years the IFC has not taken any stance on this issue, but Chang said that it became a problem last year.

“They’re missing out on opportunities for ILGs and [Panhellenic rush],” she said.

“Last year, Panhel had a weak rush,” Ro said. The weak Panhellenic rush may have inspired the IFC to be more strict about freshman women being taken away from Killian.

“[IFC has] been really strict about girls going on jaunts,” said Nu Delta Rush Chair Guillermo J. Chicas ’03. “I guess it’s affecting sororities ... It’s not like we’re rushing girls, but with girls come guys.”

Though overnight numbers were down overall, Women’s Independent Living Group Rush Chair Marissa Raymond ’03 said WILG had more freshmen than usual stay over Saturday night.

More effort goes into rush

Ro said PBE was spending 10 to 20 percent more than usual on rush this year. He added that the fraternity had about two dozen rush girls, three times as many as usual.

Eric A. Dauler ’02, Rush Chair for Pi Lambda Phi, said his fraternity was spending about $20,000, the same amount as last year. “But we had a bigger alumni turnout than last year, which sort of makes up for not spending more money,” Dauler said.

In addition, Dauler said that members of other PLP chapters came to help out with rush.

Sigma Phi Epsilon Rush Chair William D. Fournier ’03 said that Sig Ep will spend less than $10,000 on rush, substantially less than many other fraternities. Their budget is slightly higher than last year’s, he said, but this is due to the fact that they have more room to fill. In addition to filling the main house, Sig Ep plans put some members in its annex this year.

“We haven’t noticed any significant drawbacks” to having a low budget, Fournier said. “We have inexpensive jaunts ... We don’t throw a lot of flash at freshmen.”

Rushees set own agendas

Some of the rush chairs believe that this year’s rushees are more knowledgeable about the rush process than previous classes were. “Freshmen seem to know more about rush this year,” Ro said. “They’ve been moving around a lot more than in the past.”

“Some kids are more organized,” Nielsen said. “They have their own set agenda, as opposed to just going along with whoever camps for them.”

No consensus on non-residentials

With just one year until the implementation of freshmen-on-campus, some houses are ready to extend non-residential bids. However, some groups are still averse to the idea. Many still remain undecided.

“We’re encouraging freshmen to be residential members if they can, but we’re allowing for the possibility” of non-residential pledges, Ro said. He indicated that some freshmen have already expressed interest in such an option.

“We’re not used to non-residential bids ... but people are thinking more along those lines” this year, Nielsen said. Some houses “are giving out lots of bids to get their numbers up for next year, but our house doesn’t feel that’s the way to go.” Deke, he said, will only extend bids to freshmen who “would be a good fit for the house.”

Dauler said that PLP will only extend residential bids until they fill the house, at which point they may go back and extend non-residential bids. “We don’t initially want to make that an option,” he said.

Raymond said that WILG had not yet come to a consensus about non-residential members.

Chicas said that upperclassmen generally move out of Nu Delta to make room for freshmen, and that the fraternity has not yet made a decision about non-residential members.