Frats Hopeful As Rush Winds DownBy Rima Arnaout
NEWS AND FEATURES DIRECTOR
As freshmen begin to accept bids to join fraternities and independent living groups today, fraternities and independent living groups seem confident that this year’s rush will be a strong one.
“I think it has gone pretty well,” said Interfraternity Council President Rory P. Pheiffer. “Overnights have been anywhere from 15-21 kids [per fraternity], and that’s usually a pretty good sign that they’re having a strong rush,” Pheiffer said.
“Just like any year, overnighting people is a key part of rush,” said Alpha Delta Phi rush chair Warren C. Ruder ’02. While it doesn’t keep statistics on how overnights correlate with acceptance of bids, ADP is pleased with the turnout thus far.
Fraternities and independent living groups started extending bids to prospective members yesterday morning.
Violations down to a minimum
So far, the Interfraternity Council Executive Board has yet to deal with any notable rush violations. “I know a lot of people have been worried about rush being a bit dirty this year,” Pheiffer said.
“Every year people start bending [rush] rules ... a lot of the time it’s accidental,” such as a fraternity’s forgetting to change the database right away when a freshman comes to visit, Pheiffer said.
Adherence to rush rules is important “so that the freshmen have a chance for a level playing field” on which to make their housing decision, Pheiffer said.
In addition, all fraternities have been left free to conduct rush this year, Pheiffer said. In past years, the Cambridge Licensing Commission (CLC) and Boston Licensing Board (BLB) have imposed rush restrictions as a means of censuring fraternities brought before them.
This year, the CLC and BLB realize that limiting a FSILGs rush capabilities will hamper its ability to improve itself, Pheiffer said.
Dorms prepared for crowding
While it is too early to tell how the number of rush pledges will affect potential crowding in the dormitories, MIT Undergraduate Residential Services has prepared dorm rooming chairs for the possibility by providing them with the anticipated number of crowds the dorms may receive.
Burton-Conner, MacGregor, East Campus, New House, and Next House are prepared to house the most crowds, with each dorm ready to receive about 30 extra freshmen. Baker can house roughly 13, while McCormick is operating through the Residence-Based Advising program.
Residence selection seems to be proceeding successfully. “From all the reports I’ve heard, it seems to be going pretty well across the board,” said Dormitory Council President Matthew S. Cain ’02.
The freshmen, staying in temporary housing assignments, “have been more interested in their dorm than in years past,” Cain said.
Cain attributes this change in part to the fact that freshmen now pick their temporary dorms with the help of the I3 CD, sent over the summer to help introduce them to MIT’s residence system.
“Things like the I3 CD have had a big impact” on this year’s residence selection “and hopefully will be helpful next year,” he said.
Sorority rush ongoing
Sororities are still in the thick of the recruitment process. Prospective members will receive bids on Wednesday. They have the choice of accepting immediately or deferring their decision until Friday at 5pm.
“I think it’s going very well,” said Annie K. Wang ’02, President of the Panhellenic Association (Panhel). “We’re doing things a little differently this year, partially in preparation for recruitment 2002.”
In particular, there has been different training for Rho Chis to help prospective members make more informed decisions, Wang said. The selection process for Rho Chis included both a paper application and an interview this year.
While numbers of new members vary from group to group, Panhel Recruitment Chair Stephanie E. Guerreri ’02 suspects that each sorority will accept at least as many new members this year as it did in the past.
Many sorority members noted high participation among freshman women this year, particularly at Killian Kickoff and the ensuing Women’s Convocation. With 100 members, the convocation was “the largest attendance we’ve had in my four years here,” Wang said.
Next year, sorority rush is expected to be even more productive because “we won’t be rushing at the same time as the men,” Guerreri said. “It’s really different when girls miss recruitment parties to go on jaunts with men,” she said.
Wang also considers next year’s schedule to be a plus because the increased focus on sorority rush will “help the girls adjust to MIT and see all their options before making a choice.”
A final draft of next year’s rush schedule is expected to become official in late September or early October.