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Fraternities Encouraged By Numbers

By Nancy L. Keuss


With the 2001 rush season nearing its official close, fraternities and independent living groups appear satisfied with the outcomes of their recruitment efforts.

Rush has “gone better than expected,” said Interfraternity Council Judicial Committee (Judcomm) Chairman Thomas B. Fisher ’02. “Some houses are doing really well, while there are no reports of anyone doing really badly.”

According to the Judcomm chair, MIT fraternities have reported roughly 260 new affiliates across the 26 houses.

“We have seven pledges [thus far] out of the 12 or 13 we’re expecting,” said former Pi Lambda Phi Rush Chairman Ian M. McCreery ’01.

Still McCreery did voice concerns about the lower overall turnout. “Since summer rush was really small, far fewer people were rushed [in the fall],” said McCreery.

“We also had fewer overnights than expected,” added the former rush chair. McCreery observed that while some freshmen stayed at fraternities, sometimes even late into the night, many chose to sleep in their temporary dormitory assignments.

“It’s not how I acted when I was being rushed,” said McCreery.

These sentiments were echoed by Chi Phi Rush Chairman Austin J. Wang ’02.

“For example we had 120 people per day show up to our house last year, compared to only about 80 this year,” said Wang. “Turnout is definitely lower than last year.”

The fraternities remain optimistic, however, as many of their events were met with great success.

“We didn’t expect so many people at our boat trip,” said Wang. “The turnout [for this event] was much higher than last year.”

ILG rush outcomes vary

Some living groups, including the independent living group Pika, have encountered an inordinate number of freshmen preferring to test out dorm life their first year.

“We’ve had fewer freshmen coming in than in previous years,” said Pika Rush Chair Casey R. Muller ’02. “It seems many are predisposed to living in a dorm their first year and moving off-campus their second year. We’re guessing this is something that the Institute has been trying to drum into their heads.”

Pika, which hopes to gain around five new members, has so far received three pledges from the nine bids it extended this year.

Some rush coordinators believe this year’s rush has been characterized by more enthusiasm on all sides.

“We’re having an amazing rush,” said Rush Chair Rebecca L. Smith ’03 of the Women’s Independent Living Group (WILG). “I think we’ve put a lot more into rush this year, knowing it’s the last one before all freshmen will be in dormitories.”

Although WILG’s rush is not yet closed and will remain open at least through Thursday, the all-female residence has thus far received nine pledges from the fourteen bids granted.

Shankar Mukherji also contributed to the reporting of this story.