FILGs Begin Rush with Some Trepidation
Fraternity and independent living group rush begins today with Kresge Kickoff at 5 p.m.
The Kickoff marks the start of two weeks of events held by member houses of the Interfraternity Council and the Living Group Council, designed to introduce non-affiliated students to FILG life. The Panhellenic Association will also be holding rush events, but they will only be open to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and transfer students.
On Oct. 5, the final day of rush, pledges will be allowed to accept their bids.
Freshman turnout is uncertain
Since all first-year students are required to live on campus, FILG members are concerned that freshmen will find this year’s rush irrelevant. Also, since rush has been moved from before classes start to the end of September, turn-out may be adversely affected.
IFC Recruitment Chair Joshua S. Yardley ’04 said that despite these obstacles, FILGs have to make an effort to educate non-affiliated students about the benefits of their residential options.
FILG members are uncertain as to how many freshmen will ultimately choose to join their groups.
“We haven’t done this before --however, we’re going to shoot for the numbers we’ve always shot for, which is 15 to 20 students,” said Bruce Au ’04, Rush Chair for Alpha Delta Phi.
“I’m hoping that it will be the way it always has been. I don’t really know what to expect,” said pika Rush Chair Sarah R. Gottfried ’04
Living Group Council Recruitment Chair Emily M. Marcus G remains optimistic. She reports substantial interest among freshmen in ILGs.
Although the sororities are holding rush events in the coming weeks, they will only be rushing sophomores, juniors, seniors, and transfer students. Freshmen sorority rush will be held in January.
Confusion over Kresge Kickoff
This year rush Kickoff, traditionally staged in Killian Court, will be held on Kresge Oval. Last week, the Kickoff was cancelled after concerns were voiced by some FILGs that Kickoff would create unnecessary competition among the houses. But after a day of protest by other FILGs, Kresge Kickoff was reinstated.
“In their [freshmen’s] minds, the kickoff will not be as big as it was in our minds when we were freshmen,” said Au.
“Killian Kickoff was an icon of rush,” Yardley said. “We thought it might not be so intense [this year]. But the intensity is still there, if not stronger.”
Kresge Kickoff will begin this afternoon at 5 p.m. and will offer food, music, and raffles.
FILGs develop contingency plans
Last February, the Residence System Implementation Team, with the approval of Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict, drafted the Financial Transition Proposal. The proposal was designed to compensate FSILGs for the financial losses that may surface with the move to house all freshmen on campus. This year the plan offers non-dormitory living groups a reimbursment of 80 percent of the facility cost for each empty bed. The percent reimbursed will decrease each year for three years.
“It’s going to be plenty for the next few years,” said Yardley. Yardley said that the plan was designed for the next three years, but will be reevaluated at the end of this term.
“We have to take a look at how we budget and the way we do things so we can survive on our own without help from the Institute,” said Yardley.
Au disagrees. “It’s definitely not enough in our case,” he said.
He said that the plan offers more funding to houses that have had successful rushes in the past two to three years. Houses that are already suffering will fare even worse, he said.
Au, however, cannot suggest any revisions to the proposal. “I don’t see that we have any bargaining power to ask for more,” Au said.
Despite the aid from the proposal, many houses have developed contingency plans in the event that financial blows are too crippling.
Alpha Delta Phi already has a contingency plan in place. The fraternity now rents out a full floor of its house to MIT graduate students, taking up roughly 15 percent of the house space.
Also, many houses are considering turning to their national organizations or their alumni for support.
However, houses without national organizations, such as the ILGs, will have to seek support locally, Marcus said. However, Marcus said that none of the ILGs are in any grave danger.
“There’s no point in worrying until we see how rush goes,” Marcus said.
“Our house is doing really well. We have grad students and CMI students and fifth year seniors moving in. We really want freshmen as well to keep continuity in the community,” Gottfried said.
Yardley said that when freshmen accept their bids, FILGs will have an initial set of numbers to use to gauge the success of rush. These numbers, though, are not final.
“There’s still time for a house to build up and keep up recruitment year round,” he said.
Rush events will begin after Kresge Kickoff and will continue for two weeks.
A schedule of rush events can be found in the Daily Confusion, page A12.