Benedict Approves FSILG FundingBy Eric J. Cholankeril
Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict has approved a proposal to ease the financial burden for fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups transitioning to the new residential system this fall.
The Financial Transition Proposal, submitted by a subcommittee of the Residence System Implementation Team (RSIT) last November, would reimburse FSILGs for 80 percent of the fixed facility cost of each empty bed. Additionally, the Institute would subsidize half of the fixed facility cost for each fifth-year student filling a space in the residence.
Benedict said that $750,000 has been allocated under the budget of the Dean for Student Life to pay for the first year of reimbursements. Initially, the number of empty beds to be subsidized will be limited to the expected number of first-year residents for each house, computed as the average number of first-year residents from 1999-2002. The subsidies would phase out over three years, with the maximum allowable number of empty beds dropping by a third each year.
Additionally, the budget would pay for “further incentives and special programming to help chapters through the transition,” including individual recruitment workshops with residences, said David N. Rogers, assistant dean and director for FSILGs. Rogers noted that some of the percentages may not be final, saying, “Some of the details need to be ironed out.”
Interfraternity Council Recruitment Chair Joshua S. Yardley ’04, a member of RSIT, agreed that the plan would probably need to be reworked. “[The plan] sets up a good system for looking at it again after the first year, even after the first term.”
Members must reside in FSILGs
The proposal requires that FSILGs accepting reimbursements adhere to a few requirements, including being recognized by the Institute as a chapter “in good standing.” FSILGs must also participate in recruitment each term and attend “Roundtable” discussions with RLSLP staff and other living group representatives.
Furthermore, living groups must act to “maximize in-house residency” by encouraging non-residential members to move into the living group through incentives or contracts.
Rogers noted that compliance with this requirement would be reviewed “on a case-by-case basis” by a committee composed of alumni, RLSLP staff, and representatives from the IFC, Living Group Council, and the Panhellenic Association. The committee’s primary responsibility would be to review FSILG reimbursement requests.
Yardley described the requirement as “more of a guideline,” noting that reimbursements might be revoked if more than a few members decided to live on-campus. He added, “[FSILGs are] already trying to maximize in-house residency.”
Spring rush 2002 begins
Some fraternities will be recruiting new members in the next few weeks, as IFC spring rush begins. Spring recruiting will kick off on Monday with an “informal, laid-back” event from 6 to 8 p.m. in La Sala de Puerto Rico, Yardley said. All undergraduates are invited to the event, which will feature a comedian, door prizes, and members from each fraternity participating in spring rush.
While in past years “spring rush has pretty much been non-existent,” this year 12 to 15 houses are planning to participate, Yardley said, and most are looking to recruit three or four new members.
No coordinated schedule of events will be available, although each participating fraternity will distribute event schedules at the kickoff.
Richard A. Hovan ’03, president of Zeta Beta Tau, said that ZBT will be “holding small events” such as a bowling night, and “trying to sell our house the same [way] we always do.”
Hovan does not anticipate that ZBT will have empty beds in the fall, as the fraternity is currently over capacity by sixteen people and is renting out space in annexes. “Over the past three years we’ve had some pretty amazing rushes,” he explained.
Some fraternities have had so much success that they are not planning to rush this spring.
Marc Q. Knight ’02, president of Kappa Sigma, said that his fraternity has no plans for spring rush.
He added, “We don’t expect to have any empty beds [this fall],” noting that a few residents were staying to complete an MEng degree.
Rogers said, “I just hope for a good recruitment ... so that next year they’ll have an easier time recruiting sophomores.”
ILGs also plan for fall
Independent living groups have already held their recruitment events for the spring. IAP rush “went quite well,” said Emily M. Marcus ’02, rush chair for the Living Group Council (LGC) and a member of Epsilon Theta. Marcus said that five new members were recruited to live in the six independent living groups which comprise the LGC.
Marcus said that Epsilon Theta “will have empty spots, but not so many as to be crippling.” ET plans to take advantage of the Financial Transition Proposal, and is even considering offering housing to fifth-year students who were not previously residents.
Sarah R. Gottfried ’04, rush chair for pika, said, “We had one person who moved in, and one who might move in this fall.” She noted that pika has been focusing more on recruiting, saying, “We’ve been going to a lot more meetings and IFC events than in the past.” Gottfried added that pika will have six to eight empty beds this fall.
Michael I. Mandel ’04, rush chair for Tau Epsilon Phi, said that IAP rush “didn’t go so well,” and that the fraternity did not recruit any new pledges. Mandel estimated that TEP would have a number of empty beds this fall, and would probably take advantage of the subsidies.
TEP and pika will also participate in the IFC spring rush kickoff.