Spring Rush Off to Slow Start for IFCBy Tom Kilpatrick
Spring rush typically lacks the fanfare and excitement of fall rush and Killian Court, with only a handful of freshmen participating each year. This year proved to be no exception, as roughly 21 freshmen, more than half female, came to La Sala de Puerto Rico last night for the Interfraternity Council’s spring kickoff event.
Posters for the event promised a relaxed atmosphere, with representatives from all participating fraternities and independent living groups present, along with a live comedian, a raffle, and food.
According to IFC rush chair Joshua S. Yardley ’04, just under 100 affiliated members represented their groups at the event. Three goals were to “get freshmen out, build momentum for years to come, and bring lots of houses together,” Yardley said.
In an amusing twist, the event’s organizers underestimated the number of affiliated members who would attend, paying the price when most of the food was eaten before freshmen even arrived.
Participation level varies
The intensity with which fraternities and living groups have been recruiting varies, as some need new members more than others. Zeta Beta Tau, which has 16 freshmen living in the house, is in the latter category.
“We’re pretty laid back about it ... we don’t have the urgent need to get members,” said rush chair Aadel A. Chaudhuri ’04. However, most houses have at least one or two freshmen in mind who rushed in the fall but opted to live dormitories. “We definitely have specific people in mind,” Chaudhuri said.
Other fraternities are more active, recruiting in the dormitories. Phi Delta Theta has postered on campus and Sigma Chi has held actual recruiting events in dormitories.
A stronger effort does not necessarily signal desperation, however. “Our target [for spring rush] is undefined,” said PDT rush chair Dylan B. Chavez ’04. “We felt it was necessary to look at the options,” as spring rush will be more important in the future. “It lets us get a jump on next year’s stuff.”
One possible reason for the surprising turnout of fraternity and ILG affiliates last night is that the MIT administration has agreed to pay 80 percent of the estimated fees FSILGs will lose next year, when all freshmen will be housed in dormitories. As a stipulation they have made participation in spring rush a requirement to receive this funding.
The IFC does not have any more joint spring rush events scheduled, as individual houses will handle their events from now on.
Although freshman attendance was perhaps lower than could have been hoped for, some students found consolation in the comedian, who stayed for 30 or 40 minutes. “He was funny,” Chavez said. His specialty was bathroom humor, according to audience reports. IFC rush chair Yardley called it “some twisted humor.”
Not all enjoyed his routine, however. One unfortunate student sporting a mohawk had to endure the comic’s wrath; he and his crew were noticeably stone-faced.