Frats, ILGs Predict Increase in PledgesBy Jay Cameron
As rush begins today, fraternities say they are more optimistic about recruitment going into the second year of having rush during the semester.
“I have every reason to believe that by the end of the month, we’ll have more new members than after rush last year,” said Interfraternity Council Rush Chairman John J. Huss ’05. “I see more contact between fraternities and freshmen than I did during [the same time] last year.”
“I think it’s going to be a great rush. We are much better prepared than we were last year as a community,” said Frank S. Council, MIT coordinator for Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups.
Council said that though rush went well last year “in terms of numbers,” some houses, perhaps unprepared for the new rush system, achieved “smaller numbers” than in previous years.
Epsilon Theta Rush Co-Chair Jennifer J. Tu ’05 said, “It’s looking really good. We’ve got a lot of interesting events planned.”
Tu agreed that the timing for rush this year is “much better” than last year, mentioning that because it’s earlier, there are no serious quizzes and tests to divide the attention of potential rushees between school and rush.
“We have a lot more name recognition than we have had in the past,” said Alpha Delta Phi Rush Chairman Joshua T. Ouellette ’04. “We put a lot of effort into Campus Preview Weekend.”
Some freshmen have already begun making connections with houses. Dimitrios Poulopoulos ’07 said, “I think it’s good for the freshmen to see the fraternities and see what they have to offer ... I will probably go to the rush activities of Number Six fraternity.”
Houses struggle during transition
Some houses struggled last year, meaning a poor rush this year would make it “more difficult to survive as a house,” said Council.
Fall of 2002 was the first year that freshmen were not allowed to live in FSILGs, leaving them with many empty beds and less income to support expenses. In response, Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict approved a contingency plan that offered reimbursements to FSILGs for empty beds. The reimbursement amount will slowly shrink over time.
“For the short term, it’s helpful,” Council said, but because it’s a three-year transition plan, fraternities and living groups must “plan for the future.”
Rush begins with Kresge Kickoff
Rush Kickoff is from noon to 5 p.m. on Kresge Oval today, when IFC members will begin handing out rush information to potential recruits. The LGC will also hold a rush carnival co-sponsored by the Science and Engineering Business Club and Smile@MIT starting at 1 p.m.
Today’s kickoff will be different from two years ago, when the kickoff event brought together the entire freshman class in Killian Court to meet the FSILG members who gathered on the sidelines awaiting the signal to begin rush. This year, fraternities and ILGs will be encouraged to attend the kickoff, but it will mainly be a promotional event for the next ten days of official fraternity rush and seventeen days of living group rush.
Sororities will begin an informal recruitment this fall but will not begin formal recruitment until spring.