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Ninety Percent of Fall Fraternity Pledges Initiated

By Ray C. He

ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Out of 296 pledges received by fraternities in the fall, 265 have been initiated and approximately 80 percent of these initiates are moving into fraternities this fall, said David N. Rogers, assistant dean and director of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups.

The percentage of fraternity initiates moving into their houses is consistent with percentages from the past four years, he said.

No freshmen initiates were able to move into their fraternities in 2002, the first year that all freshmen were required to live in dormitories. As a consequence, the number of empty beds in fraternities increased from 190 last year to 260 this year.

FSILGs received about 290 pledges in 2002, compared with an average of about 344 for the years before 2002, said Frank S. Council, coordinator of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups, in March.

The estimated number of empty beds for the 2004 to 2005 year is 340 among all the fraternities, based on initiation numbers from the office of FSILGs, upperclassmen numbers given by individual fraternities, and house capacities from the Interfraternity Council’s rush Web site, available at http://rush.mit.edu.

The empty bed number was calculated assuming graduating seniors move out, all juniors and seniors live in the fraternities, an inward flux of 80 percent of the initiated freshmen class, and consistent numbers from the two fraternities that did not report upperclassmen numbers.

Empty beds not consistent

While there will be an estimated 340 empty beds in the entire fraternity system, some houses have filled most of their beds, shown by the fact that they received no money from MIT’s financial transition subsidy.

“Some got no money because of how well they did,” Rogers said. “I think fraternities are doing very well adapting to the new recruitment style.”

Other fraternities did not do nearly as well filling their beds and will consequently require more support from the financial transition subsidy, which ends after next year. The overall number of empty beds is still relatively high compared to numbers before 2002.

Sanctioned fraternities rush later

Sanctioned fraternities must find alternate recruitment methods to sustain themselves. These fraternities include Delta Kappa Epsilon, whose rush privileges were revoked for one year, and Lambda Chi Alpha and Theta Delta Chi, each of whom were suspended from the next two IFC rushes.

The revocation of rush privileges will not necessarily put an end to the sanctioned fraternities, Rogers said. The fraternities will, however, “have to be creative,” he said. DKE, LCA, and TDC must rush after the other fraternities.

Rogers would not comment on whether or not the magnitude of the sanctions were fair during a time when fraternities have had increasingly more empty beds.

“It’s not my job to comment on judicial cases,” he said. “We have an extremely well-framed and appropriate judicial committee. We support their decisions.”