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Half of ...10 Men Join Fraternities in 2006Only Three Upperclassmen Decide to Pledge

By Manisha Padi

Three upperclassmen and about half of male freshmen decided to pledge a fraternity during this fall’s rush. About 80 percent of the 355 freshmen who were offered bids accepted, according to statistics provided by the Interfraternity Council. A total of 441 bids were given out, and 37 freshmen still have open bids.

This year’s yield rate is very similar to that of the last two years, but the actual number of pledges has gone up, partly because of a larger freshman class. Last year, 444 bids were given out and 255 of the 320 bids given to freshmen were accepted by this time last year, a yield of about 80 percent. Of the 34 upperclassmen receiving bids last year, 30 pledged fraternities, as reported in The Tech.

Phi Delta Theta, with 22 pledges, was one of the most successful fraternities during this year’s rush. As of Sunday, Phi Sigma Kappa had 20 pledges, Beta Theta Pi had three pledges, and Tau Epsilon Phi had zero pledges, according to Ryan E. Young ’08, a rush chair for PSK.

“We had a different philosophy this year,” said Young. “We had a bad rush last year, so doing well this year was important. We were very focused from the get-go and had a strong presence on campus throughout orientation.” He felt their most successful rush event was the popular canoeing trip for prospective brothers.

“The trips were the best part of rush,” said Christopher J. Jarrette ’10, a pledge at Alpha Delta Phi. “I love getting to know the brothers, and of course, I appreciate the free food.”

The Clearinghouse system, which allows fraternities to track the whereabouts of prospective pledges, was still controversial among fraternities and pledges. “Many people I know thought it was odd, but I never had a problem with it,” said John R. Walk ’10, a pledge at Zeta Psi. Jarrette agreed, calling the Clearinghouse system “creepy” at first, but said that he soon became used to it. Both agreed that the “no camping” rule was a good thing. The rule was instituted this year to prevent fraternity members from going to other houses to invite freshmen to their own fraternity’s activities.

“The ban on camping changed the face of rush,” said Young. “It was a lot more important this year that fraternities make a personal connection with rushees.” This year also saw the removal of the gag rule, allowing brothers to reveal their affiliation if it is a natural response to a question. It is “a lot less awkward when you can tell people where you live,” Young said.

Pledges and fraternities seem to agree that overall, rush was a positive experience.