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Prospective Greeks participate in winter rush

BY NICOLE ABER
Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 29, 2009

Despite it’s traditionally lower turnout than its autumn counterpart, many students are participating in the Greek community’s wintertime recruiting process.

This week the Interfraternity Council and select chapters of the Panhellenic Council have been looking for new additions to the Greek community through winter recruitment.

David DeLucia, IFC vice president for recruitment, said that just like in the fall, the winter rush process begins when prospective members visit various chapter houses. But he added that winter rush is much shorter than its fall counterpart.

“In the fall, there is a week dedicated to open house events,” DeLucia said in an e-mail interview. “In the winter, we avoid this because many rushees have an idea of where they want to join from interactions with brothers throughout the fall semester.”

DeLucia added that winter recruitment gives students the opportunity to join the Greek community after they have become acclimated to the University.

“Many students are hesitant to join the Greek community because they feel pledging will interfere with their studies,” DeLucia said of fall rush. “Winter Recruitment is an excellent opportunity for the Greek community to recruit great men who may not have been sure Greek Life was for them when they first arrived on campus.”

Though the IFC’s rush process is similar in the fall and winter, Panhel’s winter recruitment takes place on an individual chapter basis. Stephenie Lazarus, Panhel vice president of public relations, said each chapter decides if it will participate in winter rush based on how many new members it recruited in the fall.

“Fall recruitment is much more regulated and has many rules due to the fact that all chapters that are members of the Panhellenic Association take part in fall recruitment,” Lazarus said in an e-mail interview. “Winter recruitment happens differently for each chapter involved.”

He added: “It is a more informal process and usually consists of several events held by the individual chapters that potential new members can attend.”

This semester, only two sororities — Alpha Gamma Delta and Alpha Epsilon Phi — are participating in winter recruitment. Alpha Epsilon Phi began recruiting members last fall when they returned to campus after being kicked off campus in 2005 when their national organization asked them to leave due to hazing incidents. The chapter recruited members after the traditional fall recruitment process, which yielded fewer members, allowing them to participate in winter rush.

“Fewer chapters take part in winter recruitment since many chapters already have as many members as possible and are not able to initiate new women,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus also said less women typically rush during winter recruitment, allowing the chapters to get to know them on a more personal basis.

“It is unique in the sense that women taking part in winter recruitment are able to spend a larger amount of time with the sorority women in order to decide if they would like to join a sorority,” Lazarus said.

Returning fraternity Sigma Chi is also participating in winter rush, after returning to campus last fall. It had also been kicked off campus when its national organization asked the fraternity to leave because of hazing incidents. Sigma Chi President Chris Mathews said recruiting as a new chapter has both advantages and disadvantages.

“Because we are just coming back I think that it sparked some interest simply because people really didn't know what we were all about,” said Mathews, who is an LSA sophomore, in an e-mail interview. “In that same vein I think that also because we were just coming back people may have been a little turned off because being part of a rebuilding fraternity wasn't something that they were looking for.”

According to Blake Toll, IFC vice president for public relations, 230 men signed up for winter rush, an increase from last year. About 180 bids will be given out by the chapters today, which is also an increase from last year.

“The gap between those who registered and those who got bids went down,” Toll said. “It has been all positive.”