Though many fraternities enjoy benefits and assistance from the Interfraternity Council — the governing body in charge of most fraternities on campus — there are some social fraternities that choose not to be part of the organization.
Fraternities that are part of the IFC are required to follow the organization’s rules regarding social functions, recruitment and other aspects of Greek Life. For their part, the IFC helps facilitate recruitment and other important events.
Though most social fraternities on campus are part of the IFC, Sigma Phi and Sigma Nu are two of the few fraternities who aren’t, though the former chose to depart the organization, while the latter was forced out.
LSA senior Nikolas Tyckowski, president of Sigma Phi, better known as “Metal Frat,” said the fraternity decided to leave the IFC because it wasn’t getting enough benefits from the organization to see the value in remaining a member.
“We just weren’t utilizing any of the things they had in place,” he said. “We’re able to self-sustain.”
One important function of the IFC is facilitating recruitment according to Chris Haughee, assistant director of Greek Life. He said the IFC has a facilitated recruitment period of two weeks in the fall and two weeks in the winter but also encourages the chapters to recruit essentially year-round.
“We believe that IFC’s facilitated recruitment period serves the campus and fraternities in IFC by focusing and organizing activities that allow the highest benefits for the greatest amount of people,” Haughee said.
Haughee said groups within and outside of IFC’s umbrella have different levels of success in recruitment and still continue to thrive.
“We’re happy for them,” he said. “But we in IFC certainly are convinced that our facilitations and organized recruitment periods provide the most benefits.”
Business sophomore Jordan Eckstein, president of Sigma Nu, a fraternity that was recently expelled from the IFC, wrote in an e-mail interview that though Sigma Nu members recognize the recruiting benefits available through IFC, they’ve still had success recruiting members this winter despite their unaffiliated status.
“Given our new status and the cooperation of all of our members, we are currently having a successful winter rush and feel we will be able to do this in future terms,” Eckstein wrote.
He added that while Sigma Nu had limited resources to reach out to potential rushees, fraternity members were able to successfully bring interested students to the house in order to meet the brothers.
“While the IFC provides fraternities with helpful tools like the mass meeting,” he wrote, “being unaffiliated, we are allowed to extend our rush period past the deadlines they determine.”
Eckstein added that the University’s chapter was able to get their recruitment schedule approved by the national Sigma Nu organization.
Tyckowski said the fraternity has also had a smooth recruitment season, despite the fact that they’re not in the IFC. The fraternity chose to leave the IFC during the 2006-2007 school year.
He added that Sigma Phi usually recruits members through events and parties because the fraternity hosts a lot of live bands in its house, which he said attract many musically inclined students and entices friends of members to go through recruitment.
“Generally, the numbers are small compared to other fraternities,” Tyckowski said. “But the numbers usually hover around the same, and we’ve only been continuing to grow in population and popularity.”
Though Sigma Nu and Sigma Phi have had successful recruitment seasons outside of the IFC, Kinesiology junior Ryan Knapp, IFC vice president of public relations, said member chapters see the benefits of being part of the IFC during recruitment because the organization standardizes the process.
He added that the IFC is in charge of bid registration, bid pickups and education on alcohol and hazing prevention programs.
“This ensures that an ethical recruitment takes place,” Knapp said. “(It) serves to level the playing field to provide all chapters with the same opportunities during recruitment.”
He said by the chapters working together in this way, under IFC’s guidance, all the chapters stand to benefit since it allows them to pool their resources together.
“By working together and establishing a ground set of rules, chapters are able to monitor and hold each other to a commonly accepted standard of recruitment,” Knapp said.
According to the IFC’s Social Environment Management Policy, IFC chapters have to follow regulations relating to event size, duration and alcohol beverage management to insure the safety of social events.
Sigma Phi doesn’t have to follow any of these regulations because they aren’t part of the IFC, but according to Tyckowski, the organization has its own set of rules to make sure their parties are safe.
Sigma Phi does not allow glass bottles at their parties, and Mcards are checked at the door. And though Sigma Phi parties don’t have any official sober monitors like IFC parties, they have their own way of ensuring that there are sober party guests to make sure the party stays safe.
“We have a good number of brothers, myself included, that choose a lifestyle of not drinking,” he said. “Our house has many built-in sober monitors. Since we don’t drink, we make sure that everything is going well.”