Freshmen flock to fall rush

Fraternities and sororities hosted a myriad of activities this weekend, drawing the largest turnout in recent years, Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association officials said.

About 175 underclassmen attended a kick-off event that included 11 fraternities and 18 Papa John’s pizzas, IFC President Jay Levin said.

Eric Holland, IFC vice president of recruitment, said this year is important for the Greek-letter community.

The fraternities need to recruit a lot of students this year, he said. Frats need new recruits to survive.

Sorority members said they were pleased with the number of students who participated in recruitment events.

Madeline LePage, president of the Panhellenic Association, the group that oversees GW’s seven sororities, said the turnout at Saturday’s recruitment workshops was very impressive.

We’ve seen a lot of girls who look interested in joining a sorority, she said.

About 280 women registered for the weekend’s events and about 240 participated, said Lisa Strikowsky, vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Association.

Sorority recruitment events occupied almost every floor of the Marvin Center Saturday, Strikowsky said. Because sorority chapters have no on campus houses, their events are limited to public areas, she said.

Fraternities did not have the same space limitations. At Tau Kappa Epsilon’s house on 22nd Street, chapter President Matt Shadonix served hamburgers and handed out colorful leis to students who listened to fraternity members talk about their history and diversity.

Our brothers represent 11 countries and 17 states, he told visitors.

Freshman Matt Allen, who participated in recruitment events, said he does not like the concept of fraternities, but he liked the free food.

Members of Kappa Sigma said they were hoping for a turnout of about 100 at their barbecue Saturday night. But only 25 students showed up twenty minutes into the event, chapter President Jason Coburn said.

We’re trying to promote our fraternity and show off our house, Coburn said. We just got a new carpet.

Robert Hodge, a member of Sigma Nu, was busy helping organize his chapter’s recruitment barbecue, which featured free Western food Sunday morning.

Hodge said the barbecue and other activities like it are meant to show what Greek life is all about.

Hodge said he frowns at movies like Animal House that portray fraternity life disparagingly.

We’re not all about parties, he said. Brotherhood is what we’re about.

Phi Sigma Kappa member Todd Stromberg said his fraternity will host its first event Monday, when underclassmen will meet the brothers over some stogies, drinks and finger foods, according to the fraternity’s recruitment schedule.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the only GW fraternity that is not affiliated with the University or the IFC, plans recruitment events that feature succulent breasts . of chicken according to a sign on the fraternity house door that included the ellipses.

The chapter, whose house was condemned in August because of fire code violations, has not cancelled rush activities.

The fraternity’s biggest problem is not having their house condemned, but their status on campus, chapter President Mike Rendina said.

We didn’t get to put our rush schedule in the (IFC) packet like every other frat, he said. That makes us seem to new recruits that we’re not part of Greek life.

Greg James, rush chair for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said the fraternity’s standing on campus forces members to recruit in more creative ways.

When we’re not in the packet, it makes us try to be a little bit more creative, he said. We have to make people aware that we’re having rush in unconventional ways.

The fraternity plans to take a trip to Hooters, a restaurant widely criticized for the skimpy outfits its waitresses wear, and play football games on the mall.

Some students said trips to Hooters and free pizza exemplify what rush is all about.

I’m one of the people that just come here for the pizza, freshman Giannis Poulamis said.

Poulamis said he does not plan to pledge.

But others, like freshman Jordan Rosenstadt, said they came because they want to pledge, not to just eat hamburgers.

Recruitment activities will continue throughout the week.

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