As a third-year member and president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, I have seen first hand the benefits of being an off-campus fraternity. Although my brothers and I miss out on activities such as Greek Week and other Interfraternity Council events, the benefits of being off campus are far greater.
As an off-campus fraternity, we are able to deal with fraternity issues as a national organization. There is no third party between our house and our National Council. Therefore, issues are dealt with to the full extent.
Regarding social events, our chapter does not have to follow rules set forth by the IFC. We are only responsible for rules set forth by our National Council, which are similar but far less restrictive.
In the search for new members, we are allowed to talk to and have freshmen in our house before the formal IFC recruitment period, or rush, starts. This allows us to get to know potential members earlier, and it allows them to get to know us. Our doors are always open to new guys during rush. But when we have a chance to meet guys early, we are able to get a better idea of what type of people they are and what they have to offer our house.
With the rules the IFC has implemented in the past few years and their new attitude toward Greek life at GW, it is sad to say our chapter would probably not exist.
Our chapter abides by many of the same rules and regulations that the IFC requires of their chapters, and when we fail to do so, our National Council reprimands us. In the end, the benefits of operating outside the IFC allow our house to follow rules instituted by our founders and not those of an organization that does not have the same ideals and beliefs of our Order.
-The writer is Sigma Alpha Epsilon president.