Rush tactics worry IFC

Interfraternity Council leaders said they are concerned about recruitment tactics being used by unrecognized fraternities during this fall’s rush period, which began Monday night.

Members of the unrecognized Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu and “APES” fraternities recruited outside Thurston Hall and attended an IFC-sponsored barbecue on Kogan Plaza Monday.

Unrecognized Greek-letter organizations are not governed by the University and cannot participate in formal recruitment activities sponsored by GW or the IFC. The University currently recognizes 13 fraternities.

“We’ve had conversations with University officials and student leaders to decide on an appropriate course of action,”

IFC President Norman Pentelovitch said.

He declined to comment further on the IFC’s plans.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon recruitment chair Andrew Call said attending the barbecue should not be considered “an active recruitment tactic.”

“We’re handing out flyers for our events so guys can come and see what we’re about. It’s more about the history of our frat,” he said.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been unrecognized since 1993.

On Monday night Sigma Alpha Mu members pulled up in two school buses prior to the official rush period to take prospective members to the group’s rush event. Members of the “APES” group were also seen recruiting freshmen outside Thurston Hall.

The “APES” group, which included former members of Zeta Beta Tau, is unaffiliated with any national fraternity organization. Zeta Beta Tau took away recognition from the group because of severe hazing in the spring of 2001.

“We are very serious this year,” said Brian Koffler, “APES” president. “We’re expecting a big turnout, and so far we’re looking very good. We’re handing out flyers and just going up to freshmen directly.”

Several freshmen said they were enthusiastic about rushing the groups despite the lack of Greek-letter affiliation or recognition.

“I decided to rush because friends told me they have the good parties,” said a freshman who wished to remain anonymous. “I found out about it through flyers in Thurston. When I went to an event I would have expected more bad stuff to be going on, but there really wasn’t.”

Members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which lost its house this summer because of financial problems and a lack of residents, said they don’t believe the loss will affect rush numbers.

The Hatchet has learned that members of at least one of the three unrecognized fraternities has been telling recruits that it will be receiving IFC recognition in the next year.

“The IFC does not have any plans to expand beyond the 13 current members,” Pentelovitch said. “If any (unrecognized group) is saying they are getting recognition soon, they are incorrect.”

Despite recruitment from unrecognized organizations, IFC officials said recognized fraternities are looking forward to seeing if Townhouse Row will be a significant factor in their recruitment.

“It will be interesting to see how the new houses affect rush,” Pentelovitch said. “I think it will be a big draw for new people rushing, and it will probably create a lot of competition.”

Townhouse Row, located on 23rd St. between F and G streets, is the newest edition to Greek housing on campus and is home to three fraternities.

. Members of fraternities with houses on Townhouse Row said they have an advantage for recruiting new members.

“I think it’ll improve numbers a lot,” said junior Nathaniel Faggioli of Sigma Phi Epsilon. “We have a 30-man house, so it’s a place where we can all hang out and have that bond of brotherhood.”

Other fraternity members who live in the facility agreed.

“I think it changed our ability from a recruitment standpoint,” said senior Brian Taylor, president of Pi Kappa Phi. “It brought the Greek community all into one common area. People can get to events more easily now. If they want to stop in for half an hour they can because it’s close by.”

Senior Zach Babcock, president of Beta Theta Pi, said not being a of part Townhouse Row shows his fraternity has its own sense of unity.

“I think it’s going to affect the way we approach rush, but not necessarily in a negative way,” Babcock said. “It will show that we have a stronger brotherhood because of the way we have to operate.”

Although Townhouse Row may be a prevalent issue for current fraternity members, many freshmen in attendance at the recruitment kick-off barbecue had other things on their minds.

“I came for the free food,” freshman Tom Barns said. “And to get a better understanding of Greek life.”

Elizabeth Chernow and Mosheh Oinounou contributed to this report.

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