Fraternity leaders said they are optimistic about recruiting new members this week, despite a decrease in some groups’ rush numbers this fall.
Recruitment for the Interfraternity Council’s 13 recognized organizations begins Monday in the Marvin Center Great Hall at 6 p.m. Activities throughout the week include mingling with Hooters restaurant employees, poker, cigar smoking and a “breasts and thighs” event.
The Phi Sigma Sigma and Sigma Delta Tau sororities will also recruit new members this week. Spring recruitment typically attracts fewer students than fall rush.
The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which has a residence in Townhouse Row, recruited eight or nine pledges this September, almost 10 fewer than the previous fall. Last spring the group attracted about 10 new members.
Sam Farber, the fraternity’s rush chair, said the group is hosting events geared toward boosting recruitment numbers this week.
“Our events are designed to catch (rushees’) interest,” Farber said.
Pi Kappa Phi is offering free food at the ESPN Zone Monday and complimentary tickets to a Washington Wizards basketball game Wednesday, among other activities.
Despite residence in Townhouse Row, Farber said the group will be holding off-campus events to show potential recruits that the fraternity is not “confined” to its house.
“In fall we tried to up-play the house. People don’t come to GW thinking of fraternity life like at other schools,” Farber said.
Lambda Chi Alpha, which had one of the largest rush classes this fall with 17 pledges, had only nine members pledge last spring. Members said they want to increase numbers this semester.
“Traditionally spring has always been a little bit slower,” said Dave Austin, the group’s recruitment chair.
Despite hopes to increase interest in the fraternity, no quota will be set for the pledge class. All candidates will still be looked at on a “case-by-case” basis, Austin said.
“We wouldn’t want to limit ourselves like that,” Austin said. “It depends on what kind of guys we have coming out.”
The Sigma Nu fraternity, which typically inducts about five new members each rush period, plans to take about the same number of members this Spring said rush Chair Eric Rubin. Sigma Nu is the smallest IFC-recognized fraternity on campus.
“We want guys who we think we can call brothers in the future,” Rubin said.
For the second year in a row the fraternity is hosting “Laugh ‘Til You Drop,” which features a comedic improvisation routine. Last year a Sigma Nu alumnus performed.
Members of the fraternity are currently working on booking Todd Rex, also know as T Rex, for the performance Thursday. Rex performed at GW in 2002.
“We want a performance that caters to college students,” Rubin said.
The Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity had the largest pledge class last spring with 15 new members, and one of the top classes this fall with 14 new members, even though it colonized only a year ago.
“Hopefully we can do that again,” said Jay Riskind, Alpha Epsilon Pi rush chair.
Riskind said it is tough to “break-away from the mold,” during spring rush with new events, but he hopes to attract attention with a barbecue in the Marvin Center Wednesday night.
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity is also looking to boost its numbers during spring rush this year. The fraternity usually inducts three to four new members each rush period, but hopes to take between six to eight new pledges this spring.
“We’re definitely looking to get a lot more this spring,” said Beta Theta Pi Rush Chair Steve Khadam-Hir.
Beta Theta Pi is hosting events this week that that will grab the attention of prospective members, he said.
The fraternity will host a “Casino Night” Thursday, which will give potential recruits the opportunity to win a free DVD player.
Three unrecognized fraternities – Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu and the “APES” group – are also planning to recruit this spring. The organizations have no affiliation with the University and do not have to follow IFC rules.