Only one of GW’s 12 fraternities is planning to accept fewer members this year after their two-week recruitment period ended Saturday night.
Matt Roberts, president of Phi Kappa Psi said his fraternity has twice as many men in this year’s pledge class. He said “rush went really well” and he “couldn’t be happier” that his fraternity is taking 22 new members, 14 more than last fall’s pledge class. Rush is the recruitment period for fraternities.
Five other fraternities – Alpha Epsilon Pi, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Tau Kappa Epsilon – increased their pledge classes by more than 10 this year. Interfraternity Council president Ben Block compiled all rush statistics.
Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Sigma Kappa are the only fraternities that did not experience an increase in pledge class size.
Kip Wainscott, president of Pi Kappa Alpha, attributed the increase to “a lot of interest from the freshman class.” The freshman class of nearly 2,600 is the largest class in University history.
The IFC, the governing body for fraternities, extended the recruitment period by one week.
Student Activities Center Director Tim Miller said the longer rush schedule allowed students to consider each fraternity more carefully. He added that this may result in fewer men dropping out of the pledge process.
Kappa Sigma President Matt Streisfeld said “the two-week process definitely worked … It weeded out those who were not interested from those that were.”
Tom Scazzafavo, vice president of Pi Kappa Phi, added that the two- week system “gives guys a chance to shop around.”
But Doug Fischer, president of Lamda Chi Alpha, said the longer schedule may have been too strenuous for some prospective members. Lambda Chi Alpha took eight less members than it did last year.
“On the negative side, the two-week process meant that prospectives’ interests had to be held much longer, and I think there were a decent number of guys who came out early during rush, and then either burnt out on it, or didn’t feel like going to so many different events,” Fischer said.
Phi Sigma Kappa’s president, Greg Tenentes, said he was “not sure about the two-week system versus the one-week system.”
Tenentes said it caused rush to “drag on.” Phi Sigma Kappa had 10 pledges last year, compared to seven this year.
Miller said the “men approached rush differently” this year. In addition to the two-week schedule, the fraternities “worked as a community rather than competition among groups,” Miller said.
Beta Theta Pi President Adam Croley agreed, saying “the entire Greek community was invigorated to promote each other rather than individual chapters.” This year’s Beta Theta Pi pledge class consists of nine men.
Now that the recruitment period has ended, each fraternity will begin its pledge process. The process, which ends with pledges becoming full-time members, lasts anywhere from a few weeks to the rest of the semester.
Robert Ward, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, described upcoming weeks as an “education process” where new members are not hazed but “treated as equals.”
–Caitlin Carroll contributed to this report.