The same number of students accepted bids to join a fraternity or sorority during this year’s spring recruitment period as last year.
The weeklong recruitment for all of GW’s 12 fraternities and two of the eight sororities ended Feb. 5 with 96 students accepting bids. Six more students accepted bids to join a fraternity this year while six fewer took bids for sororities. Spring recruitment is traditionally smaller and less formal than the fall recruitment period.
Only four fraternities, Phi Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Theta Delta Chi and Alpha Epsilon Pi, had fewer members accept bids to join their groups. Alpha Epsilon Pi experienced the largest decrease, 10 fewer, after having one of the largest increases in rush numbers last fall.
“For us personally, rush did not go as well as we would have hoped,” Theta Delta Chi President Vin Rohloff said.
Theta Delta Chi and Sigma Nu are the two smallest fraternities on campus. Rohloff advocates smaller fraternities because they allow members to have closer relationships. He said he knows his men in his fraternity “as if they were my blood brothers.”
Sigma Phi Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Sigma Kappa all have larger pledge classes than they did last spring.
Pi Kappa Phi President Wes Johnson said the fraternity’s good relationship with other organizations on campus, its traditionally high cumulative GPA and its involvement in intramural athletics helped attract a larger pledge class. The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity’s spring pledge class increased by five compared to last spring.
Like Pi Kappa Phi, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity also increased its spring pledge class by five.
“Tau Kappa Epsilon had a solid recruitment period with over 20 guys at the house each night,” Tau Kappa Epsilon President Jordan Schwartz said.
This spring’s recruitment period was a week shorter than fall rush. The Interfraternity Council, the governing body for fraternities, chose to extend fall rush for one week last semester to allow students more time to make a decision about joining a fraternity.
“I prefer one week rush,” Schwartz said. “Two week rush is exhaustive. As a medium-sized fraternity, it’s hard to ask guys to continue coming out for two weeks.”
The Phi Sigma Sigma sorority hosted 30 women at their rush events and has a pledge class of 12, compared to 18 last spring. Five students accepted bids to join the Sigma Delta Tau sorority. Only sororities that have not met a set membership number can recruit in the spring, according to Panhellenic Association regulations. Any fraternity can recruit regardless of membership.
Fraternity presidents and Jen Nedeau, Panhellenic Association vice president of public relations, compiled rush statistics.
“Recruitment went really well, and both the potential new members and the sisters enjoyed themselves. We were thrilled and excited at such a large turnout and it helped to set the tone for all of recruitment as well as to get the girls excited about fall recruitment,” Phi Sigma Sigma President Melissa Goldszer wrote in an e-mail.
While hundreds of students participate in fall recruitment, Greek-letter groups experience a very different week of activities in the spring.
Greek-letter organizations have to “try harder” in the spring to recruit new members, Student Activities Center Director Tim Miller said “I think in the fall there are a lot more people looking for a niche,” Miller said.
IFC President Jordan Peterson agreed that students have become more familiar with the University after the fall semester and are less interested in considering Greek-letter life.
“A lot of people have already joined other student groups or have a set of friends that they are already comfortable with,” Peterson said.
Peterson said fall rush attracts more students who have been considering Greek-letter life since before they came to college.
“The main reason is in the fall you get a lot of guys going into college who know they want to be in a fraternity,” Peterson said.
Although some groups only gain a few members following spring recruitment, Miller said it is important to conduct spring rush.
“I think for members who want to get their numbers higher, it’s a valuable process,” Miller said. “Even four members is a good addition.”
-Caitlin Carroll contributed to this report.