WEB EXTRA: Fraternity recruitment ends with increase in members joining

Fall recruitment for fraternities ended last week with 17 more students joining a Greek-letter group this year compared to last year.

“The 2006 IFC fall recruitment was awesome,” said Interfraternity Council President John Och. “The recruitment process for the IFC is a very relaxed and informal process.”

Dean Harwood, director of Greek Life and assistant director of the Student Activities Center, said to his knowledge, “there were no problems with IFC recruitment.” Overall, 199 men joined Greek-letter organizations this year, Och said.

Lasting nearly two weeks, recruitment began with informal events that allowed fraternity members and prospective new members to relax and get to know one another.

Such events ranged from cookouts to a “car bashes,” though the most popular events were those hosted by fraternities at the GW University Club and the GW Alumni House because of “their location in proximity to Thurston Hall and the fact that free food was offered,” Och said.

Recruitment was advertised to freshmen at Colonial Inauguration, through Hatchet ads and IFC sponsored tabling. Individual fraternities also advertised via Facebook ads and groups, as well as palm carding in residence halls.

“The quality of the guys that came out to rush this year was phenomenal, easily the best I have seen,” said senior Matthew Broadhead, president of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

“I absolutely love our new group of guys, they embody what Sigma Chi is all about,” said junior Patrick Leonard, president of the Sigma Chi fraternity. “We look for the future leaders of tomorrow, hardworking guys, and gentlemen.”

Sigma Chi is the newest IFC chapter on campus and the fraternity recruited 15 new members through this fall’s recruitment process, the fraternity’s first at GW.

For Phi Kappa Psi, it initially seemed that recruitment would be a difficult task because the University took away the fraternity’s house on Townhouse Row. However, the members of Phi Kappa Psi recruited 29 new members, the largest class in the fraternity’s history at GW.

The large numbers of men that accepted bids to some of GW’s fraternities is no surprise to Och.

“The benefits of joining a fraternity are truly innumerable,” Och said. “Besides the bonds of brotherhood and experiencing a rich tradition of academic and philanthropic success, there are also more tangible benefits such as networking and job placement opportunities.”

Some prospective and recently instated new members also seem to share a positive view of fraternity life on campus.

“I had a great time rushing,” said Ben Burruto, a freshman. “They had a great setup for the events; you could go where you wanted and stay for as long as you wanted at the various fraternities. There was no pressure, and they were very accommodating. I’m now pledging because I had such a great experience.”

Ethan Elser, a freshman, also decided to join a fraternity as a new member, yet had a different take on the recruitment.

“I found it annoying to be constantly solicited by fraternities around our residence hall,” Elser said. “But after going to one of the events, I found that I liked the people that I had met and the fraternity’s goals.”

Och did not comment on recruitment activities of fraternities like Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu and Alpha Pi Epsilon, which are not recognized by the University and receive no University funding.

“The IFC in accordance with the policies of the George Washington University discourages men from joining any unrecognized groups,” Och said.

Though fall recruitment has finished, a new fraternity, the Kappa Alpha Order, is scheduled to start holding information sessions in February 2007.

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