Social fraternities continue growth with 117 new men

The number of men pledging fraternities swelled for the fourth-straight spring this semester, as the new pledge classes help to close the gap between smaller and larger chapters on campus.

Eight of GW’s 17 chapters that participated in recruitment saw at least a 10 percent boost in membership, with a total new pledge class for all fraternities topping out at 117. Five of these chapters had fewer than 80 students before the rush process began.

Kappa Sigma’s membership surged by 21 percent this spring, more than doubling the chapter’s size since last fall. Formerly one of GW’s smallest chapters, with 36 members last spring, Kappa Sigma now boasts 84 members.

Richard Donovan, the chapter’s president, said he did not expect to bring in 15 new members – the second largest pledge class this spring – but could not “turn down men who were a good fit for our organization and would contribute to our long-term success.”

The chapter welcomes this year’s surge in membership, which will allow the chapter to expand its service commitments and “support other Greek organizations with their efforts on campus,” he said.

Pi Kappa Phi gave out 17 bids, the most of any chapter this spring. The chapter also recruited one of the largest pledge classes last fall.

Colton Blackman, president of Pi Kappa Phi, said the chapter tightened “bid requirements,” or standards for accepting new members, to “reflect our desire to recruit new members that we believe better exemplify our values.” He declined to explain how their standards changed.

“We are very proud that we had many rushees who came to our events who we feel will continue to strengthen our brotherhood,” Blackman said.

Interfraternity Council Vice President of Recruitment Mateo Forero noted that fraternities with large pledge classes last semester, like Kappa Sigma, were able to continue that growth this spring.

“A lot of the spring recruitment process relies on the ability of members inducted in the fall to mobilize their contacts and bring people out to rush,” Forero said.

Most fraternities opted to limit the sizes of their pledge classes, accepting an average of eight new members per chapter. Phi Sigma Kappa took on the smallest pledge class with two new members.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon did not take part in the IFC’s official recruitment process this spring or fall, but instead held informal events and interviews to bring in additional members, Forero said. The chapter did not return a request for comment.

Though this spring’s recruitment regulations remained largely in line with last fall’s rules, Forero said he is working with student life administrators to change up the process next fall with what he calls “365-day recruitment,” which would grant chapters more freedom in seeking new members throughout the year.

“The idea behind 365-day recruitment is that chapters should not feel limited to one week of strictly regulated rush events in order to welcome quality college men into their brotherhood,” he said.

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