Largest fraternities give out fewer bids this fall

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brothers and rushees destroy a car as part of last year's car smashing rush event.

More than 300 men were invited to join Greek life Saturday after two weeks of recruitment, with six of GW’s seven largest chapters handing out fewer bids than they did last fall.

Delta Tau Delta and Sigma Chi, the two chapters that recruited the most members last fall, both invited about 10 fewer members than last year.

The four other chapters with pledge classes larger than 25 members last fall – Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Kappa Sigma and Pi Kappa Alpha – also invited fewer members this year. Only Sigma Phi Epsilon grew, giving out one additional bid to reach 28.

Beta Theta Pi offered 29 bids – the most out of any chapter and nearly twice the number of men recruited last fall. This year’s class is its second largest ever. Last spring, the chapter counted about 90 members, making it a mid-sized fraternity on campus.

Colin O’Brien, president of Beta Theta Pi, credited the increase to a more calculated recruitment strategy, focusing more on the chapter’s overall mission and values.

“In the past, we just welcomed guys to come and have food, and have sort of lacked on the informational side as far as explaining what Beta is about,” O’Brien said. “This semester, we led with that.”

Tau Kappa Epsilon handed out 22 bids and recorded the biggest jump in recruiting, with a nearly 150 percent increase. The chapter has not logged a pledge class with more than 15 members in three years.

Small chapters, which last year tallied the largest increase in recruiting, continued to grow. Lambda Chi invited 16 members, compared to the seven men it recuited last year.

About 1,200 men are now involved in one of the Interfraternity Council’s 16 chapters. Over the last decade, the percentage of students in Greek life has nearly tripled, reaching about one-third of all students.

The end of the formal fall recruitment period doesn’t mean that chapters won’t continue to offer bids. Chapters are now encouraged to reach out to students who did not receive an invitation to join a chapter this fall.

The IFC data does not include how many men accepted bids.

Sororities also handed out bids this week, with another record-breaking recruitment season. More than 500 women were given bids, a nearly 25 percent increase from last fall.

O’Brien said fraternities that focus on the benefits of Greek life – beyond parties and mixers – are most successful in recruiting.

“I think people often associate, with social fraternities, just sort of being a purely social organization, being totally involved with partying or social funcitons, but very rarely do they think of it as a place where guys go and can develop their best qualities,” O’Brien said.

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