Big changes are rushing in to fraternity life.
Students looking to join a fraternity will be “strongly encouraged” to attend an informational session in late September before deciding to go through the formal rush process, Keaton White, president of the Interfraternity Council, said. The event will give potential new members an inside look into the IFC, how Greek life works on GW’s campus and what to expect during the rush process.
White said in an email the session will cover the basics of what a fraternity is, a description of rush and the “core values” of GW Greek life, including philanthropy, service and academics through a presentation, panel discussion and questions from the audience.
“We all know these are values and live them everyday, but we really want those principles to be the first thing we’re showing prospective new members,” he said.
White added that the IFC has also loosened the restrictions placed on rush events, like the hours when fraternities can meet with prospective members, and added an optional extra day for rush.
Fraternities are also no longer required to hold “invite days,” which means that each fraternity can use the six days allotted for rush to look for new members in different ways, and the IFC is no longer mandating when the rush events start and end, as long as they follow University rules.
The changes to rush are the largest revamp to the process since 2012, when the IFC loosened the rules so fraternities could offer bids to potential members after the formal rush process ended.
“I’ve made it my mission to make this the most successful, organized, exciting rush we’ve ever had,” White said.
White said the IFC will increase its overall marketing in the fall to increase awareness that the group is a part of “one community” that makes up Greek life on campus.
“We are an umbrella organization that plays a significant role in our chapter’s development and growth, and we want to share that with everyone,” he said.
Later in the summer, GW will release the findings of the Greek life task force, a group of administrators, students in Greek life, alumni and national chapter representatives who have been meeting since February.
And in May, Director of the Center for Student Engagement Tim Miller said the sanctions website, which lists punishments for student organizations found violating GW’s code of conduct, will be updated to include more details on infractions by student organizations, a change for which Greek life members have lobbied since the website’s launch.
Director of Greek Life Christina Witkowicki said in an email that the IFC would host a “Greek Unity Service Event” the Saturday before rush starts, where potential members will “have an opportunity to join other men interested in going Greek, along with current fraternity men, to participate in a community service initiative benefitting the D.C. community.”
Witkowicki said members of the Center of Student Engagement will continue to work with the IFC for rush this year as they have in the past.
“The IFC hopes that, by hosting information sessions, they can communicate a unified message regarding the purpose of our fraternal organizations and the requirements and benefits of membership,” she said in an email.
The IFC is also expected to add a 16th chapter for fall recruitment, after more than half the students who applied for fall rush did not choose a chapter by the end of the process.