200 pledge in shorter rush period
Exactly 200 men at Washington University accepted bids in the first week of February to become a member of one of 11 active social fraternities on campus.
Four hundred and fifty-three men had registered online, although the actual numbers are estimated to be lower, said Dave Wallace, coordinator for Greek housing programs. This was because “some active brothers [registered to show] people how to register, and some double registered,” he said. Others might have registered over break and changed their minds later on.
The main difference this year compared to previous years was the shortened recruitment period.
“Last year, they had about three to four weeks,” said sophomore Sam Propis, co-recruitment chair of Sigma Chi. “This year it was two to three, although I think more people rushed this year. One hundred and seventy kids came through our doors.”
The time frame was set by the Interfraternity Council.
“Last year, it was a little too long, this year was a little bit too short,” said Matt Hoffman, co-recruitment chair of Beta Theta Pi. “It was kind of demanding for brothers and freshmen to be coming to that many events.”
Despite this change, recruitment was structured similarly to previous years.
“The first week they get back, that Friday night is open house,” Propis said. “Rushees from 5 [p.m.] to 9 [p.m.] go to any house, meet brothers, stop by and put their name down.”
Each fraternity held three to four open events, otherwise known as open rush, during which brothers got to know rushees and cut down their list of potential pledges to invite to closed events.
“You want people who would be a good fit and good contributing brothers down the road,” Hoffman said.
Closed events are intended to provide a fun environment in which brothers and rushees get to know each other in a more intimate setting to see if the rushee is a good fit.
This year, events held by fraternities included broomball, paintball, Skyzone, bowling, laser tag, and dinners at fraternity houses and locations off campus.
According to Hoffman, spring recruitment is designed mostly for freshmen, although some sophomores also rush. Fall recruitment, on the other hand, targets mainly sophomores, and tends to be a smaller event. For instance, 25 men are pledging Beta Theta Pi this spring, while only seven had pledged this past fall.
When asked how the rush process went, freshman Stan Rosenthal, who is currently pledging Kappa Sigma, said that it was a good time and “more or less what I expected.”
“I hung out there first semester and knew a lot of brothers already,” Rosenthal said. “I enjoyed stopping by the house and I feel comfortable…I think everyone there takes care of their academics and saves plenty of time to hang out and have a good time.”