Fall fraternity, sorority recruitment underway

Stephen Vitabile

As a new fall semester begins, so does the annual fall fraternity and sorority recruitment period, more commonly known as “fall rush.”

Fall recruitment began on the first Thursday of classes, Aug. 28. Notably, the recruitment period began earlier this year than in previous years, according to Phil O’Neill, the assistant director of Student Development working in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

“We met with the recruitment chairs of each organization last semester for feedback on the recruitment process,” O’Neill said. “Most wanted to start earlier to get more done with their chapter’s pledge program. The idea was presented to the presidents of the groups, and everybody was onboard.”

The official recruitment period kicked off with two recruitment forums held in Connelly Center’s Villanova Room. An estimated 115 women attended the sorority forum, while 70 men attended the fraternity forum.

Though the difference in numbers may seem odd, the female organizations typically garner greater involvement on campus, according to O’Neill.

O’Neill said that these seemingly small numbers are due to the fact that fall recruitment is limited to upperclassmen. The University’s Deferred Recruitment policy states that students must have completed one semester of classes in order to participate in the recruitment process. Because of the policy, interested first-year students will typically participate in the spring.

Despite this restriction, both the organizations and participants say they tend to like fall recruitment because of its informal nature in comparison to spring recruitment.

While spring recruitment has many deadlines, rules and restrictions, fall recruitment tends to be loosely structured.

“There are not a lot of rules,” O’Neill said. “A lot of the process and events are up to the chapters and how they want to conduct it.”

This year’s fall recruitment for sororities involves several informational and social events hosted by each chapter. One of the last events will include each chapter inviting back certain potential new members, similar to the events of spring recruitment. The rush period will conclude on Sept. 18.

Bid letters will then be available for the potential new members to pick up in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

All but one sorority participated in fall recruitment this year. Alpha Phi did not participate due to its member numbers being over total, according to O’Neill.

Since sorority membership is relatively high for each chapter, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life tries to keep all the organizations within the same size range to maintain a level field in terms of size.

Fraternity fall recruitment included several information sessions and social events determined by each chapter. The rush period ends today, and bids will be given out to potential new members tonight.

O’Neill noted that recruitment does not differ for any of the fraternities on campus despite there being two chapter colonies – organizations that have not yet received an official charter recognizing that they can officially practice ritual.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) colony expects to be chartered this fall, while Lambda Chi Alpha (LXA), the newest colony on campus, is working toward being chartered. Both fraternities were previously chapters on campus.

When asked if he had any advice for any potential new members about participating in Greek Life on campus, O’Neill said he supported keeping an open mind despite any preconceived notions, positive or negative, an individual may have toward a chapter.

“I recommend that anyone interested try to visit as many chapters as they can and eventually go where they are comfortable,” O’Neill said. “We have a very diverse group of organizations on campus. Go where you believe an organization promotes the values you hold close to yourself.”