Despite the uncharacteristically wet weather and the cancellation of the second evening of Welcome Back Nights, the Interfraternity Council gave out a record number of bids this spring.
The recruitment period began on Monday, Jan. 18, and bids were given out Saturday. Though spring recruitment typically yields less new members than fall recruitment, 293 bids were given this spring, up from 290 last spring, according to Parker Adams, IFC’s vice president for external relations.
“I’m really excited with how recruitment went this week,” said Eric Ronan, president of IFC. “All the fraternities did a great job of obeying the rules of recruitment and moratorium.”
Though last week was plagued by rain and cold weather, Ronan said he does not think this affected the recruitment numbers.
“Rain might have made it difficult for fraternities who were planning events outside, but I don’t think rain’s going to stop anybody from going Greek,” he said.
Nick Stubberfield, president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, said though the rain did not deter those intent on joining a fraternity, it may have kept away people who were unsure whether or not the wanted to go Greek.
“It cut down on guys that might have been in-between, but it didn’t stop guys that were definitely going to rush,” he said.
Marcello Dubaz, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, echoed Stubberfield’s sentiment.
“The rain could have affected it, especially early on,” he said. “People who would have come … they may not have come out.”
Recruitment numbers might also have been impacted by the cancellation of the second of two Welcome Back Nights, though Ronan said this effect was likely negligible.
“It would not necessarily have had an effect,” he said. “Welcome Back Nights is just supposed to be an event for everybody to have a good time and fraternities to celebrate the beginning of the semester with their fellow brothers.”
Still, Ryan Blakemore, president of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, said he thought it could have made a difference in people’s decision to participate in recruitment.
“I do think it hurt their [the non-Greeks] view on the Greek system,” he said.
Greg Turk, president of Kappa Sigma fraternity, said the cancellation might have had a slight impact, but nothing noticeable.
Even with these two obstacles, IFC offered three more bids than last spring and 48 more bids than spring 2008. This trend, Ronan said, is the result of an improved recruiting process.
“The fraternities do a better and better job each year of recruiting,” Ronan said. “After every year, I think they really learn from the whole process and have just done a great job marketing and selling themselves to potential rushees.”
The number of bids offered could still increase, as the fraternities will hold a secondary rush on Jan. 27 at The Lab Gastropub.
The secondary rush period, Ronan said, is a chance for potential members who were not offered a bid to the house they wanted, or not offered a bid at all, to explore the other options and potentially get a bid to a different chapter. This is the second semester that IFC will hold a secondary recruitment period.
“It’s a great opportunity for the fraternities to increase their numbers and get guys who they didn’t necessarily get to meet,” Ronan said. “If we can increase our [recruitment numbers] by even one, that would be great.”
Natalie Chau contributed to this report.