More than 800 students are participating in the Spring Interfraternity Council Recruitment, a 20 percent increase compared to last spring’s numbers, according to Hayden Wheatley, vice president of recruitment for IFC.
“This is a tremendous turn-out and a huge increase from last year,” Wheatley said. “Our message is about building better academics while getting a more complete college experience, and it looks like people are responding well to it.”
The number of students participating in spring rush has increased each year since 2008, but according to Pedro Moura, IFC vice president of public relations, the increase is not because of ramped up recruiting by the IFC.
“We let our fraternities sell themselves,” Moura said.
Last spring, the fraternities gave out 293 bids, three more than the 2009 spring rush. In spring of 2008, 245 fraternity bids were given to students. IFC is hopeful the number of bids handed out during this rush will continue to increase.
“I’m confident that with the new houses and changes in the Greek Row that we will be able to break that 300 threshold this spring,” Wheatley said.
Though spring rush almost always has lower numbers than fall rush, Wheatley said choosing when to rush is an important decision that should be carefully considered by each potential new member.
“There are definitely people who come in during the fall knowing that the Greek community is a place for them, but there are some people who aren’t as confident where they stand within the Greek community,” Wheatley said. “Having rush during the fall and spring gives those students that avenue.”
Richard Tomlinson, Pi Kappa Alpha’s rush chair, said his fraternity utilizes the same methods to attract potential fraternity members whether they rush in the fall or in the spring.
“We try to reach out to a lot of freshmen in the dorms and get the guys in our fraternity to talk to people they know who haven’t rushed yet,” Tomlinson said.
Tyler Henry, a freshman spring admit majoring in economics/mathematics, said spring rush gives him an opportunity to better adjust to USC.
“I think rushing is a better way to meet people, especially as someone new to USC and because I live off campus,” Henry said.
Though the image of The Row might have been tainted when the Department of Public Safety shut it down after the fraternities’ Welcome Back Nights got out of hand last semester, IFC has worked hard to increase safety on The Row.
“Fraternities have cooperated with DPS and IFC and we have and will do everything in our power to prevent events like what happened last semester and ensure students have a fun and safe time on The Row,” Moura said.
IFC hopes to not only increase the number of students who rush fraternities, but to continue the growth within the community.
“There are new fraternities starting up as we speak — think of Phi Sigma Kappa,” Moura said. “The USC fraternity system is growing without a doubt.”
The recruitment period began Monday night with house tours and will continue with events throughout the week at different venues depending on the fraternity. Bids will be handed out Saturday night following an invite-only blue chip dinner Friday night.
IFC is also hosting a secondary rush event Jan. 28 for people who might not have received a bid from their choice house and those who were not a part of original recruitment.