In hopes of intriguing and recruiting potential new members, one leadership fraternity tried to make a statement on Trousdale yesterday.
At 11:55 a.m. Thursday, members of Delta Omega Zeta, wearing green and white rush T-shirts, froze simultaneously in various positions on Trousdale: one student on his bike, another crouching down with a camera, another with a cookie halfway to her mouth — and one in a Speedo with “DO(e)Z” painted on his chest.
DOZ — a co-ed leadership fraternity founded in the spring of 2008 during President Steven B. Sample’s “Art and Adventure of Leadership” course — has switched to what they call an alternative advertising campaign to boost their presence on campus and recruit a larger pledge class.
“We are trying to break out of the rush mold, and we are trying to make noise,” said Bernadette Anat, a junior majoring in public relations. “We’re trying to show that we are different and worthwhile.”
The members held their poses for approximately the minutes while other students walked by, heads turning, with some even taking photos or pointing.
“The flash mob demonstration was to exemplify the lack of fear to stand out that leaders have,” said Cory Welsh, DOZ communications chair and a junior majoring in communication.
In addition to the flash mob demonstration, DOZ has also launched a campus outreach strategy that reaches out to deans, clubs and organizations for personal recommendations of students who excel in student leadership.
President Phil Ehret, a senior majoring in psychology, said the group focuses on bringing student leaders together to network and build off of each others’ ideas.
DOZ leaders said so far, their tactics have seemed successful: last year, 182 students signed up during the entire rush process. This year, with five events left to go, 195 students have indicated interest.
“We still have a week of rush left,” Anat said. “Everything we are doing is really experimental, so there will be some stumbles, but we are working on the foundation of the group.”
DOZ’s rush approach stressed individuality; even their T-shirts, which say “A Leader DO(e)Z,” leave a blank for students to fill in their own answers with permanent marker.
“[The shirts] have an individual twist,” Welsh said. “Everyone had the ability to write whatever leadership means to them on their shirt.”
Angeli Agrawal, an undeclared freshman, said she is considering rushing DOZ after seeing the demonstration.
“It was a good campaign to catch people’s attention,” Agrawal said. “I almost ran into one of them. I might check them out now.”
The flash mob technique did not appeal to all students, however.
Heath Gilad, a sophomore majoring in political science, who walked between the posing DOZ members, said the performance didn’t convince him to rush the fraternity.
“Not if I have to do that — it just makes me laugh,” Gilad said.