The Interfraternity Council on Thursday launched Greek recruitment for the spring semester, which has been expanded from one to two weeks. Rush will include a new requirement for prospective members to visit all 18 fraternities during house tours, according to the IFC website.
The change is a departure from policies in past years that gave prospective members the flexibility to choose among the fraternity houses. The visits will occur on Jan. 12 and 13.
Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development declined to comment and IFC did not respond to multiple requests for comment at the time of publication.
Philip Bliss, a sophomore majoring in economics/mathematics who serves as the rush chair for Phi Delta Theta, said the new structure for house tours has the potential to strengthen the Greek system at USC.
“I think it is going to help rushees see houses that they would not have gone to otherwise, and it will hopefully increase placement at the end of rush,” Bliss said. “I think it will be effective.”
Bliss said that in past years, prospective members only visiting fraternities that they were more familiar with has posed challenges in effectively coordinating Greek recruitment.
“They don’t really get to meet a lot of people who they might [have] connected with well … so this just really levels the playing field in that way,” Bliss said.
However, Eli Gruen, a freshman majoring in narrative studies, said that because some prospective members begin recruitment already knowing which houses they want to join, the new house visit policy should not be necessary for every prospective member.
“It makes sense why [IFC] would want people to do that … and [prospective members] should look around,” Gruen said. “But also, I don’t know if I would want to go to every single [house].”
Decker Paterson, a freshman majoring in theatre and music industry, said the new policy is burdensome because he already knows which fraternity he wants to rush.
“I would have much rather just picked the two frats that I want to rush and do that in a more [time-saving] environment,” Paterson said.
With Greek recruitment now taking place over the course of two weeks, Bliss said that a longer rush process is beneficial for the prospective members even if it is more work for the frats to coordinate.
“In the end, you are going to get a better fit among the members, and you are going to have better satisfaction overall as a house,” Bliss said. “I think a lot of other schools have longer rush periods than USC, and I think USC is doing the right thing by increasing its rush time and by making sure people really make the right decision.”
Paterson said he believes that expanding Greek recruitment will help students evaluate whether or not Greek life is the right fit for them.
“It’s a commitment, but it’s a commitment that I am willing to take,” he said. “Part of rush is figuring out who you want to be as a student, and if you figure out after two weeks that this isn’t what’s best for you, then you save a lot of money.”
Bliss also said he hopes the changes will increase participation in Greek life. In 2016, USC had over 20 fraternities. Since then, the number of fraternities has decreased to 18. With only 18 houses on the row, a large focus of rush this semester is increasing student involvement.
“[It] is almost like [Greek life] is declining,” Bliss said. “But one way we want to increase participation among the school is [by increasing] the amount of people who join houses during rush … this process is designed to get a higher bidding percentage at the end of rush to increase participation.”