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Fraternity fall recruitment wraps up

September 17, 2010

It is that time of year again. Monmouth College welcomes the newest members to Greek life as sorority and fraternity recruitment comes to an end. Over the past two weeks, fraternities on campus have held events for potential members to attend during fall rush.

The biggest question this semester was whether or not Alpha Tau Omega could meet the quota needed to keep themselves on campus after losing a great deal of members last year. The chapter needed ten members this fall and another five this spring to keep active on campus. After losing their house over the summer, ATO faced a difficult recruitment.

“We thought it was going to be really tough without the house. When I was a freshman, one thing that definitely had me interested was being up at the ATO house,” said junior Elliot Alvarez.

In 2006 the chapter faced a similar situation when numbers got so low that they were in danger of losing their house. This year, not only did ATO lose its house, they risked losing their chapter at Monmouth College all together. Although losing the house was a disappointment, ATO was determined to stay on campus.

“First, actives were stressed about recruitment, but it has brought us closer because we were pushed up against the wall and really needed to take responsibility,” said Alvarez. “We each had a role during this year’s recruitment.”

The men of ATO planned cookouts, kick ball games, dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and movies during their informal recruitment. The chapter received nine new members and has a possibility of three more, just enough members to keep the chapter at Monmouth. ATO now has a current chapter total of 20 men. “Seeing the guys dedicated to ATO even without a house made me happy,” Alvarez added. “It shows that we will be able to not only rush them, but retain them.”

With ATO striving to meet quota, the men of Phi Delta Theta were finding themselves having the largest number of active members of the four fraternities on campus. Rush for Phi Delts began on August 31, and lasted roughly a week and a half. The men of Phi Delt hosted sand volleyball games, bowling, cookouts, a driving range outing and attended a Saturday night Quad Cities River Bandits game.

The chapter received 14 new recruits, bringing the chapter total to 48 members. “I believe our recruitment was successful because we had a lot of different events that other fraternities didn’t have, especially out of town,” said Recruitment Chair, Pat Messenger. New members, also known as Phikeia, will go through an eight week education period to learn the Fraternities history and core values. They will also put on a social event, community event and a brotherhood event.

The men of Zeta Beta Tau received the lowest number of new members during recruitment, but still felt that they experienced another great recruitment. ZBT has continued a growth trend since 2008. The men of ZBT received eight new members, the normal average of years before.

“I believe that recruitment went well. We have some quality new members that will greatly benefit us in the future,” said ZBT Rush Chair, Ed Wimp. The men of ZBT only recruited two freshmen but have hopes to recruit more before the semester is over.

Sigma Phi Epsilon continued their annual Slip-n-Slide during their fall recruitment week. Along with the slide down the hill next to the fraternity complex, Sig Ep took potential new members to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. Then men of Sig Ep received 10 new members after handing out 14 bids this fall, bringing their chapter total to 38, coming in behind Phi Delta Theta with the highest number of fraternity members.

Although they received a smaller number of new members, Sig Ep President Alex Holt said, “We got a smaller class than last year, but we got some quality guys and we will continue to recruit all year.” Sig Ep Recruitment Chair, Gavin Halpin, was also positive about this years rush experience.

“Even though it was a down year interest wise for the Greek system, I’m still proud to say that I’m a member of a Greek organization and to inform anyone of the positives of going Greek.”

As of Sept. 15, Monmouth College has a student body of 1,353 students. Just over a fifth of the student body is involved with Greek Life participation. These numbers will vary between now and May. According to Daniel Reck, assistant director of Greek Life, slightly fewer men have joined Greek Life this fall, but this is due to a more selective recruiting strategy.

Reck also noted that Fraternities are taking more time to get to know new members before offering membership.  Particularly, they are examining academic performance and postponing membership decisions for potential members for whom they would like to see improved academic performance.  Each of the men’s Fraternities has said that they intend to continue recruiting throughout the year.

“We have more new Greek members this year compared to last year, and we are really excited about that,” said Reck. On Sunday Sept. 19, new members of Greek Life will travel to Camp Summit for a day long retreat and spend time interacting and getting to know each other.

BY NICOLE OLIN
Co-News Editor

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