Greek Tech: Fraternities go online for Rush
Written by Kevin Wickersham —
The Interfraternity Council at the University of Idaho is trying out a new method of fraternity recruitment this year. The change gives prospective recruits the power to accept or decline online a fraternity’s offer to house them during Rush Week, said Ben Kinnas, the Recruitment Chair for IFC.
Rather than saying yes or no on the spot, as in years past, students can now go online to request the chapter houses they want to stay in during Rush Week and accept or decline the offers of individual chapters, he said.
Previously, chapter recruiters extended invitations to prospective recruits by handing out “first night cards” requesting that they stay at their fraternity during Rush and potentially join the chapter. The recruits then filled out the cards stating their decisions to either stay with the fraternity or go elsewhere.
Under the new system, the process is conducted online, giving potential fraternity recruits the ability to choose where they want to stay during Rush without the pressure of one-on-one interaction, Kinnas said. He said the change was implemented by IFC to eliminate the peer pressure from having to decide, on the spot, whether or not to stay with a specific fraternity during Rush Week.
“This is a decision I wanted to get implemented to give incoming freshmen the independence of (deciding) where they want to stay without worrying about offending the fraternity,” he said. He added that choosing where to stay online is much easier than declining an invitation in person.“There is a lot of pressure to join a specific house,” he said. “This gives (the potential recruits) a lot more independence, more freedom and choice so they do not feel as much pressure.”
In addition to the changes in the recruitment process, IFC has also streamlined the system in which potential recruits are divided amongst the fraternities during Rush Week.
Under the new system, those seeking to stay at full chapter houses could be routed to other fraternities hosting fewer potential recruits, Kinnas said. This change was implemented to prevent “a huge number of guys from staying at a house,” and to also ensure that all the chapters meet their individual recruitment goals, Kinnas said.
“If a house needs fifteen guys, we do not need to send thirty,” he said. “This is a way to regulate how many people go to (stay) at each house.”
For incoming freshman Keuper Stark from Boise, the process of recruitment has been a positive experience. Specifically, he said the online registration process was “quick and easy” and the Rush process was “relaxed.”
Stark spoke from the steps of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity Wednesday, the first night of Rush. Overall, he said he has had a good experience with recruitment. “Everyone is really friendly,” he said. “They (the fraternities) really want you to be in their houses. You feel very welcome.”
The University of Idaho Argonaut - Greek Tech: Fraternities go online for Rush