Friday, July 02, 2010

UNC Looks at Recruitment Changes

Rush plans under review
Trustees aim to protect freshmen

By Katia Martinez

Fall rush could become a thing of the past.

The UNC Board of Trustees’ University affairs committee is discussing a change to UNC’s Greek system recruitment.

Trustees have said the long-standing fall rush period is an ineffective method that puts too much pressure on freshmen pledge students.

“I have a concern that being forced to go through rush at the beginning of their very first semester impedes their ability to assimilate into University life and to understand all the options that are available to them at the University,” trustee Roger Perry said.

Assistant Dean of Students for Fraternity and Sorority Life Jenny Levering presented the committee with four different rush options at the committee’s June 23 meeting.

The standing rush period is Aug. 20 through Sept. 2 for the Interfraternity Council, and Aug. 30 through Sept. 9. for the Panhellenic Council.

Rushing in all directions

The spring rush option would shift the rush dates from August to January, after what trustees hope would be a proper adjustment period for freshmen interested in rushing.

“It would let those freshman students get settled into college life and understand better what the social options are,” trustee Edward Smith said. “There are other social options other than Greek life.”

The option of rolling rush allows rush activities to happen all through the academic year, giving the Greek system several time slots for recruitment and pledge education.

“Brothers need a break from rush,” said Trevor Fisher, a sophomore member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. “It would be too much for the people on the recruitment committee to keep up with throughout the year.”

Performance-based recruitment would give Greek organizations in good standing the opportunity to recruit in the fall.

The organizations that did not perform well enough the previous year would be limited to spring recruitment. With this option, all organizations would be critiqued and recognized yearly.

“(Performance-based recruitment) would give those organizations that are responsible and do a great job of assimilating their members into Carolina a reward and those who are the bad actors and are not behaving properly a penalty,” trustee Alston Gardner said.

The fall rush option would leave the system as it is.

“I don’t think eliminating fall rush would do any good,” Fisher said. “That’s when people are first getting here. You get into the system more. I met a lot of people (fall) semester.”

Behavior is still a priority

Some trustees say that their concern lies not only with recruitment periods, but also with the Greek system’s behavior.

“I think it takes a lot of time — in fact too much time — when you become a member of a fraternity or sorority,” Gardner said. “I think pledge education and some of the behavior out here concerns me way more than whether they join in the spring or the fall.”

Other trustees disagree and put freshmen adjustment as their top priority.

“I don’t think this particular issue is about whether fraternities are good or bad,” Smith said. “I really think it’s about the incoming freshmen in terms of what’s in their best interest.”

Either way, all trustees believe that a change is in order for the Greek system.

“We can talk about making changes, but unless we’re willing to take a stand and hold people accountable for what they do and don’t do, we’re just going to come up with the same conclusions that some previous group came up with,” Gardner
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