Fraternities fight the move of rush
By Andy Thomason, The Daily Tar Heel
Looking back on the first two weeks of classes, UNC fraternities are pleased with a relatively quiet recruitment.
But that alone will not save fall rush.
At the beginning of recruitment, fraternity leaders said they hoped an incident-free rush would prevent the University from moving recruitment past the fall, a course of action they said they oppose.
A committee of the Board of Trustees - the University affairs committee - is conducting a study that will shape the board’s decision on how, or whether, to move rush.
The study will investigate how well freshmen who join the Greek system acclimate to campus life, rather than focus on the prevalence of alcohol-related incidents.
The board’s decision, which should come in November, will likely complete the University’s review of the Greek system, which the administration has made a priority.
The board is considering four options: keeping fall rush, moving it to the spring, changing it to rolling recruitment or implementing a performance-based rush based on fraternities’ conduct.
Board members said they hope they will be able to collaborate with Greek leaders to reach a decision after the completion of the study, which will compare the academic performance of freshman Greek organization members and independent students.
“We could slam it through. But we don’t really want to do that,” said Alston Gardner, chairman of the committee.
“We will if we have to.”
The Interfraternity Council voted to move dry rush up to the first two weeks of school, a change that most fraternity members came to support, said IFC President Tucker Piner.
“I know so many guys who are so pleased to have it over with,” he said, adding that rushees were pleased to have an alcohol-free first two weeks.
“As fun as partying is and getting drunk, they really enjoyed talking to the guys and seeing who they wanted to spend the next four years with,” he said.
Although the organization’s executive board devoted a lot of time to ensuring that fraternities’ off-campus parties weren’t providing alcohol, Piner said he trusted chapters to follow the policy.
“We tried to treat it as a case where if they chose to risk it and go off campus they took that risk,” he said.
Jenny Levering, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority life, said the number of alcohol-related incidents for the first two weeks of school decreased from last year.
Piner said he is going to try to maintain the strictness that characterized rush throughout the year.
“Sometimes these policies haven’t been that strictly enforced. Those days are over,” he said.
But stricter enforcement likely won’t affect the ultimate decision as to whether fall rush is moved.
That is the task of the University affairs committee, who will base their report on freshman adjustment, said Bob Winston, chairman of the board.
“Our concern is that it is distracting students from the primary thing students should be doing and that is acclimating to student life,” Gardner said. “This has been an ongoing issue for 20 years.”
The committee will bring in people - including students, administrators and alumni - to interview, members said. The committee has been studying the Greek recruitment processes at peer universities since June, and will begin examining UNC’s system on Sept. 22.
Student Body President Hogan Medlin, a member of the committee, said he hopes the group will find a solution that all parties support.
“I personally do not want to get into a situation where the trustees are voting on spring versus fall,” he said.