Campus / Greek Life / News / January 21, 2009

Recruitment 2.0

In response to concerns surrounding Greek life, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) unveiled several new recruitment policies at a meeting for prospective fraternity members on Thursday, Jan. 8.

IFC President senior Randy Geary discussed the logistics of the two-week recruitment. Formal recruitment officially began Sunday, Jan. 11. Fraternities host numerous events during the first week of recruitment and will give out bids to recruits during the second week. On Jan. 23, recruits will fill out a card where they list the fraternities they would like to join. Recruits find out if they are official fraternity members during calling out day, which takes place the following day.

Along with describing the recruitment process, Geary outlined the new policies, which include closing fraternity houses to non-Greeks from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. In the past, houses have been closed at night and reopened a few hours later. Geary said he hopes this policy change will allow prospective fraternity members more time to focus on academics and “mull over what they have seen at the events.” Geary said this also prevents fraternity members from hosting recruits informally. “We want everyone to have an equal chance,” Geary said.

Sigma Chi consul Sam Jarvis said he agrees with the new policy and does not believe it will impact recruitment.

“It was intended to [allow] the potential new members to be able to go back to their rooms and be able to think about the event, instead of going to another house to party,” he said.

The IFC also introduced a new policy that bans women from recruitment events. Geary said this rule was created, in part, to discourage Sigma Chi’s chapter sweetheart from attending recruitment events. According to Jarvis, the chapter sweetheart is “an uninitiated member” of the fraternity who “the chapter trusts and respects.” Jarvis added that women do not have to date a fraternity member or be in a sorority to be a chapter sweetheart.

Last year, Sigma Chi’s chapter sweetheart took part in recruitment events to “meet and be able to share her experience with the chapter,” Jarvis said. Jarvis admitted he is “upset” that recruits will not meet this year’s chapter sweetheart, senior Audra Boekenhauer, during recruitment. However, he said he understands the reasoning behind the policy.

“The chapter didn’t want to see…having women at recruitment events get out of hand,” he said.

The IFC also instituted the policy to prohibit female waitresses from serving Greeks during catered events. In the past, the IFC has been concerned about the message they send when women caterers serve food to Greeks and recruits, said Geary. According to Geary, the new policies are meant to foster clear decision-making for recruits.

Along with adhering to new rules, Geary also emphasized enforcing old recruitment policies, such as Greek silence. During Greek silence, which lasts from Thursday, Jan. 22 to Friday Jan. 23, Greek males are prohibited from talking to non-Greek males. This “allows [prospective recruits] to clear their minds before making a decision,” Geary said.

The IFC will also work hard to enforce an old policy that prohibits fraternity members of legal drinking age from consuming alcohol in the presence of non-Greek males during formal recruitment. According to Geary, recruitment policies began to shift three years ago and were spurred by the creation of Sigma Chi.

“With a new fraternity, we needed to get on track,” Geary said. During what Geary refers to as a “Renaissance,” fraternities began to “look out for one another” to ensure they were enforcing recruitment policies.

After discussing policies and showing a film clip focusing on the benefits of joining a fraternity, Geary attempted to refute negative stereotypes that depict fraternity members as “guys who play pranks and drink alcohol.” Geary said that, on average, Greeks have higher GPAs and more community service hours than the average Knox student.

Geary has high hopes for the recruitment and expects approximately 70 males to participate.

Jenna Temkin

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