Beating the 2004 Rush: Recruitment Takes Off

Kelly Opipari, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, is optimistic about this year’s recruitment process. “I would like for as many students as possible to find a chapter that they feel they can make a lifetime commitment to. I would like for all of the potential new members to look at themselves and determine what they are able to offer a chapter,” says Opipari. During recruitment, sophomores interested in joining a fraternity or sorority attend a number of events given by organizations. These events are intended to let sophomores “come down and see all the houses to get a feeling for what each one offers and really get a sense” of what the members are like, says Mike Chase, the Delta Upsilon recruitment chair. Many fraternities and sororities with houses throw parties and hold meetings to discuss the strengths of each respective organization. Tori Theisen, Gamma Phi Beta membership vice president, says “Gamma Phi Beta is planning a garden party for the first night of recruitment as a classy yet casual way to welcome the sophomores into our house. The second night is every member’s chance to display why exactly each of us loves being a part of this sisterhood. The third night is our philanthropy night and we plan to share our commitment to the Madison County Children’s camp, our chosen charity.” Theisen would not share the plans for the last night of recruitment because “the last night is always the best … but the details of this semi-formal night must be left a surprise.” Even those groups that do not have a house still plan to give possible new members an informative look at the organization. Ben Flicker, recruitment chair for Phi Kappa Tau says “Because we don’t have a house, we can’t have a chef cook up a fancy meal. So we are all about just meeting the [sophomores] and showing them who we are. We don’t have the razzle dazzle of a house, just a bunch of guys who want to be in a strong brotherhood.” Chase says “we just encourage guys to drop the stereotypes. Even guys who think they don’t want to pledge a [fraternity] should come to rush week; it’s a great time.” Apart from showing the sophomores a good time, recruitment also helps to strengthen the bonds of existing members. Cris Salmastrelli, vice president of recruitment for Delta Delta Delta, says “we [the sisters] spend many hours in recruitment workshops and even more preparing for each night. Although sometimes this process is stressful, it shows how dedicated the sisterhood is to the values and goals of Tri Delta.” Salmastrelli notes that while recruitment time can be stressful for her sorority, “it in no way compares to the stress that the sophomore girls go through. They are trying to find where they fit in the Greek system and that is not an easy task.” She continues “recruitment is a necessity at Colgate because of the significance of the Greek system here. It not only provides a social outlet in this rural community, but is also helps to improve the community of Colgate by connecting to the outside community through philanthropy. When not focusing outward, the sister and brotherhood of the Greek system provides support, encouragement and fulfillment to the lives of its members.”