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Fraternity bids up from last year due to housing changes

Published: Friday, February 8, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 11:02

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Kristen Collins / Tufts Daily Archives

The 280 bids Tufts fraternities gave out during this spring’s recruitment period, from Jan. 20 to Jan. 28, was an increase from last spring’s total of 212.

 

Tufts fraternities gave out about 280 bids during this year’s spring recruitment period, which lasted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 28, an increase from last spring’s total of 212.
According to Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone, increasing numbers represent a rise in Greek life’s on-campus popularity.
“We are definitely seeing an increase in the numbers of people coming out for recruitment and joining the fraternities,” she said. “I think fraternities and sororities are doing great things on campus, are really getting their names out there and are great organizations to join.”
She explained that the 280 bid number is not final, but some students may drop out of the process and others may have been counted twice due to receiving multiple bids.
While overall numbers are higher than last year’s, recent changes in the housing situations of fraternities Sigma Nu (SigNu) and Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) affected their respective recruitments, according to Interfraternity Council President Tommy Castle, a senior.
According to SigNu President Jack Fleming, SigNu lost its house on 92 Professors Row after it was damaged last fall. He acknowledged that, without a house, recruitment was different than in years past.
“We couldn’t have [rush events] in one central location in the same way,” Fleming, a senior, said. “Word of mouth wasn’t as easy because there wasn’t a central hub it was coming out of.”
He also suggested that the lack of a house shifted the focus of the fraternity’s recruitment.
“There was definitely more of a focus on demonstrating the character of the brotherhood rather than the house,” Fleming said. “It definitely reminds you of how personal the process should be.”
The lack of a house hurt SigNu’s recruitment numbers, according to Fleming. There were only four accepted bids this semester, which Fleming considered an unusually low number, but not necessarily a bad thing.
“The smallest [recruitment] we’ve [had] in recent memory was six or seven, so this would now be the smallest, but not by a huge margin,” he said. “Not having a house was a really nice way to filter out people who might have just have been in it for the house.”
The promise of a house likely resulted in an increased interest in SigEp, which will inherit SigNu’s unused house, according to SigEp President Stephen Ruggiero.
He said the fraternity had 17 bids accepted this year, similar to the totals when the fraternity had a house in previous years and higher than last spring’s four accepted bids.
“More people were initially interested because they knew we were getting a house in the fall whereas in the past we had to spark that interest,” Ruggiero, a junior, said.
Ruggiero said he does not want the housing change to affect the fraternity’s character.
“One of my goals as president is to not have our new house change who we are,” he said. “I like what we do and I don’t want our end goal to change.”
Ruggiero said the fraternity was disappointed in not having a house in the past, but learned valuable lessons.
“We had one down year where we didn’t work as hard and we were pretty deflated as a fraternity, but now we’re back on base,” he said. “In the past we’ve relied upon our house too much and just made kids come to us. Instead, we had to go to them.”
Ruggiero emphasized the personal relationships he and his SigEp brothers tried to foster with recruits.
“We really tried to focus this rush period on that personal connection,” he said. “Whether it’s playing a game of Mario Kart with someone or playing capture the flag with a brother, these connections were made.”
Although neither fraternity currently has a house, Castle was still impressed with the recruitment numbers, calling it a testament to how hard the fraternities were working.
With larger numbers, McGlone said that the recruitment process was a success overall.
“I am very happy with the recruitment,” she said. “I think that the fraternities all did a really good job and I look forward to seeing what their new members can offer to their organizations.”

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