Gender-inclusive houses extend bids

by Chloe Jennings | 1/24/16 7:54pm

Gender-inclusive fraternities the Tabard, Phi Tau and Alpha Theta are in the process of extending bids for the winter term. Additionally, Panarchy and Amarna undergraduate societies have seen new members join this term.

All houses accept new members during each term and the recruitment processes vary between houses and tend to be informal, Greek Inclusive Greek Council president Veri di Suvero ’16 said. The presidents of the gender-inclusive fraternities confirmed that their systems are much less formal than Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council recruitment.

Out of the gender-inclusive fraternities, five students have accepted bids from Alpha Theta so far. Tabard has not held rush yet this winter, di Suvero said. Phi Tau holds long-term rush, meaning prospective members can join at any time throughout the term.

The Alpha Theta numbers reflect a decrease from fall to winter recruitment numbers that is consistent with decreases seen by both Panhell and the IFC. Last term, Alpha Theta extended 15 bids, although not all of them accepted their bids. Nevertheless, this downward trend is not universal among gender-inclusive houses: for example, Phi Tau’s recruitment numbers remain more or less consistent throughout the year, di Suvero said.

In terms of gender-inclusive rush, Alpha Theta’s process is the most similar to IFC and Panhell rush, di Suvero, who is also Alpha Theta’s recruitment chair, said. Individuals rush during the first two weeks of the term. Some are then extended a bid and must decide whether or not to accept it over the next four terms.

Alpha Theta president Noah Cramer ’16 said that the rush process lasts for two days. Potential new members can show up either day and are not required to participate in both days of rush, he said.

“The first half is just sort of hanging around, and the second half we tell some silly stories about house history, and we give a little house tour, and then the next day we give out bids,” Cramer said.

Cramer said this process has remained the same for the past few winters as well as this past fall.

Phi Tau uses a process of rolling rush, so that anyone at any time can come to Phi Tau and put their name in a rush book. If their bid is accepted, they can join the house at any time during the next four terms. There is not one designated day or “bid day” on which they must decide whether to join, di Suvero said.

The Tabard also hosts rush on a rolling basis, although they have not accepted any members so far, she added.

Because all of the houses have such different rush processes, the GIGC does not officiate over a community-wide rush process, di Suvero said. Rather, the council extends a series of “meet the gender inclusive Greeks” events and works to increase campus visibility on gender-inclusive Greek houses as an alternative to Panhell and IFC rush.

Panarchy and Amarna are not part of the GIGC, but they are gender-inclusive undergraduate societies who have also accepted new members this term. Panarchy president Sam Van Wetter ’16 said Panarchy works under a rolling membership system.

“We don’t have any kind of formal recruitment or rush or membership processes, so we are constantly adding new members when people come to our open meetings,” he said.

Panarchy has accepted new members this term but does not keep track of numbers, he said.

“The secret is that everyone’s a Panarchist, they just might not know it yet,” Van Wetter said.

Van Wetter said that becoming a Panarchist involves coming to meetings, joining the listserv and simply declaring oneself a Panarchist.

“If you start hanging out at the house you’re definitely a Panarchist,” Van Wetter said. “Otherwise we don’t really concern ourselves with labels.”

This fall, 32 total students were offered bids at gender-inclusive Greek houses. Last winter, 11 students accepted bids between the Tabard, Phi Tau and Alpha Theta, and eight new members joined Amarna.

Van Wetter is a member of the Dartmouth staff.