253 join frats in last fall rush

by Julia Levy | 10/11/00 5:00am

A total of 253 people joined a fraternity this past week in the last fall rush before the mass pledge period moves to Winter term next year.

In all, there were about 520 rushees this year, and about 350 people received bids. Of these, about 72 percent chose to sink their bids.

According to IFC Secretary Sean Heikkila '02, who was in charge of tabulating the rush numbers, "This is the first year we're getting good about calculating numbers."

He said the push to keep better track of the names of rushees as well as the numbers of participants in each stage of the process stems from a promise made to Assistant Dean of Residential Life Deborah Carney, who has been replaced by Cassie Barnhardt for the year.

"Deb wanted to make rush a more formal process," Heikkila said. He explained that the closer tabs the IFC kept this year may lead to analysis of the possible exclusivity of the fraternity system. He also noted that this year, the IFC conducted an information session to explain parts of the process to confused potential rushees.

"I think that the general sentiment is that all the houses are pleased with their newest members," IFC President Michael Johnson '01 said.

He noted that because rush is not scheduled again until winter 2002 some fraternities -- including his house, Alpha Delta fraternity -- aimed higher in membership goals than they had in the past to guard against potential drop in numbers next year.

"We predicted that numbers would drop next year because of winter rush," he explained. This year, AD has 31 new members -- up from 25 last year.

Psi Upsilon fraternity President Dan Mahoney '01 said his house did not share the goal of boosting membership. In fact, with 17 new members, Psi U's newest class has five less than last year.

"It's a little smaller, but we may still have guys in the winter," Mahoney said. "That's fine with us, because we got the guys we wanted to get."

Mahoney said that Psi U is hoping the Trustees will reconsider moving rush back to fall. But in any case, he said next year's potential change in rush schedule did not affect how his house conducted rush this year.

Heikkila said the drop in new membership numbers is not necessarily related to the Trustees' Initiative.

"Houses may be choosing to achieve a different kind of brotherhood," he said, explaining that some fraternities wanted to decrease membership to change house dynamics.

Alpha Chi Alpha's membership dropped from 16 to 10 new members this year. Chi Herot's dropped from 25 to 20. Sigma Alpha Epsilon's fell from 25 to 14. Theta Delta Chi's went down from 34 to 26. Zeta Psi's fell from 14 to 10.

This year, Sigma Phi Epsilon got 20 new members and Kappa Kappa Kappa got 23 new members -- up from 19 last year.

Chi Gamma Epsilon's membership rose this year -- from 21 to 29. Bones Gate was unavailable for comment, but from The Dartmouth's calculations, it seems that membership rose significantly. Last year it was rumored to have fewer than 5 members, and this year it has over 15 new members.

Another difference between this year's rush and last year's is the subtraction of one house -- Phi Delta Alpha fraternity from the roster of possible fraternities that interested new members could consider.

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