More than 30 rush coed houses in fall recruitment

by Katie Rafter | 10/5/14 7:01pm

Following recruitment last week, more than 30 students have accepted bids at Alpha Theta, Phi Tau and the Tabard coed fraternities so far this fall. This accompanies recent changes in coed council policy that stress accessibility and non-discrimination.

The Coed Council ratified a new constitution last week, after members of each of the coed houses, as well as Amarna undergraduate society, approved it during weekly chapter meetings, council president Noah Cramer ’16 said.

The new constitution includes a non-discrimination clause mandating that organizations do not discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender identity and that all coed houses give dues reductions at the request of members. The council has also been slightly restructured, with the addition of a secretary and small changes to voting procedures.

Cramer said the new constitution ensured that practices key to the houses’ values were “codified in a real iron-clad way.” He said although the new constitution may not have immediately noticeable effects, issues such as dues reductions and non-discrimination policies “don’t matter until they do, and then they matter quite a bit.”

Eleven students accepted bids at Alpha Theta this term, marking an increase from six last year, three students participated in Phi Tau’s rush process and 21 joined the Tabard.

Alpha Theta president Cristy Altamirano ’15 said the organization made minimal changes to its rush process this year. Altamirano said members aim to create a low-pressure environment, inviting students over for food, casual conversation and a tour before discussing what being a member of Alpha Theta entails.

Yasmeen Erritouni ’17, who rushed Alpha Theta this term, said she feels comfortable and welcome in the house. She said she was not intending to rush this term, but was encouraged by friends that she had made in the fraternity. Erritouni said she decided to join a coed house because she enjoys the “intermingling of human beings regardless of gender.”

Of the three students who went through Phi Tau’s rush process, one has sunk her bid, while another has indicated plans to sink a bid this week, Phi Tau president Aylin Woodward ’15 said. The fraternity members are still waiting to see whether the third student will also choose to join the house. Phi Tau operates on a rolling rush process until graduation.

Woodward said that Phi Tau is trying to move away from the schism between new and old members, emphasizing campus events that are open to the Class of 2018. She said Phi Tau members are not concerned by the number of people who rush, as its membership has always been relatively small, which encourages closeness.

Ruby Hopkins ’17, who sunk a bid at Phi Tau, said she feels “adopted into part of their family.” Hopkins said she decided to rush a coed house because she feels the dynamic encourages conversation.

The Tabard holds open rush, meaning everyone who wants to join the house receives a bid. There has been an increase in the number of students who rushed this term, and several others have expressed interest in rushing later in the term, Tabard president Connie Gong ’15 said.

“We pride ourselves on taking anybody who wants to join the house,” Gong said.

Yesuto Shaw ’15 rushed the Tabard this term after having taken part in single-sex fraternity rush earlier in his time at Dartmouth. Shaw said his rush experience at the Tabard emphasized a welcoming environment, noting coed houses do not have “a sense of exclusivity” because they accept anyone interested in joining.

Woodward is a member of The Dartmouth opinion staff.

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