Interfraternity Council hosts first-ever pre-rush open house

by Estephanie Aquino | 9/23/15 6:39pm

9-24-15-news-fratraow-kate-herrington

In an effort to be more inclusive during rush, the Interfraternity Council will host an open house pre-rush event.

by Kate Herrington and Kate Herrington / The Dartmouth

The College’s single-sex fraternities will be hosting a formal open house pre-rush event for the first time on Thursday, Sept. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. The decision to make the open house an additional segment of the men’s rush process was made during the 2015 spring term.

Interfraternity Council recruitment chair Felipe Jaramillo ’16 said the decision was made to make the men’s rush process more inclusive.

“It’s really hard for some students to go to a random house where they might not know anyone and just talk to the brothers,” Jaramillo said. “Some are comfortable with it and others are not.”

Pre-rush email lists are often used to invite those interested to pre-rush events, which might cause someone who was not on any given fraternity’s list to feel uncomfortable about attending rush events for that fraternity, Jamarillo said. Last week all men eligible to rush received an email from the IFC with an attached survey that asked them to designate which houses they were interested in joining. Jaramillo said that the aim of the survey was to establish a connection between the men interested and those particular houses.

“The goal of this is to allow those interested to feel comfortable enough to go to a house by being given an explicit invitation,” Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo added that the survey was unbinding and only he and the houses specified by the respondent would see the respondent’s name and interest.

The 2015-2016 IFC was very concerned with finding ways in which they could focus on creating a more inclusive community, he said.

IFC president Sam Macomber ’16 said that the first goal of the IFC open house was to make the rush process more enjoyable.

Though the College has an open door policy that allows students to meet fraternity members, the IFC open house will formalize the method of contact eligible potential members have with fraternity members, he said. Macomber added that the goal of the open house is not to persuade those not interested in rushing to rush and that he is unsure if the event will have an effect on future rush statistics.

Macomber said that there were other events unaffiliated with IFC, such as Dartmouth on Purpose, that students could attend to hear more about Greek life from members of the Dartmouth community who are both affiliated and unaffiliated.

“I think it’s safe to say being affiliated is great — being unaffiliated is great too. Whether you rush or not you’re going to have a lot good times at Dartmouth,” Macomber said. “We wanted to make those who wanted to rush feel more relaxed throughout the process.”

Jaramillo said that the decision was strongly supported by the fraternities.

“We are very happy with the positive response in the form of support we have received from fraternity presidents,” he said.

Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity president Henry Joyce ’16 said that he was very excited to hear about the open house.

“It’s giving us the opportunity to meet individuals who we otherwise may have not gotten to know because maybe we weren’t involved in the same things or just haven’t had any prior contact for whatever reason,” he said.

Joyce said that he hopes that the open house will broaden the process to include individuals who may not attend many social events on campus or who may have other commitments.

Though the number of men who designated interest in AXA was about as many he had expected, Joyce said he was excited to meet any potential new members that the open house event might bring in, Joyce said.

“Traditionally men’s rush is open to everyone on campus, but I hope that the open house will lead to meeting individuals who we didn’t know before that could make great brothers,” Joyce said.

Other fraternity presidents did not respond to requests seeking comment by press time.

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