Four fraternities engage in winter rush

by Lorraine Liu | 1/31/19 12:45am

Four fraternities welcomed a total of 23 members over the winter rush that took place on Jan. 18 and 19. Compared to last winter’s 16 bids, six more bids were offered this winter, with Sigma Nu accepting the greatest number of brothers.

Two bids were extended at Alpha Chi Alpha, two at Kappa Kappa Kappa, 12 at Sigma Nu and seven at Zeta Psi. Tri-Kap joined the cohort of winter rush after being suspended for three terms since fall 2017.

Only four houses participated in the rush process during the winter term, as many other houses had already recruited their maximum numbers of new members — determined by a house or dictated through an edict from a fraternity’s National Directorate — during fall rush, according to Interfraternity Council head of public relations Caleb Smith ’19.

“The fall term is when the largest amount of eligible new members choose to enter the rush process,” Smith wrote in an email statement. “Therefore, many fraternities have filled up the maximum amount of slots for new members by the end of the fall rush process.”

Winter rush also differs from fall rush with number of students rushing, Interfraternity Council president Yoga Acharya ’19 said.

According to an email from Chi Heorot president Johnathon Ernsting ’19, Heorot did not extend bids this winter because winter term creates schedule conflicts for potential new brothers.

“Most of the people who rush Heorot are athletes, and usually it works better for these athletes to rush in the fall due to their schedules,” Ernsting wrote. 

Sig Nu started to expand its house last fall, according to Sig Nu president Cole Srere ’20. Compared to the five bids it offered in fall 2017, Sig Nu extended bids to 41 new members this past fall. Fifteen students shook out at Sig Nu this winter.

Srere noted that Sig Nu uses winter rush in addition to fall rush to accommodate its membership expansion.

“Our house couldn’t sustain the immediate growth,” he said. “A lot of the people who rushed this term were actually people who wanted to rush last term, and we just couldn’t fit in that more than [41] people.”

Alpha Chi rush chair Trevor Briggs ’20 said that its winter rush differs from fall rush due to the different members of the house at different times.

“Specifically, I think Alpha Chi tries to really give the current sophomores a bigger say in how rush goes for the winter,” Briggs said. “You’re a member of the house, and you have the ability to make a decision on whether these kids are people whom you’d want to be [with] in a house.”

Fraternities opened their houses from 7 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 18. Students then shook out at the fraternity that they are the most interested in, a process that involves “[talking] to all the brothers for a little and ‘[shaking]’ everybody’s hand,” according to Matthew Levine ’21, who shook out at Zete this winter but did not get a bid.

Acharya said that the shakeout process shows a potential new member’s commitment to the fraternity.

“When you shake out, you express interest that if you receive a bid from the house that you’re shaking out, you will accept that bid,” Acharya said.

At Sig Nu, current members of the fraternity held a vote after shakeout to decide new members of the house, according to Srere. 

“If everyone is comfortable with [the new members], then they are accepted,” Srere said.

Before every rush recruitment, fraternities organize rush events where students can “mingle and catch up with brothers,” according Briggs, adding that most rush events take place in the fall with a few in the winter and spring.

“I think [rush events] are definitely fairly crucial events to attend if you’re interested in attending the process in rush,” he said. “It’s a really important way to show your own character while also getting people in the house to just know about you.”

Rush events are sponsored by IFC and usually take place in the spring and fall, according to Acharya.

Srere noted that rush events help freshmen decide the fraternity that they want to join. 

“I personally found that most people who rush in sophomore year have decided they are going to rush and they decided where they are going to rush by the end of freshman spring” he said. “There’s less actual decision making in the sophomore year before rush.”

Srere said that Sig Nu’s new members are adapting smoothly to their life at the fraternity. 

“I love them all, they’re all great guys,” he said. “They seem to be fitting in really well.”

Acharya cited creating new relationships and building tighter bonds with Dartmouth students as reasons for students to participate in Greek life. 

“By and large, people come to Greek spaces and want to rush fraternities because they want to meet other Dartmouth students and become a part of the tighter community,” he said. “And spaces such as fraternities are places you can find that, and we’re actually happy that 23 students choose to join Greek spaces this past winter.”