Men's rush sees 301 bids extended

by Debby Cobon | 10/15/19 2:15am

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Webster Avenue has been busy the past few weeks with fraternity and sorority recruitment.

by Adrian Russian / The Dartmouth

On Oct. 5, men’s fall fraternity rush concluded, with houses extending 301 new member bids, a significant decrease compared to the 356 bids extended last fall and the 341 bids extended the fall prior. 

Thirty-two bids were extended at Alpha Chi Alpha, 22 at Beta Alpha Omega, 29 at Bones Gate, 30 at Chi Gamma Epsilon, 30 at Chi Heorot, 29 at Gamma Delta Chi, 19 at Kappa Kappa Kappa, 25 at Phi Delta Alpha, 31 at Psi Upsilon, 24 at Sigma Nu and 30 at Theta Delta Chi, according to Interfraternity Council recruitment chair Noah Piou ’20. Zeta Psi did not officially take a new rush class, and derecognized Sigma Alpha Epsilon, now Scarlett Hall, did not participate in the IFC rush process. 

This fall, most of the fraternities either maintained or increased the number of bids extended to new members, according to Piou. He added that the rush process changed in terms of the houses coordinating more with each other to make sure people they predicted would not receive bids were told in advance, thus leading to smaller shakeout classes. 

Beta, Heorot and Sig Nu all saw a drop in the size of their new member classes from last year.

Heorot president Zach Kalk ’20 said that Heorot’s smaller class size was not unexpected.

“As our house is mainly made up of members on various sport teams –– soccer, hockey, baseball, skiing and heavyweight rowing –– our number loosely relies on the number of guys that these sports teams bring in each year,” Kalk said. “More importantly, this year we wanted a smaller class to ensure each addition was enthusiastic about joining and to be guys who would be active and dedicated members.”

Piou said he believes that the closure of Dartmouth’s Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter last year may explain Sig Nu’s significant decrease in class size, as 41 bids were extended last fall at Sig Nu. He added that former members of Sig Ep joined Sig Nu last year, while this year’s class did not include former SigEp members. 

Formal IFC rush events such as barbecues occur in the spring and fall. While open to all of campus, they are geared toward potential new members. In the fall, the official recruitment process lasts around a week and includes Dartmouth Bystander Initiative training sessions, an intro to Greek life training and visits to houses of interest. The process concludes with shakeout, which occurs over a two-day period, according to Piou.

“The Friday or Saturday of shakeout is the only real big day where you dress up and go to all the houses you have connections in, shake out and hope to get a bid back,” Piou said. 

According to Piou, the formal rush process for men is shorter and laxer compared to women’s rush, but the unofficial rush process for men begins quite early. Most fraternities assign their rush chairs in the winter, so that freshmen can start getting to know members. Piou added that most students start considering houses in the spring.

Nathan Hwang ’22, who received a bid from Chi Gam, said he began looking at houses as soon as the freshman frat ban ended because he was good friends with many affiliated upperclassmen. 

“I really only looked at the main houses I had friends in, like teammates,” Hwang said. “I was first introduced to Chi Gam by my trip leader, and after that, I just kept meeting new people and being introduced to new people.”

Hwang said that he wanted to rush because he believes that Greek life is central to Dartmouth’s social dimension.

“I rushed the house that I really enjoyed being at on specific on-nights, so I wanted to be a brother there, so I could call it my own and have my friends over,” Hwang said. “It’s a good opportunity to meet new people and expand my network and connections.””

Correction appended (Oct. 15, 2019): This article originally misidentified a source as Nathan Zhang. His last name is Hwang, not Zhang. The article has been updated to reflect this correction.