344 bids extended to new fraternity members, IFC withholds house-by-house breakdown

This fall’s rush cycle was the first to be held in person since winter 2020.

by Eliza Durbin | 10/22/21 5:15am

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by Beam Lertbunnaphongs / The Dartmouth

The first in-person fraternity rush since the onset of COVID-19 concluded this past weekend, with fraternities extending a total of 344 bids, according to interim Office of Greek Life director and associate dean of residential life Mike Wooten. Interfraternity Council president Daniel Gold ’22 declined to share a house-by-house breakdown of bid numbers.

Gold said that he believes rush between the different fraternities can be viewed as “very competitive” from those outside of Greek Life, when in reality, the fraternities are “all one fraternity community.” 

“I don’t see any benefit to sharing these numbers,” Gold said. “In the past, I have seen it first hand on this campus how — when these numbers go out, there are houses that have particularly small or particularly large rush classes — people tend to label them as good or bad and it’s a conversation that starts spreading around campus.”

Gold said his decision to withhold the bid numbers was a “thought-out” process, noting that he had the support of the fraternity presidents and the Office of Greek Life. 

Wooten declined to comment other than providing the topline number of bids. He is heading the office temporarily after the summer departures of former director Brian Joyce and former program coordinator Jessica Barloga left the office without permanent leadership. 

Despite Gold’s decision, some fraternity presidents and rush chairs provided The Dartmouth with the number of bids they offered this rush cycle. According to their respective presidents or rush chairs, 31 bids have been extended at Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity, 37 bids at Beta Alpha Omega fraternity, nine at Gamma Delta Chi fraternity, 15 bids at Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity, 26 bids at Sigma Nu fraternity and 34 bids at Theta Delta Chi fraternity. 

The 344 bids offered this fall marks an increase of just one bid from the 343 bids offered between winter and spring last year. From the houses that provided their bid numbers, Alpha Chi, Beta and TDX saw an increase in their rush class size compared to the two terms last year, and Sig Nu, GDX and Tri-Kap saw a decrease. Fraternity rush will also take place this winter as planned.

The presidents of Bones Gate, Chi Gamma Epsilon, Chi Heorot, Phi Delta Alpha, Psi Upsilon and Zeta Psi fraternities declined to comment or did not respond to emailed requests to provide their rush numbers by press time. 

According to Gold, this year’s rush cycle was affected by COVID-19 safety protocols and the inability to gather in social spaces last spring term. 

“Normally, rush starts in the spring of freshman year … and it goes until normally week three [of sophomore fall],” Gold said. “But because there was no real rush process last spring, we had to move shakeout back to week five to give chapters and [potential new members] more time to get to meet each other.”

However, Gold said he expects that the rush process will return to normal in 2022.

Fraternity presidents and rush chairs said they noted extra excitement among potential new members in the Class of 2024, many of whom missed out on first-year social activities.

Alpha Chi rush chair Brendan Flewelling ’23 said he was excited to be a part of his first in-person rush. He added that he participated in virtual rush last year by “hopping on Zoom calls with brothers,” and did not think it was as “rewarding or fun as in person.” 

Drew Barry ’24, a new member of Alpha Chi who rushed this fall, described this year’s rush process as “stressful.” 

“The first five weeks were pretty stressful just with not really knowing any of the houses beforehand” Barry said. “It was a lot of work and a lot of time trying to meet brothers from all the different houses.”

Clark Gilmore ’24 said he had a different rush experience as a member of Dartmouth’s varsity baseball team. Gilmore, who was extended a bid at Heorot this fall, described rush as “a one day thing, really.” According to Gilmore, “nearly every” ’24 on the baseball team received a bid from Heorot this fall.

“As part of the baseball team, I spent a lot of my time there during the year, and I got to know a lot of the brothers,” Gilmore said. “So when it came time for rush, all I really did [was] go to shakeout, see a ton of guys I already knew … and now, I guess I’m in.”

TDX president Jack Schifino ’22 said he is excited about the first in-person rush class since the pandemic.

“I love the ’24s,” Schifino said. “I’m really excited about our class this year, so I was definitely really happy to be a part of that, and excited for these guys to finally be able to join the fraternity after all the stuff [they] went through with COVID-19.”

Alex Hughes ’23, one of Beta’s rush chairs, said Beta’s higher rush numbers were due to the distinctive nature of the class.

“We thought that when we got down to the people that shook out — when we got to those last 36 — we thought that each one brought something specific and unique to the class,” Hughes said.

Zahni Khin ’23, another Beta rush chair, said they got a “sick” rush class. 

“The boys are buzzing,” Khin said. “It is electric in here, dude.” 

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