The Daily Gamecock

Fraternity recruitment makes strides from last year

Cox attributes fewer bids to higher-quality rush

In major contrast from last year’s infamous fraternity rush, which was suspended due to drug and alcohol violations, the 2012 fraternity rush has been described as “really good” and “problem free.”

“We’re very, very happy,” said Jordan Cox, Fraternity Council president. “Not only have we vastly improved from last year, but we’ve improved from the spring. We worried about it, but it couldn’t have been much worse than last year. It turned out great.”

Of the 866 men who registered to participate in recruitment, 368 received bids — a lower number than was expected, according to the Director of Student Services Anna Edwards. This is a good sign according to Cox, who believes that this shows that — because of a dry rush — chapters actually interacted with those rushing and took the time to sort through men they did and did not want.

“I believe that our chapters are moving away from the mindset of ‘we have to take as many pledges as possible,’” Cox explained. “Now they are actually recruiting instead of being in a party mindset. Active members and the guys rushing actually carried on good conversation and interacted with each other at the community service activities and the chapters could see which kids would fit best with their chapter.”

While many chapters may have been more selective, Cox said it is also possible that some men may have dropped out of recruitment because they were unable to drink and indulge in the party culture.

For the most part, though, the men and fraternities supported the changes and understood why they were necessary, Cox said.

“I think that a lot of people put the accountability from last year on themselves and we’ve developed a much deeper understanding of what recruiting good men is and what you really need to become brothers,” said Zack King, Fraternity Council’s vice president of recruitment. “This will hopefully have a lasting impact.”

Community service was one of the many new initiatives taken by Fraternity Council to help curb the party reputation surrounding rush and fraternities is general. These programs included alcohol awareness meetings, lectures on scholarship and brotherhood and an alcohol and drug policy change that will fine a guilty chapter $2,500 and suspend their right to rush new members for a first-time offense.

King said he thinks mandatory service was the most important change to recruitment policies.

“I think the best thing we did, bar none, was that we have over 1,700 hours of logged community service within the first two weeks of school,” King said. “That’s out of around 400 guys who accepted bids and active members who went with them too. Bar none, that was the best thing we did.”

The university only acts as advisers for fraternity leaders and had nothing to do with the student-implemented policy changes, but Edwards was satisfied by recruitment and fraternity leaders this year and looks forward to continuing to see improvement.

“We’ve gotten good feedback from students ... and this process continues to evolve and re-evaluate to make sure we’re doing what we need to be doing.”
Although Cox is glad rush ran according to plan this year, he expects to see more improvement.

“We’re going to continue to build,” Cox said. “We’re not content but we’re happy how rush went this year.”