IFC enacts rush regulations
Shortened rush period, stricter alcohol policies to promote safer experience
Inter-Fraternity Council members will face several new regulations this year for their recruitment process which officially began last weekend.
There are 1,700 members of the University’s IFC chapters, not counting prospective members this semester, and the rushing process includes several rounds including open houses, invitation events, final hours and bid day.
As one among several major changes, the Office of the Dean of Students recently decided to shorten the length of fraternity rush for spring 2014 by three days. Third-year College student Griffin Horter, head of investigations on the IFC Judicial Committee, said the changes were made as safety precautions.
“The reason the school did that is to limit the school’s liability and limit the chance that kids will get hurt,” Horter said. “[But] every fraternity will have the same amount of events; it’s a just condensed amount of time. I’m not really sure if it will be any less of a liability, so that’s a concern I have.”
Additionally, the second round of rush will fall on a Sunday and a Monday instead of on weekends, limiting the previously frequent process of taking prospective members on trips outside the University.
Regulations regarding the delivery of bid cards have also been created. There can only be one person allowed into a rushee’s dorm to deliver the bid card, and it must delivered during a limited time frame in the day. These regulations aim to prevent large groups of people delivering the bid very late at night or early in the morning.
The use of alcohol at rush-related events will also be highly monitored this year.
“The IFC regulations are, and have always been, that no alcohol is permitted during recruitment activities,” said third-year College student Thomas Reid, IFC vice president of membership. “This is for two reasons: alcohol really distracts from getting to know the younger guys and because consumption of alcohol is illegal for all of our recruits — they’re pretty much all under 21. This is a policy that has been difficult to enforce. We’re really committing ourselves to that policy this year.”
The IFC will also heavily focus on making sure members and prospective members have an aligned view of what it means to be in a fraternity, Reid said.
“What we identified as a problem was that the recruitment process was not reflecting what the fraternity actually meant,” Reid said. “We’re trying to tap into that philosophical underpinning of rush which is that there should never be any pressure to participate in anything illegal. It should be about getting to know the guys.”
Such regulations are an attempt to make the process safer for those participating in rush. The University also held a Hazing Prevention Summit last fall in hopes of making the semester-long pledge process safer.
“I think every fraternity on Grounds is changing their pledge process,” Horter said. “The pledge process will be much healthier with less liability than before. That being said, it’s hard to change something so ingrained in the fraternity tradition. I think it’s going to be a gradual process with each fraternity making changes each year.”