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Ackerly declines to discuss rush date

The Inter-Fraternity Council's nearly two-year effort to have formal rush returned to fall is going nowhere fast.

Despite numerous fraternity leaders' requests, Board of Visitors Rector John P. Ackerly III said he will not address rush dates with the Board during their meeting tomorrow.

He advised fraternity leaders to redirect their rush requests to the Office of University President John T. Casteen III.

Moving rush dates "is an administrative matter, not a policy matter," Ackerly said.

But some fraternity leaders said the Board should be more responsive to students' concerns.

"I thought Ackerly would really be able to do something," IFC Educator Josh Tepper said. "I wonder if my letter had any positive outcome rather than just that [Ackerly now] understands" the fraternities' stance on rush dates.

Ten fraternity leaders separately wrote to Ackerly last month urging him to discuss with the Board the impact of deferred rush on fraternities, including resulting financial hardships.

In his response letters, all dated in December and January, Ackerly declined these requests and suggested that fraternities submit financial reports to Casteen if their fiscal problems continue.

"Some of the fraternities have argued that deferred rush is jeopardizing their financial existence," he said. "If that's the case, they need to find evidence that would be persuasive with Mr. Casteen's office."

Former Zeta Beta Tau President Mike Stone, who sent one of the letters to Ackerly, said his fraternity now is keeping better records of its finances.

"When it finally comes the time when the Dean of Students Office acquiesces and says it's time to reevaluate rush dates, we'll have concrete data" to support fall rush dates, Stone said.

IFC President Wes Kaupinen said he plans to follow Ackerly's suggestions.

"I will pursue a meeting with Mr. Casteen," Kaupinen said. "It is at that time that we in some way can resolve the issue in such a fashion so as to align the interests of the administration with [those of] the fraternity system."

IFC officers are continuing to evaluate the effects of deferred rush on the fraternity system, he said.

In April 1998, then-Dean of Students Robert T. Canevari moved formal fraternity rush to the spring semester against IFC leaders' wishes.