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Fraternities, sororities report consistent rush participation

Despite brutal winter weather and contention over formal fraternity rush's move to the spring, both fraternity and sorority officials have reported spring rush numbers consistent with past years.

According to Inter-Fraternity Council Treasurer Tim Roscoe, the IFC has formally registered 491 men interested in participating in rush.

However, IFC President Wes Kaupinen said the registration numbers may be low compared to the actual number of men visiting houses because not all rushees registered before Open House weekend.

"The IFC is encouraged by the strong turnout we've seen so far," Kaupinen said. "The feedback from fraternity presidents has been extremely positive."

Last year, about 520 men were registered the day rush began while total participation actually was 560.

According to the IFC's April Rush Report, these numbers are about 9 percent lower than when formal rush was held in the fall.

Formal rush was deferred in April 1998 by then-Dean of Students Robert T. Canevari to the spring semester against IFC leaders' wishes.

Starting last spring, the IFC has been making efforts to persuade Dean of Students Penny Rue and the Board of Visitors to move formal rush date back to the fall.

Fraternities cite lower dues revenues and rush numbers as reasons why rush should return to the fall semester.

The implication of this year's fraternity rush numbers will be investigated further at the conclusion of rush.

Kaupinen said the meaning of final rush numbers would be evaluated once fraternity houses turned in their rush books to the IFC.

"It's too early to make assumptions on the effect on rush numbers and pledge numbers by the starting date of rush," he said.

Among the University's first-year and second-year women, about 800 are rushing this year, according to Inter-Sorority Council President Margaret Dumas, who said the numbers were about the same last year.

"We've been very pleased with our numbers," Dumas said. "They've been pretty much consistent with what we've had in the past.

"Things are going really well -everyone's been doing a phenomenal job," she said.

She added that winter safety during rush was a serious concern because sorority rush events often required rushees to wait outside houses during lag-times.

ISC Rush Coordinator Allison White said several fraternities opened up their houses Friday night and sheltered rushing women between their scheduled events.

Sorority rush is in its final week with "house tours" and "pref" events remaining. Bid day for sororities is Jan. 31.

Three rounds of invites and "Final Hours" remain for fraternity rush. Bid day is Feb. 5.

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