Fraternities see spike in eligible numbers

Meghann Anderson
Staff writer

Jesse Carruthers/The News

Thirty-two new brothers make up the Fall 2011 pledge class of Sigma Phi Epsilon. This group contains 10 more pledges than any other fraternity on campus and it all started with rush week.
Rush week consists of events every fraternity on campus hosts so the men can decide which one they would like to join.
Each fraternity was represented in the Quad on Sept. 6 and rushees were able to meet with all of the different organizations. This is when the fraternities invite them to separate events.
“During rush week rushees are able to choose which events they wanted to go to,” Josh McAbee, president of Phi Kappa Tau, said. “We are not using the card system, which is where each guy must visit at least two houses a night. Rushees were able to visit as many houses as they desired.”
Approximately 170 to 180 men registered to rush this fall, Michael Shepperd, interfraternity council president, said.
“Almost all of them had the grades, which was a rarity,” Shepperd said. “In order to be eligible to rush, you have to have a 3.0 GPA or a 21 on the ACT, and I believe almost 80 percent were eligible, which is way more than usual.”
Shepperd said an extended timeline allowed for better matches to be made.
“Typically, what we do is that we like to make sure that the freshmen men come in and get a little bit accustomed to what campus life is like,” Shepperd said. “So many people are eligible to join, but also we had two extra weeks this year to meet people, so I felt like not only did people find the right guys, they found guys that fit their organization and were eligible to rush.”
Potential rushees went inside Lovett Auditorium Tuesday to a table and received an envelope with their name.
The envelope contained information about whether they received a bid or not and if they received more than one bid. The rushees then decided to accept or decline and, if given the option, to choose just one bid.
“Once they have chosen to accept their bid, they come to me, so I can announce what brotherhood they will be joining,” McAbee said. “They get to run down steps of Lovett and jump into crowd of their fraternity. It’s a cool experience.”
Blake Hardison, freshman from Owensboro, Ky., is a Sigma Chi pledge. He said he was attracted to Sigma Chi through the dedication to their rushees and the connection of brotherhood between the members.
“I think it’s gone pretty well; we have a good group of men that have gone through, with wonderful GPAs,” Tara Hawthorne, coordinator for Greek life, said. “They have pretty good ideas of what they’re looking for, especially for incoming freshmen and so I’m very pleased with the men that we have potentially coming in.”
Shepperd said he is looking to push Greek unity among fraternities and increase efforts in philanthropy and giving back to campus.
“It’s a huge decision for each male undergrad,” McAbee said. “It will stay with you for more than just four years. It’s a way to get involved on campus out of the rooms and explore Murray.”
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