Men with paint on their faces and Greek letters across their bodies crammed into Lovett Auditorium to welcome their new fraternity brothers Monday afternoon at bid acceptance.
With fraternity rush week completed, the statistics have been reviewed and participation is up from last year.
This year, more than 200 men registered and of those men, 181 were eligible. Last year only approximately 175 men registered to rush.
Jason Hinson-Nolen, interim Greek Like coordinator, said one major change that led to more men being eligible to rush was the lowering of the GPA requirement. Last year, incoming freshmen were required to have a 3.0 GPA, this year it has been lowered to 2.7.
“Across the nation tradition has it that the GPA acceptance was a little higher than that of the university,” Hinson-Nolen said. “We decided to make it more realistic and lower the GPA. Men and women who are involved with Greek Life typically have a higher GPA than those not involved.”
He said since the requirement was lowered, it allowed 15 more men who registered this year to be able to rush.
“Most of them were on the cusp of having a 3.0,” Hinson-Nolen said. “Lowering the standard has let more men experience rush.”
Potential rushees were inside Lovett Auditorium Monday afternoon for bid acceptance.
The rushees were given an envelope with their bid or bids from the fraternities. They then decided to accept or decline and, if given the option, to choose only one bid.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 155 bids had been accepted, which was a 95 percent acceptance rate.
Cheers from the active members of the fraternities could be heard from across the Quad as each fraternity welcomed their new brothers.
“I think the organizations did an amazing job,” Hinson-Nolen said. “The depth of the conversations they had with potential new members shows they are really putting a lot of thought into rush and their potential new members. I think the fact that we have a 95 percent acceptance rate shows how great we are doing with recruitment.”
Sigma Phi Epilson had the largest pledge class with 30 men accepting bids.
Charlie Hobbs, sophomore from Clarksville, Tenn. and brother of Sigma Phi Epilson, said he was a part of last year’s pledge class, which was also the largest on campus.
“I’m happy to have the largest pledge class on campus again,” Hobbs said. “Not only is it the largest class, but the best.”
Dylan Gerlach, senior from Louisville, Ky., and president of Sigma Chi fraternity, said rush is always a crazy and busy time of the year.
“It’s great when you see that your hard work has paid off at bid acceptance,” Gerlach said. “We’re extremely proud of the guys we took this year. For us, it’s not always about having the most guys, but just making sure we get really good quality guys.”
He said he is fortunate to be the president of such an up and coming fraternity. Sigma Chi gave bids approximately 24 bids and had 20 accept.
Gerlach Sigma Chi did well with rush and he thought it seemed like there were a lot of guys rushing this year.
“I think Greek Life gets a really bad rap sometimes, which is sad because we all have a common goal of promoting values,” Gerlach said. “Jason, the new Greek Advisor has also helped us out tremendously with lowering the grade requirements for new freshmen as well as making sure we had everything taken care of that we needed.”
Story by Meghann Anderson, Assistant News Editor.