The University of Miami is bringing current students a new kind of “rush” in Fall 2008 – deferred recruitment.
The change in routine means that only upperclassmen will be able to join a fraternity or sorority in the fall. Freshmen will have to hold out until January 2009 to join a Greek organization.
“Change is always scary,” said Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs. The adjustment for the Greek community has been in the works since the summer of 2006, she explained. The goal is to place more emphasis on the first year experience for freshmen. Whitely wants to make sure that first-year students don’t feel pressured to decide right away if and where they want to go Greek.
Melissa Gerber, Panhellenic vice president of recruitment, isn’t worried about the changes for the community as a whole. As far as finances go, Gerber explained that it’s just a shift in when dues will come in. She said she thinks most sororities will not experience a huge financial hit because there will still be an informal recruitment in the fall. Gerber thinks that the women rushing in the fall will replace the seniors graduating in May.
As far as what to expect for the upcoming informal sorority recruitment in the fall, upperclassmen should be prepared for a lot less structure. Gerber, along with Panhellenic and sorority recruitment chairs, has worked all semester to make the upcoming recruitment as accommodating as possible. Recruitment will span one week, with most events planned for weekends. Another bonus for upperclassmen includes only having to visit each sorority once, whereas in previous years it’s at least two times. After the first round, women can make their decision when they go back to each sorority within the structure of the week.
As for guys, Alex Gelep, the Interfraternity Council vice president of recruitment, said that “not much is changing for fraternities.” Fall recruitment will still consist of the usual two week formal recruitment for guys. Freshmen will no longer be included in the process in the fall.
The ultimate plan is to only have spring recruitment for all women going through and to continue the fall and spring recruitment for men.
“I think it’s going to be fine, it’s just a paradigm shift,” Whitely said. “In five years or so, it will become the norm.”
Ashley Minelli may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.