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30 August 2009

Delayed rush affects Greek finances

Two years after the decision to move to deferred recruitment, fraternities and sororities are still making adjustments to the effect it has on dues.

“We’re not having as much money as we normally do to kick off the year, but in turn, we’re having much more money in the spring that can roll over,” said Ethan Alpern, vice-president of the Inter-Fraternity Council.

In 2007, Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs,  made the decision to move formal recruitment to the spring and not the fall.

In previous years, fraternities and sororities on campus were allowed to recruit freshmen and upperclassmen during the first two weeks of fall semester. Now, this time is reserved only for upperclassmen interested in Greek life.

The ultimate goal is for sororities to move completely to spring recruitment. Fraternities will still hold informal recruitment in the fall.

The decision came as an attempt to give the freshman more time to integrate themselves to campus before they made the commitment to a Greek organization.

“Change is always scary,” said Whitely in a 2008 interview with The Miami Hurricane. “The adjustment for the Greek community has been in the works since the summer of 2006.”

Last fall marked the first year that the process was implemented and the difference was evident.

“We’re still getting used to it,” Alpern said.

According to Alpern, rushing numbers for fall 2008 were very low. However, 166 men participated in the rushing process the next spring, one of the highest numbers in recent years.

“More people are rushing in the spring because they were not able to in the fall,” said Alpern.

The challenge for most fraternities and sororities comes from adjusting to a system where they only get dues once a year from freshman instead of two. They have to cope with the loss of graduated seniors’ dues, which they will not be able to replace until recruitment in the spring.

Still, most see the value in this new change.

“It lets the freshmen find out who they really are before they commit to something they’re not ready for,” Alpern said.