By Megan Loock
Elm Staff Writer
Students eager to learn about Greek life gathered on the quad on Friday evening, Sept. 10 as the brothers of Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, and Theta Chi fraternities came together for their first in-person recruitment event since March of 2020.
Students played lawn games, such as cornhole and volleyball, with the fraternity brothers and learn more about the three fraternities on campus.
The InterFraternity Council faced recruiting challenges last year as all of the fraternities had to get creative to curate an engaging virtual recruiting experience.
On Sept. 17, 2020, The Elm reported that the brothers of Kappa Sigma hosted an “Online Town,” town event that allowed the brothers to mimic the in-person meet-and-greet experience. Other fraternities, like Phi Delta Theta, decided to not go through with the fall recruitment process because “they felt the virtual setting would ‘do a disservice towards new members if we said that virtual meetings were enough to grow legitimate friendships,’” former Phi Delta Theta president junior Mason Drummey said.
Despite their respective choices, it was a unanimous IFC decision to not receive new members for the fall 2020 semester.
“Most of the ways we get to meet people is through classes and just hanging out in general,” President of Kappa Sigma and senior Lenny Brogen said. “Being able to go back on campus and seeing each other’s faces not on a Zoom call makes all the difference.”
The InterFraternity Council has two rounds of recruiting, one in the fall and one in the spring.
The fall recruitment is only available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who were unable to join before because they did not meet the grade requirement or because they only recently became interested in rushing. Spring recruitment is open to all students who are interested in joining Greek life.
Sophomore Quincy Adams’ initiation into Kappa Sigma happened by circumstance.
Last spring, Adams was living in Dorchester House, the residence hall that houses the brothers of Kappa Sigma, so before he even joined the fraternity he was spending time with and getting to know the brothers.
“I had no reason not to [join,] I had no reason to [join.] They made it pretty clear that if I didn’t wanna do it, I can just quit… so I just went with it…and it’s been pretty fun so far,” Adams said.
Adams was one of the three students who were recruited to Kappa Sigma last school year.
Now that the entire student body is back on campus, the IFC and individual fraternities can start hosting in-person events.
According to the current Washington College COVID-19 guidelines, all students who are vaccinated can congregate unmasked in outdoor spaces for extracurricular events.
Because of these guidelines, President of the IFC and Alumni Chair of Phi Delta Theta junior Nathaniel Bittle said that a majority of the IFC recruitment events will be held outside.
“[Last semester] it was hard to meet as many people, even though our campus was open, because there were so few people on campus and a lot more restrictions…but we had seven guys in last semester’s rush which I think is unusually high considering the circumstances,” Bittle said.
“We’re hoping this semester, as things start to gradually open up, we’ll gain more recruits,” he said.
Sophomore Cole Olson came to the event in hopes of learning more about the rushing process.
According to Olson, he was friends with some members of the fraternities and he really “liked the community and the sense of belonging.”
“I’d really like to rush and join a fraternity,” he said.
IFC Rush Chair and Kappa Sigma brother junior Nicholas Spelendoria said that the IFC is “expecting a lot of people to rush … a lot of people haven’t been to campus, and they’ve been cooped up in their homes for two years so hopefully, all three fraternities can get a lot of people.”
As an LGBTQ+ student, Splendoria became Rush Chair so that every student, regardless of sexuality, race, religious beliefs, etc. can feel comfortable and safe while rushing.
“I really like being in a fraternity,” Splendoria said. “And I think anyone can benefit from being in one.”
“I’m excited for [rush],” Brogen said. “When you rush, you’re not rushing a fraternity, you’re rushing the people that are there, so it’s a lot easier to get to know the people that are there when you are in person.”