Fraternity Bid Day to be held Saturday IFC aims to sign 200 new members
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 00:09
Tonight, the Interfraternity Council at Southern Miss will host “Fraternity Row Night”, an open-house event for any men on campus interested in Greek Life.
The event, which will begin at 7 p.m. at the intramurals parking lot on Fraternity Row across from the Kappa Sigma house, will give anyone interested the chance to meet members in all 10 fraternities on campus (Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Tau, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu and Sigma Phi Epsilon).
This event will serve as a conduit to get to know the fraternities on campus. The week will conclude with bid day festivities on Saturday, when new members receive invitations, or bids, to join a chapter. Earlier this month, IFC hosted a “Coat and Tie Affair” in which members of the fraternal community at USM shared their experiences in Greek Life. The rush chairmen from each chapter were also present to answer questions about their fraternities.
As with College Panhellenic Council recruitment earlier this month, growth of the Greek community is expected.
“I am very optimistic about recruitment this year,” Assistant Dean of Greek Life Josh Schutts said. “Panhellenic was as strong as it was last year. I have no reason to believe the IFC men will not experience the same success. All indicators point to another solid year of recruitment for our Greek community.”
Schutts anticipates that over 200 men will become fraternity members by the time the fall semester concludes. Over the past few years, fraternity recruitment has shifted from a structured, formal recruitment process to a more relaxed, “semi-formal” process. IFC expects the fraternities to recruit new members during the summer, with bids to be signed on a specific date, according to IFC president Keenan Dollar. However, bids could be signed starting Sept. 5 in order to help recruit members through the official bid day. Dollar said this new system has generated a significant growth in bids signed. In 2009, 98 men signed bids while the formal recruitment system was in place. Last year, with the informal system, 220 men signed bids.
“Numbers are looking up, morale is up, grades are up, so everything is in our favor to do well with recruitment,” Dollar said. “It’s only getting better. We’re possibly getting new fraternity houses; that’s only going to add to the prestige and newness and the want to be Greek.”
“We really maximized our efforts in recruitment this year,” Mississippi Gamma chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Vice President of Recruitment Hunter Easterling said. “The fraternity is at a pivotal point where we are fully capable of acquiring thirty-plus quality new members this year and also being able to ensure they are shaped and molded into balanced men. With our seniors being so well trained by our national fraternity, they will be able to pass down their knowledge so that SigEp will continue to grow and our members will always strive for excellence.”
Both Dollar and Schutts believe Greek Life enhances the college experience and provides opportunities beyond graduation.
“I think there are a number of benefits to a student who chooses fraternity life,” Schutts said. “These are social organizations, so the ‘fun’ aspect is certainly present. Moreover, fraternity life isn’t about conforming and losing your identity. It’s about networking, developing your skills and personal leadership capacities, challenging your perspective, managing your life and making difficult choices. It’s about accountability and being a better version of yourself each and every day.”
Currently, there are approximately 500 fraternity members at USM. As of Monday afternoon, approximately 120 bids had been signed. Men interested in joining a fraternity must be enrolled in twelve credit hours of classes and have at least a 2.6 grade point average in order to sign a bid. For more information, contact the Office of Greek Life at 601-266-4823.