The Interfraternity Council (IFC) reported that the number of people who accepted bids to the 31 fraternities at this year’s Rush Week was 523.While fairly consistent with last year’s Rush that saw 513 men pledge, these numbers are still off the record of 553 pledges seen two years ago.
“We think that [the numbers with this year’s Rush] have a lot to do with the state of the economy. It might have encouraged some people not to rush or not to accept a bid,” said Dan Zimlich, IFC Recruitment Vice President.
Going into Rush Week this year, the IFC was anticipating difficulties with this year’s recruitment, because of the perceived troubles in the economy.
In response, the IFC instituted an expanded marketing campaign over the summer to increase the visibility of Rush Week and the information available about fraternities.
“I think we did well considering it was a down market… I think we had a real grass roots marketing campaign, ” said Derek Carlson, IFC President.
As part of the marketing campaign, the IFC became more involved with different departments at Tech. Auxiliary Services helped with advertising around campus. Tech Housing also boosted advertisement by posting flyers in their facilities.
The IFC also worked more closely with Freshman Experience program this year as part of the advertising effort and continued their relationship working with FASET.
In addition to increased advertisement over the summer, the IFC arranged to hold Rush events during the day before Freshman Convocation. This allowed for both events to be held without conflicting with each other.
IFC also held a Parent’s Rush event that invited the parents to come to the fraternities and ask questions about Rush and fraternities in general.
“Every year we get a lot of questions regarding parents during Rush. So we said that we would be happy to have the parents come and visit. This way we were able to show the parents all the advantages of going Greek,” Carlson said.
During Parent’s Rush, each chapter received around one or two parents whose son was thinking about pledging.
“It seemed to be the feeling that the students whose parents came to [Parent’s Rush] eventually went Greek,” Zimlich said.
Despite all the number of people who accepted pledges, Zimlich said that he believes that the down numbers reflect a trend of some of the chapters becoming complacent in their recruiting efforts in the recent years.
“Some chapters were expecting record numbers of people again this year without making much of an effort. However, other chapters did get good numbers,” Zimlich said.
In recent years, some chapters have had more than 30 members and seen their numbers reduce to a dozen. while others have grown from a dozen members to more than 30. Zimlich declined to single out any chapters for complacency.