From left, freshmen Jackson Grout, Kevin Powers, Corey Torczon and Sean Donnelly before their bid night on Oct. 15. This year was the first time in three years freshmen were allowed to join a fraternity during their first quarter at Cal Poly.
Alcohol abuse in greek life has caused schools across the nation to find creative ways to attempt to alleviate the problem, including a recent change of policy at Cal Poly.
Cal Poly’s transition away from deferred rush resulted from negotiations with greek leaders and administrators. After coming to agreement with multiple policies, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) issued its “Deferred Recruitment Compromise” in May, which allowed freshmen to rush in fall quarter in return for stricter risk management policies.
The first fall recruitment in three years for fraternities came to an end this week.
In contrast, the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) is one school that has a tradition of doing the opposite of deferred rush. Instead of deferring rush for men, a year-long recruitment process is used, allowing students to start looking into fraternities during their senior year of high school.
Recruitment events begin in the spring semester of their senior year and take place on high school campuses. Fraternities visit local schools and start contacting potential members mid-May of their senior year.
Sororities at UNL, on the other hand, follow the fully structured National Panhellenic Council model, starting rush activities a week before classes begin.
“When a young man arrives on campus, he is going to explore extracurricular opportunities available to him, possibly including a fraternity. He does this to find his home away from home, to create bonds and connect to the student collegiate experience,” Vice President of Operations of The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) Andy Huston said. “Deferred recruitment robs him of the opportunity to do this at a time when it may be most beneficial to him.”
Some proponents of deferred rush, however, argue that alcohol problems are less likely to occur if rush is pushed back for freshmen.
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities does not have deferred rush. However, the school took matters into their own hands to be cautious of alcohol-related problems in greek life by implementing Arkeo, a greek party self-policing program February of last year to monitor safety in student life.
“It’s not that we don’t want big parties — we just want them to be safe,” Mike Danley, the president of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities’ Interfraternity Council, told the Minnesota Daily student newspaper.
Programs such as Arkeo fall in line with the philosophy Huston, the vice president at NIC, has about risk management for fraternities.
“Deferred recruitment will not solve the challenges of hazing and binge drinking,” Huston said. “We will overcome these challenges through education, training and collaboration with stakeholders.”