Fraternities switch to informal recruitment process

by Erin Gerken

Simpson College has revamped the process of fall recruitment for its fraternities, moving from a structured and formal recruitment to a more informal model.

“The original recruitment schedule was a three day period in mid-September,” Assistant Dean of Students Rich Ramos said. “We went to an informal recruitment process where the chapters determine most of their recruitment events and times as opposed to the Interfraternity Council (IFC) or Greek Life dictating that.”

Unlike sororities, whose recruitment process is governed predominantly by the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the IFC is the main governing body for men’s recruitment. As a result of this, there is a much greater opportunity for changes to the men’s recruitment process.

The changes came from a variety of people who have been involved with recruitment during the past few years, Ramos said.

“It really started with the conversations about what worked with what we were doing and what didn’t work,” Ramos said. “We have been having very casual conversations about it for the last three or four years.”

The majority agreed that this year would be a good time to test these new ideas.

“After meeting with alumni from all of the chapters and some student representatives from each chapter this last spring, it was determined that now might be the opportune time to look at making the change to an informal process,” Ramos said.

A larger audience of alumni and students encouraged these changes as well, Ramos said.

“Most of the national organizations including some of the ones that are at Simpson are encouraging schools to go to a more informal process, as opposed to sticking with a traditional formal recruitment period,” Ramos said.

Each fraternity is allowed to schedule their own recruitment events for the times that work best for each house individually, something that is supported by some current members of the fraternities.

“Well, I think the changes they made since last year have really opened up recruitment and allowed each house to do what they want in the time they want,” junior Dustin Martens said. “Before, it was such a schedule that just didn’t fit everybody, and it kind of made things uneven. We weren’t able to express what Greek Life actually was.”

So far, the new style for recruitment seems to be popular with the freshman class.

“I feel that recruitment, right now, is all very friendly,” freshman Ulices Flores said. “I feel like before I came to college I thought people were going to force you, like try to convince you and stuff like that. I feel like they’re mostly friendly. They’re not really forcing you to join a fraternity; they’re more forcing you to be friendly. It’s just a great experience, totally different from what I thought it was, and I’m having a great time.”

It also seems to allow more specific interaction between the recruits and the houses, Ramos said.

“In some ways, chapters have more time to recruit new members, and likewise, potential new members have more opportunities to learn more about the chapters at Simpson prior to joining,” Ramos said.

One of the events that took place with the new recruitment this year was the All-Greek Barbeque, hosted on fraternity row, which the fraternities hosted together.

“So far this has gone great,” Martens said. “Our Greek Barbeque had a better turn out than ever. With all the houses interacting now the way it is, it’s completely different than last year.”

Many of the freshmen who attended seemed to enjoy the event.

“Everyone is really nice and outgoing and they’re not afraid to come up to you,” freshman Jay Liston said. “It’s like a big family, so I really like it.”

There are a few other events that took place with the new process, but events are predominantly scheduled by each fraternity on their own time.

“There are a small number of informational meetings, which act as an introduction to Greek Life for students choosing to be involved in the recruitment process,” Ramos said. “Other than that, each chapter has various opportunities that they can program and get men into their houses with the hope that those prospective new members will choose to join one of the Greek organizations at Simpson.”

With increased numbers in freshmen enrollment for the school year, hopes for recruitment and initiation in the Greek houses are high.