This year, fraternities took a new approach to recruitment. The Interfraternity Council devised a plan to promote diversity and combat “negative stereotypes about the fraternity community,” according to Sam Turer ’18, IFC vice president for recruitment.
Turer said that this year’s fall recruitment saw a 20 percent increase over last year, making it more successful than any season since the 1980s. This is the first time in over 30 years that all of Cornell’s 36 fraternities participated in fall recruitment.
Turer emphasized the significance of recruitment, especially from a diversity perspective.
“Additional brothers — especially those from underrepresented communities and diverse backgrounds that do not typically consider joining a fraternity — make all of our chapters stronger,” Turer said.
For Stuart Jackson, a professional recruiter for Kappa Delta Rho, the key to finding the “perfect fit” for a new recruit also involves considering group diversity.
“KDR was the first chapter to accept a minority member of all the IFC fraternities here at Cornell,” Jackson said. “One of our members also passed a new provision that allows any brother who’s been initiated but then identifies as a woman to still be accepted as a brother.”
The approximately four week recruitment process allows potential recruits to learn about different organizations in a Meet the Greeks event and eventually become acquainted with current members of the chapter, according to Jackson.
Although Greek organizations are often in the spotlight because of hazing accusations, both Turer and Jackson spoke to Cornell’s activism in reducing hazing incidents on campus.
“For the past five years, Cornell has led a national movement in eradicating all forms of hazing,” said Turer. “As leaders of the Interfraternity Council, we empower our student-led Greek Judicial Board to utilize the full extent of its judicial power to investigate, and more importantly, educate all students about the dangers of hazing and the benefits of a healthy new member education process.”
Citing recent charges against Cayuga’s Waiters — an a capella group that was recently suspended for hazing — Jackson claimed that the lack of regulations, like the ones imposed by the IFC, can make non-Greek organizations more susceptible to hazing.
“No one is overseeing them. They are not under the microscope, like other social Greek organizations,” he said, adding that in its 103-year history, KDR has never been cited for hazing.
Turer also spoke to the benefits of Greek life, saying that Cornell’s fraternity community is “one of the strongest, most diverse and progressive in the nation.
“We commit hundreds of hours of community service and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local, national, and global causes every year,” he added.
Turer also spoke of his personal experience in overcoming uncertainties about Greek life to discover its “infinite benefits.”
“My perception of the Greek community was skewed by misconceptions perpetuated by false stereotypes presented in the media,” he said. “My time serving on the Interfraternity Council executive board has been spent discussing the unexpected, unique benefits of going Greek with all those who are interested or had the same misconceptions that I had.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that in its 103-year history, KDR has been cited for hazing. In fact, KDR has never been cited for hazing.