January 23, 2007

Cornellians Join Greek Family

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Whether making a permanent indent on the living room couch, absorbing the strong U.V. rays of the southern hemisphere or speeding down the slopes of a thinly covered Vermont ski mountain, the last days of winter vacation entailed nothing but bliss to the majority of Cornell students. But for over 1,000 underclassman participating in the Greek system’s formal recruitment, the early days of 2007 brought just the opposite.

“It was a week full of walking and talking,” said Rachel Seeman ’10. “We’d wear sweatpants and boots and change outside the house.”

Ben Eschenheimer ’08, the vice president of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council (IFC), reported that 627 prospective brothers registered, a higher number than previous rush weeks.

“Overall, I’m very pleased with the turnout,” said Eschenheimer, who also said there was only one judicial infraction this year.

“Events were organized, safe, and executed flawlessly,” he said, “I had a great week.”

The Panhellenic Association also felt sorority rush was successful. Anna Richardson ’07, the outgoing vice president of formal membership recruitment, said that 592 women started the process, and 478 women accepted a bid.

“Everyone found a home for the most part,” said Richardson.

Jillian Dorans ’07, the outgoing vice president of recruitment, publicity and extension, was especially pleased with the smaller number of withdrawals, which significantly dropped from previous rush weeks.

To help show the potential new members all the options available to them, Panhel showcased two women from each sorority as part of their Greek Women Campaign. This also included five women from the Multicultural Greek Letter Council. Other co-ed fraternities presented during information sessions.

During sorority recruitment, counselors were assigned to the potential new members to help them find the houses, and to answer any questions they may have about choosing the right one. This year, the Panhellenic Association changed their recruitment counselor program by providing EARS counselors to help train the recruitment counselors.

“Recruitment counselors help with the craziness of the process,” explained Dorans.

In accordance with the increasing number of students interested in joining the Greek system, Richardson said that there may be a new sorority chapter coming to Cornell.

“We’re at the very beginning of the process,” she said.

Kevin Morrison ’10 received a bid from Alpha Sigma Phi, and looks back fondly on his experiences last week. “I had a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of new people. I’m looking forward to pledging,” said Morrison.

His roommate, Shane Rasnak ’10, wishes he had rushed after hearing about Morrison’s experiences. “I want to do it next year,” said Rasnak. “It seems like a lot of fun.”

Matt Bernstein ’09, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, expressed similar views. “It was a highly organized rush week. Rules and policies were set and everyone followed them. The IFC did a great job.”