Multicultural Greek chapters see no need to rush recruitment
January 12, 2003
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While many Northwestern students are caught up in rush, most ethnically focused sororities and fraternities don’t have much going on this week.
NU’s seven historically black, three Latino-interest and two Asian-interest organizations follow different recruitment schedules than the formal rush process of the traditional Greek organizations on campus.
While some non-traditional Greek organizations choose Fall or Spring Quarter for their recruitment, others don’t have a fixed schedule.
“We choose to do recruitment at various times of the year, and we don’t keep a sort of schedule,” said Yelena Harris, vice president and treasurer of traditionally black sorority Sigma Gamma Rho.
Apart from the different time schedules, non-traditional Greek organizations also differ in their recruitment procedures, much of which they prefer not to disclose.
Many of the differences arise because fewer people are involved in the recruitment process, according to Ebo Dawson-Andoh, National Pan-Hellenic Council president and member of historically black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.
“The whole system is different,” said Dawson-Andoh, an Education senior. “It’s not as large-scale as rush.”
Apart from being smaller, non-traditional fraternities’ and sororities’ recruitment activities also differ because none of the organizations have a house on campus that potential members can visit. But that does not necessarily put them at a disadvantage, said Paul Rabanal, president of Asian-interest fraternity Lambda Phi Epsilon.
“We try to get to know people individually, and then we try to bring them to events (off campus),” said Rabanal, a McCormick junior.
Charter members of NU’s first Asian-interest sorority, Kappa Phi Lambda, which will be recruiting its first pledge class this year, also have found ways to hold activities without a house. They are planning on holding a general information meeting for recruitment at the Multicultural Center and often have meetings at Norris University Center.
While non-traditional Greek organizations use different tactics to recruit new members, they host recruitment events for all the same reasons as traditional sororities and fraternities.
“We invite them to our activities, and we try to get to know them on a more personal level,” said Harris, a Communication senior. “We do a lot of observing to make sure that the people we bring in are of the highest quality and have a lot of interest in serving the community.”
Harris added that although the two active members of Sigma Gamma Rho are black, the sorority is open to members of all ethnicities.
“The general atmosphere at Northwestern is that there isn’t much cultural-crossing and supporting of other group’s cultures and events, and that just kind of bleeds into sorority and fraternity life too,” she said. “If someone of another ethnicity showed interest, we wouldn’t turn them away. We would treat them as any other prospective member.”
Rabanal also emphasized that Lambda Phi Epsilon accepts all students interested in joining the fraternity.
“We’re happy if anyone of non-Asian descent wants to be part of an Asian-interest fraternity,” Rabanal said. “If anyone has any misconceptions or is interested or curious about us, we encourage them to come out for our rush events and see what we are about.”