Greek scene defrosts as Freshman Freeze ends, houses open

Miki Johnson

The Greek community opened its doors to freshmen Sunday as sororities hosted open houses and the fraternity Freshman Freeze ended.

Freshman Freeze is the period beginning New Student Week and ending four weeks into the quarter when freshmen are barred from entering fraternity houses.

Interfraternity Council unsuccessfully tried to convince the administration to end or shorten Freshman Freeze this year, said Mike Saxvik, IFC vice president for recruitment.

“By having Freeze it implies that frats are doing something wrong and that other groups aren’t,” said Saxvik, a Weinberg senior and Zeta Beta Tau member. “It’s sort of incriminating to us.”

Because the policy only affects houses on campus and not off-campus parties, some feel that it could be detrimental to freshmen.

“I don’t know if it accomplishes what its goals are and I would question what its goals actually are,” said Jeremy Esposito, a Medill junior and Beta Theta Pi member. “Having the kids go off campus is actually less safe than being in the houses because they aren’t under university supervision.”

The policy was instituted at the same time as delayed recruitment to allow freshmen time to establish roots elsewhere before going into houses, Saxvik said.

Sorority houses are closed to freshmen throughout Fall Quarter except for events sanctioned by the National Panhellenic Association. These events include firesides sponsored by each of the houses and Sunday’s open houses.

“This way each potential member has an equal playing field when they enter in winter,” said Terri Fisher, Panhel vice president for membership.

Freshman women interested in joining a sorority met at Harris 107 where they formally registered for the first time and were broken up into groups led by recruitment counselors. Recruitment counselors were selected by Panhel and are disaffiliated from their chapters throughout Fall Quarter and Rush Week to give fair guidance to prospective members, Fisher said.

“It allows an unbiased opinion of the Greek system, especially the sororities,” said Ashley Lorenz, a Weinberg freshman. “We are allowed to form our own decision instead of having the consensus of everyone else forced on us.”

Weinberg freshman Bethany Sharkey said she like the sororities’ organized approach to recruitment.

“It’s overwhelming, but fun,” Sharkey said. “It makes it more fun and exciting now that we are allowed in,” she said.

Sigma Phi Epsilon hosted a tailgate Saturday at midnight to celebrate the end of Freshman Freeze, and male freshmen interested in joining the Greek community took advantage of their first free Sunday dinners at a number of houses. The dinners are open to all prospective members but this was the first time freshmen attended.

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Greek scene defrosts as Freshman Freeze ends, houses open

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Sororities still closed except for Panhel events; fraternities game for freshmen