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Fraternities release bid numbers

After waiting nervously to find out which potential Interfraternity Council group members accepted the bids they handed out Sunday night, fraternity leaders discovered Monday night that changes to the greek system over the last year had yielded some minor shifts in membership.

The return of membership offers by rushees Monday marked the end of the annual IFC recruitment process, which this year included several changes: different housing locations than last year for every IFC group; the addition of one fraternity, Chi Psi, to the IFC rush process and subtraction of another, the former Kappa Sigma; and housing for one more fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Several fraternities seemed to benefit at least somewhat from locations closer to the center of campus. Lou Leskosky, a rush chair for Delta Kappa Epsilon, said nine students accepted bids to his group Monday, representing an increase from the six members who accepted last year, before the group moved from Edens Quadrangle to Main West Campus.

"It's to some degree doing a better job being out there in the open on Main West and not in Edens," he said.

Phi Delta Theta also moved from Edens to Main West, and it received its largest pledge class in four years, said Tom Bringley, president of Phi Delt.

"We got 13 acceptances.... We happened to find some really great guys who were interested," Bringley said.

Officers in Deke and Phi Delt, as well as those in Sig Ep and Pi Kappa Alpha, gave out and received more bids than ever before.

"We gave out 32 bids and we got 30 back because we have a pretty large section and people going abroad," said Jared Newman, president of PiKA. "We're excited to have this many people ready to become part of the brotherhood."

Sig Ep--one of the few fraternities that does not do any pledging activities--was especially pleased with its recruitment numbers this year after trying for several years to obtain housing. A total of 26 students accepted bids to the group, out of 33 bids that were originally handed out. Additionally, five students deferred their bids, which gives them the flexibility to accept their bids at any time over the next year.

Likewise, Chi Psi leaders expressed satisfaction after a year of change. This was the first year that Chi Psi participated in IFC recruitment after joining the organization last fall, and President Nick Superina said he was content when six students accepted bids after 14 were handed out.

"For our first time out, I'm satisfied with these numbers," Superina said. "The brothers would have probably wanted more. The next week we're considering giving out snap bids."

Even though the two main off-campus fraternities--Delta Phi Alpha and Eta Prime--are not part of IFC, they mirrored the rush schedules they used in the past when they were in the IFC as Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Sig.

Eta Prime President Mark Boyd said they had a very successful rush process, distributing 32 bids with 26 students ultimately accepting their offers. "It wouldn't have been better than if we had been on campus," he said.

Will Brown, president of Delta Phi Alpha, said 17 students accepted bids to their off-campus fraternity, which he said is a perfect number for their pledges to become genuine friends without splitting into fractions of a larger group.

"We did stand by and uphold the same practices that we've done in years past," Brown said. "We pride ourselves because we don't want to have to talk down about other fraternities. We try to let freshmen learn about us and experience our fraternity for themselves."

Joe Elliot, president of Delta Sigma Phi, said Delta Sig historically cross-rushed with SAE and was afraid Delta Phi Alpha would not conform to certain IFC rules, which forbid communicating with potential members, for example, as they decide to accept or reject their bids. However, Elliot said he was pleasantly surprised when he saw how the off-campus fraternities chose to conduct themselves.

Brown pointed out that IFC regulations are rarely enforced, and all fraternities--regardless of their location--can rush students the same way.

"I wouldn't say we got any other advantages by dirty rushing. We pretty much do the same thing," Brown said, although he said Delta Phi Alpha was "very successful in getting a lot of the kids that we were cross-rushing with [Kappa Alpha]."

Kappa Alpha President Carlton Fleming declined to release any bid numbers, though he wrote in an e-mail that his fraternity has received bids from students who were also rushing Delta Phi Alpha.

"We have an amazing pledge class this year, including several guys Delta Phi Alpha has been rushing all year," Fleming wrote. "If you gave a list of our pledges to Delta Phi Alpha, they'd want every one of them, and you couldn't say the same going the other way."

Most on-campus fraternities reported numbers similar to years past, with few exceptions.

Elliot said Delta Sig has a normal number of students in their pledge class and said his fraternity gave out 27 bids and received 25 acceptances, along with an additional student who was given a snap bid.

"We lost kids that we thought we were going to lose and got kids we thought we were going to get," Elliot said.

Theta Chi originally gave out 35 bids, one of the highest number of potential bids, but only seven students chose to accept them. Joel Yancey, president of Theta Chi, declined to comment on the numbers.

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