Fraternities open their doors during welcome week

Greek life kicked into gear this week with strategies to attract as many members as possible.

Biology and Spanish sophomore Will Richardson puts the finishing touches on Delta Chis chalkboard mural on Sept. 5, 2016 at their fraternity house.

Carter Jones

Biology and Spanish sophomore Will Richardson puts the finishing touches on Delta Chi’s chalkboard mural on Sept. 5, 2016 at their fraternity house.

by David Clarey

For the University men interested in joining a fraternity this fall, greek life is synonymous with the good life. 

In recruitment tours earlier this week, fraternities touted million-dollar house renovations, intangible benefits and the occasional basement party to their future brothers.

Max Tobin, a freshman planning to study chemical engineering, said he wants to join to keep up his familiy’s legacy.

“My brother is big in fraternities in [North Carolina State]. My dad did it. My grandpa did it,” he said. “It was just a good brotherhood aspect with the kinds of friends they made in these organizations.”

Tobin’s group walked from house to house on frat row and listened to each chapter’s pitch while noshing on the baked goods.

Tobin said he was looking for a fraternity with a keen focus on academics to help him focus on his rigorous chemical engineering coursework.

This drew him to Pi Kappa Alpha, he said, because the organization ranked seventh-highest in IFC academics, which totals the brothers’ grade point averages. He said he was also drawn to the social aspect of frat life.

After the six-day recruitment process is through, the potential members receive bids from the fraternities who want them. 

Tyler Visnick, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said his chapter is currently expanding and looking to add anyone that fits their traditional Jewish values. Ideally, he said, they want to add 18 to 25 new members this fall. The strategy to recruit potential members is complex, Visnick said. 

“We like to emphasize all aspects of the fraternity because a fraternity is so much more than one thing,” Visnick said. 

The Interfraternity Council spent close to six months planning for this fall’s recruitment and marketing to prospective members, said Christian Dube, IFC’s vice president of recruitment. 

The group implemented some changes to the process this year, such as introducing a $15 fee for all participants. 

 “The small fee is more menial. It’s not that we need the money,” Dube said. “If we have potential recruits have a little skin in the game … it’ll help us keep them coming around.” 

So far it seems to be working. While exact numbers aren’t available, Dube 

predicted there was a 20 percent increase from last year’s retention rate.

At an assembly before the house tours, IFC President Mitchell Kelley and Regents Thomas Devine and Michael Hsu pushed the benefits of the greek community — such as academic excellence and meeting lifelong friends — to the recruits. 

The three agreed that joining a fraternity in college was one of their biggest life decisions.

Alberto Barchetti exchanged from the University of Bologna, Italy, to the Carlson School of Management. 

His goal was to immerse himself in a new culture, which led him to the University’s greek community — something he never experienced in Italy.

“I decided I really wanted to dive into the American culture.” Barchetti said. “It felt like the greek culture was something you can’t really find anywhere else in the world … I wanted to experience something that was truly American.”