UNC Greek organizations continue policy of alcohol-free rush

The threat of moving Greek recruitment exclusively to the spring might have passed, but fraternities and sororities will continue to abide by last year’s policy of an alcohol-free rush.

For all Greek organizations, there will be a higher emphasis on a dry rush, and all fraternities’ rush events, which began Saturday and will last two weeks, will be monitored by a group of Interfraternity Council executives, said Aaron Bachenheimer, interim coordinator of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

“Not only are the events alcohol-free, but they require that everybody maintain sobriety throughout the recruitment process,” he said.

In 2010, one year after the death of Delta Kappa Epsilon president Courtland Smith, the Interfraternity Council instituted a series of reforms in an effort to keep the system autonomous amidst growing concern from the Board of Trustees. Changes included making rush alcohol-free and moving it to the beginning of the academic year.

The group, which includes IFC President Brent Macon and Vice President of Recruitment Jack Partain, will patrol rush events — both on and off campus — a task that could take up to three hours each night, Macon said.

“It’s time consuming, but we know how important following these rules are and we are committed to safety,” he said.

In November, the Board of Trustees mandated that Greek organizations offer a spring alternative to traditional fall rush in an effort to aid freshmen interested in joining the system. But the change will hardly alter the system’s first admissions process.

For fraternities, the fall and spring rush processes will look identical, Macon said.

But one marked difference for sororities, which start recruiting Sept. 2, will be the addition of an upperclassmen quota.

“Not to say that we’d pick a freshman over a sophomore simply based on (age), but freshmen are more attractive to sororities because with sophomores and upperclassmen we lose a year of dues and they’ll be going in with a younger pledge class,” said Panhellenic Council President Lindsey Stephens.

In addition, sororities’ spring recruitment will be markedly different. The high level of activity characteristic of fall rush simply isn’t attainable twice a year, Stephens said.

“It’s an incredibly expensive and time-consuming production,” she said. “For the girls rushing it’s an invasive process and for the women running the events it’s incredibly difficult.”

Stephens said she hopes the reform gives interested students enough time to explore other opportunities on campus.

“It’s a big commitment for these freshmen girls. But this compromise will hopefully make everyone feel less pressured,” she said.

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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