The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday March 7th

UNC Board of Trustees to assess spring rush

Members of the Greek system will report back to the Board of Trustees as early as today for the first time since the board voted to reform the system’s recruitment.

University officials said that, if heard, their message will be a positive one.

In November 2010, the board mandated that fraternities and sororities begin offering a spring alternative to fall recruitment in an effort to give interested freshmen more time to seek other opportunities on campus.

Administrators and fraternity leaders said all chapters complied with the new recruitment policy, though some might not end up accepting any new members from spring recruitment.

But former trustee Roger Perry, who initiated the reform in 2010 and wanted to eliminate fall rush entirely, said meaningful change can’t be accomplished while fall recruitment remains popular.

“I think (spring rush) would help, but only marginally — not significantly,” he said.

“It may make some difference, but I don’t think having spring rush would take away much pressure,” he said. “Those who are inclined to rush in the fall still will.”

All 21 of UNC’s fraternities offered a spring recruitment this year, said Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement.

“Every chapter has been really willing and cooperative with this and offered really attractive spring rush options,” said Jack Partain, president of the Interfraternity Council.

“People want to make it out that everyone is up in arms about this mandate, but actually all the chapters have been cooperative and willing to offer good alternatives,” he said.

Alston Gardner, chairman of the academic affairs committee of the board, said a joint meeting of his committee and the student affairs committee is expected to hear an update on recruitment from Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls.

The board’s mandate does not require fraternities to take new members, University officials said.

“You can’t tell a chapter that they have to offer membership at a certain time but there has to be an attractive spring rush option,” Partain said.

Bachenheimer said the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement will evaluate the options offered by each chapter.

“What we will need to do is over time look at each organization and, if we see that they’re only offering opportunities to first-semester (freshmen), we’ll sit down with them,” Bachenheimer said.

“The goal here is to be providing the opportunity for men to join fraternities, not mandate groups to take membership,” he said. “The goal is to be positive, not punitive.”

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