Fraternity recruitment grows from last year

Freshmen recruits follow their assigned Rho Alpha to the Kappa Alpha house during formal fall fraternity recruitment week.

Cameron Koch

Sorority recruitment is hard to miss, with large groups of girls dressed to impress cheering and chanting as they march across campus.

Taylor Ruby, Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) fraternity recruitment chair, said their recruitment is a vastly different experience.

“Fraternity recruitment is much more laid back than sorority recruitment,” Ruby said.

Recruitment for WKU’s fraternities began Monday night, the first of two nights where men interested in joining a fraternity go from party to party at each of the fraternity houses led by a Rho Alpha, a member of a fraternity that for two nights is unaffiliated with his fraternity.

Last night was “Open House” night, where potential new members visited any number of fraternity houses of their choosing, without the guidance of a Rho Alpha.

Tonight is when recruitment finally gets formal, as potential new members get invited back to specific houses.

“They hang out, things are a lot more formal; that’s when you wear your suit, tie, slacks — the whole nine yards,” Ruby said.

Inside Downing Student Union Auditorium tomorrow at 5 p.m. the week will end for potential new members. Bid Day, as it’s called, is where the men receive their formal invitations from any number of interested fraternities.

Ruby said in the past few years there has been a big rise in the number of incoming freshman interested in joining a fraternity.

“As WKU is growing and with the number of students coming in, I think Greek life is growing in general,” he said.

Destiny Savage, graduate intern for Greek Affairs, said the numbers have gone up steadily for the past several years.

Last year, 229 men went through fraternity recruitment. This year, that number is up to 253.

Harlan freshman Jared Sizemore is one of the 253 going through recruitment.

“We really all want that brotherly connection here at WKU, and with that comes connections outside of school,” Sizemore said as he made his way to a fraternity party on Tuesday with a group of other potential recruits.

The growth in Greek interest is a challenge for Fiji, Ruby said. 

He said his fraternity looks to have a smaller group of guys than some other fraternities.

“For the past couple years, the level of interest guys have shown us has grown, just skyrocketed,” he said. “It’s been tough, because we like to stay around 80 to 85 guys.”

Colin Perschbacher, president of Kappa Sigma fraternity, said he’s seen a big change in those participating in Greek life this year from last.

“A lot of these kids are coming over for more than just the party side of everything,” Perschbacher said. “I talked to 20 kids, who you know, are more into the philanthropy side of things and the community service side of things. Last year when I was rushing people, hardly anybody asked me what our philanthropy is for Kappa Sigma.”

Perschbacher said during rush, he tries to clear up some misconceptions about Greek life with the potential recruits, such as that there is much more to fraternities than partying and that just because a person may be in another fraternity doesn’t make them an enemy.

Ultimately, Perschbacher said rush is all about helping people find a place to call home.

“The biggest thing I look forward to is getting to know these kids and finding them a place they can feel at home,” he said. “A place where they are accepted and have a place they can come and meet a good group of guys…give them a place they come, meet some brothers and have a hamburger, have a hotdog, play some cornhole and possibly make a big decision about joining one of these organizations.”