Larger & Smoother Rush Sees More Frosh Bidded

As of Wednesday afternoon, 338 freshmen out of the 591 freshmen men were offered a bid to join a fraternity. A total of 437 bids were handed out, up from last year’s 405, said Interfraternity Council Recruitment Chair David B. Stein ’10. The biggest change in the this year’s Rush process was an overhaul of the Clearinghouse system, the software which tracks rushees.

Fraternities offered “significantly more bids this year,” said Stein. Phi Beta Epsilon had the most new pledges, with a total of 24 freshmen, followed by Zeta Beta Tau with 19 new members. The IFC declined to release pledge numbers of other fraternities.

Due to its recent expulsion, Alpha Tau Omega did not participate in Rush activities. Number 6, which chose to disaffiliate from the IFC last year to become a living group, also did not participate. Sigma Alpha Epsilon joined official rush activities this year.

Only “small changes” were made to rush rules this year, Stein said. Some “technical things” changed: For example, the times posters could go up in the Infinite corridor were shifted by a few hours this year.

The bigger change was with the Clearinghouse system, which tracks the locations of rushing freshmen. After it crashed last year during Rush, Clearinghouse was completely rewritten by a Course VI graduate student. “When we built the system, we paid special attention to security,” Stein said. The data is “well-protected” and “maintained responsibly.”

“Most of the freshman haven’t been [exposed to] Boston” said Stein. To that end, Clearinghouse also acts as a “safety mechanism” to ensure that freshmen can be accounted for in an emergency.

David M. Campos ’13, who rushed Chi Phi last week, said Rush was “a lot of fun” and definitely “a worthwhile experience.” Campos, who visited around 11 fraternities, said finding the right brothers in the fraternity really helped him make his decision. “Everybody in the house is someone I can look up to” he said, “I thought it was more important to get a fraternity for fit’s sake instead of being in a fraternity for no reason at all.”

Stein was “very happy” about Rush this year since there were considerably less violations this year than in years past. And though Rush is officially over, fraternities can continue to offer bids to new members throughout the year.