FSILGs adapt recruitment to virtual semester

IFC postpones formal recruitment to spring while Panhel holds virtual fall recruitment

MIT fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups (FSILGs) will implement new recruitment procedures for the 2020–2021 academic year. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) will postpone formal recruitment until spring while the Panhellenic Association (Panhel) will hold virtual recruitment in the fall. 

All FSILGs will be closed to undergraduate residents for the fall in accordance with MIT’s COVID-19 regulations

IFC President Nicolas Salinas ’21 wrote in an email to The Tech that the IFC decided to postpone the formal recruitment period until Spring 2021. Formal bids from all IFC chapters will also be deferred. The decision comes after polling the IFC community and finding that “a majority of the community preferred to wait for the Spring to do rush,” Salinas wrote.

Salinas added that the IFC hopes that more students will be able to interact with IFC members in the spring to “facilitate a more engaging recruitment process.” However, virtual bidding will take place if students are not permitted to return to campus by that time. 

The IFC will host virtual “Rush Circles” in the fall to “introduce First Year students to members of our chapters that can give a fair and objective overview of what it's like to be a part of a fraternity at MIT,” the IFC Recruitment webpage for the Class of 2024 writes. 

Each Rush Circle will be led by “two active IFC members, known as Rush Circle Captains,” to keep “first years engaged throughout the Fall semester,” Salinas wrote. 

According to the IFC website, Rush Circle meetings will take place during the first three Saturdays of September. Each day will open and close with a “group discussion with each Rush Circle and the Rush Circle Captains,” Salinas wrote. On each day, IFC chapters will have “30 minutes to give a presentation.”

Salinas wrote that following the Rush Circle meetings, each chapter will have informal rush events throughout the fall. A complete timeline of events for the IFC recruitment process can be found on their website

Unaffiliated MIT students can register for IFC Rush Circles through an online form. The form requires students to indicate which types of fraternities they are interested in and what they hope to gain from a fraternity or sorority.

Panhel will proceed with a completely virtual fall recruitment. Panhel Vice President of Recruitment Ashley Pearson ’21 wrote in an email to The Tech that Panhel believes it has an “invaluable support and empowerment network” and that individuals interested in joining “should have the opportunity” to do so in the fall. Pearson wrote that she relied on her own sorority community to “help cope with all the hardships that came with quarantine and 2020.” 

Pearson added that Panhel recognized that not all students may be able to return to campus in the spring, so virtual fall recruitment would be more “inclusive.”

Primary Recruitment will “occur entirely virtually” over the first three weekends of September, Pearson wrote. “To ensure flexibility with different time zones, potential new members will be able to schedule their own recruitment events, with help from their Panhellenic Recruitment Counselors.” Panhel will also “increase financial transparency and have a dedicated part of recruitment to talk about financial obligations and support options.”

Panhel will also host Continuous Open Recruitment (COR) starting Sept. 21. Pearson wrote that COR “has occurred every semester,” and the participating sororities “vary each semester.” This fall, COR may include “coffee chats” and other virtual events throughout the semester, according to the Panhel website.

Pearson wrote that despite the logistical challenges of having virtual recruitment, the Panhel chapters have been “hard at work” planning “fun and engaging” events to make Zoom calls “more enjoyable.” Panhel is also holding virtual events such as the Aug. 9 Women's+ Activities Fair “in collaboration with other women+ support groups on campus” including the Society of Women Engineers and the Black Women’s Alliance. Additional event information can be found on the MIT Panhel Instagram

Students interested in Panhel recruitment can fill out an online form

The MIT Living Group Council (LGC) website writes that each Independent Living Group has a different rush system, with some hosting events at the same time as fraternity or sorority rush while others practice informal rush to recruit members throughout the semester. 

Sharon Lin ’21, pika rush chair, wrote in an email to The Tech that pika will not be actively looking for residents in the fall, as the house is not open to undergraduates this fall. However, pika will still hold “rush in order to make the new class aware” of the house, Lin wrote, adding that pika’s priority this fall is to “foster intentional community” that will carry on until members are allowed to move into the house.

Lin wrote that planned rush activities include “knitting sessions, music jams, conversations with house members, and group cooking lessons.” The house will also be active on Discord, an multi-purpose communication platform. 

Though no formal process exists, students should contact individual Independent Living Groups if interested in joining.