Fraternities take steps in right direction for Rush
Fall Rush is a hectic time for fraternities, as they try their hardest to get the perfect pledge class. Beginning on the first day of school, Rush can be a confusing time for first-years, many of whom will make a decision that will affect the rest of their college career. Placing Rush at the beginning of the semester adds to the craziness of an otherwise intense part of the year.
In reaction to this situation, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) created and now maintains a set of Rush policies to guide all chapters. These rules require that all Rush events be alcohol-free, require that no event may be held at the same time as an orientation event, and provide a timeframe for the entire Rush period. These rules serve two purposes: They protect the fraternities from each other, and they protect the first-years.
The rules benefit the fraternities because they encourage fair competition. Without these rules, Rush would be solely a race to the bottom where each house would try to outdo the others without limit. Furthermore, these rules are in the first-years? best interests as they provide a degree of protection in an environment that too often can be disastrously unsafe.
Historically, these rules have been difficult to enforce. While there is incentive for each house to agree to these rules in principle, once Rush begins it?s understandable that each house will bend the rules as much as it can. This year, the IFC has taken steps towards greater enforcement of the rules. Not only are there significant financial penalties for each infraction, but the new IFC Rush chair has made it clear that he plans on being stricter than before.
The IFC should be commended for taking new steps to improve Rush, but there is a counter-narrative that sours this year?s Rush. The Kappa Sigma association has decided that it no longer needs to follow the IFC rules or procedures and instead has chosen to make up its own.
Following hazing incidents last year, Kappa Sigma had its charter placed in trusteeship by their national chapter. As such, they are no longer Kappa Sigma fraternity, but Kappa Sigma association, although you wouldn?t know it by their recruitment material. Kappa Sigma is referring to its recruitment as Rush; it is continuing to display material from when it was a fraternity; its brothers are continuing to wear their Kappa Sigma fraternity letters.
Kappa Sigma?s actions are disappointing. The organization clearly has something to offer the community, but they are going about it all wrong. Instead of being belligerent and defiant towards the rest of the Greek community, Kappa Sigma should try to reintegrate itself. Instead of trying to confuse the first-years about their fraternity status, they should be open and honest. Kappa Sigma?s posters (which do not conform to Rush policy) have the motto ?Rising From the Ashes.? Sadly, the organization does not seem to realize that in order to rise again, they will need to change their ways and become an organization that others wish to join. Belligerence and dishonesty are not the way towards a bright future at CMU. The other fraternities are doing the right thing and moving in the right direction: Kappa Sigma should join them.