In an effort to combat negative stereotypes surrounding Texas State Greek life and attract a more diverse array of fraternity members, the university has implemented a new recruitment style focused on positive change.
Known as 365 Recruitment, the new style is a year-round joining process, effectively replacing the older “formal rush” model, which set aside just one week per semester for recruitment and other organization-joining activities.
In the past, a man who wanted to receive a bid from a certain fraternal organization had to have a direct relationship with the Interfraternity Council, said Bob Dudolski, assistant dean of students. Dudolski said the new model works to create a direct relationship between the men in any given fraternity, allowing the IFC to operate as a means of communication rather than a regulating body.
The university chose to endorse this process to remain more in line with the North American Interfraternity Conference and its national recruitment style. Instead of having students pay a fee for a week of selection, the fee is waved and selection is ongoing.
“Having fraternity members organize their own events instead of the IFC creates a more dynamic environment,” Dudolski said. “It allows prospective members the chance to get a feel (for) a wide variety of fraternities.”
An anonymous fraternity member, in agreement with Dudolski, said he believes the new recruitment style is meant to increase Greek life participation as a whole.
“There’s a giant pool of people who’ve never thought about rushing or weren’t immediately interested in fraternity life,” the fraternity member said. “I try to find leaders who might’ve had that stereotype and change their minds.”
The 365 Recruitment policy also helps to regulate what types of activities are appropriate to hold for recruitment. Barbecues at chapter houses, bowling or floating the river are some IFC- and university-approved means for the men to interact in social settings and get to know each other, according to Dudolski.
According to Dudolski, this is a national policy that has been in place for 20 years. Fraternities have always been prohibited from hosting recruitment parties where female students and alcohol are present.
“It doesn’t matter the time of year,” Dudolski said. “Fraternities are not allowed to host parties without registering their event through our Greek Affairs office.”
He added that any violation of this policy would result in sanctions from both the university and the fraternity’s national chapter, which governs houses on individual campuses.
The anonymous fraternity member said there are those who resist this kind of policy, but he thinks with a bit of adjustment, it will only serve to make Greek life develop into an even better program.
He said some members have talked about separating from the university because of the policy, but it is unlikely to escalate to that level.
“We have to be recognized by the university to be recognized by our headquarters,” he said.
For those members who feel like this policy came out of nowhere, this is not the case, said Dudolski. He said some members just haven’t been properly informed of the rule’s existence. He hopes that the 365 Recruitment policy will assist with ensuring Greek life is fair to everyone but at the same time men are held accountable for their actions.
“People have the misconception that recruitment is tied to parties, but they’re not connected,” Dudolski said. “Recruitment is about people joining people.”
Regardless of the policy, many believe members will remain engaged in those activities.
“I love partying just as much as the next guy, but I love my chapter a lot more,” said a fraternity member. “We’re a social fraternity, yes, but it’s a very small part of what we do and not nearly the most important aspect of what we do. We’re about making people better men.”
No matter what happens, Dudolski wants to ensure that students have their priorities straight.
“The first and foremost important thing is that people come to Texas State to receive an education,” Dudolski said. “The focus needs to always be placed on that.”