Fraternities do fall rush online

Truman State University Greek Life conducted rushing virtually this year in response to COVID-19.

Previously, Greek fraternity rushing has involved week-long, in-person events, but this year that has changed to five days of virtual meetings. 

“Instead of starting off with an in-person assembly and then individual events from each chapter throughout the week, it was instead virtual for the assembly and virtual every day for the chapters,” Interfraternity Council President Dalton Kaeshoefer said.

Laura Bates, director of the Student Union and campus activities, said the Interfraternity Council originally planned on in-person events with limitations, but as the date came closer for recruitment, it decided on an entirely virtual recruitment. 

While the recruitment numbers this year have gone down compared to last year’s numbers, this change was not necessarily affected by the pandemic, Kaeshoefer said.

“About 20% of the incoming class is about how many we see go through recruitment and we actually still saw close to that number,” Kaeshoefer said. “We had about 60 guys sign up for recruitment, which is pretty close to 20% of the amount of freshman boys that are here this year.

Bates said precautionary rules were given by the Interfraternity Council, Truman and the individual inter/national organizations. 

Even after rushing , there are still certain regulations the fraternities have to follow. 

“There’s going to be a restriction on in-person events, and because of that, there will be an increase in virtual things,” Kaeshoefer said. “Meetings for a lot of chapters are being held alternatively than in the past, whether it be in-person, on campus, in socially distanced rooms or just people doing Zoom meetings for their chapter meetings.”

The fraternities have had no issues following the rules set, Kaeshoefer said. 

“It was definitely a really good community effort from all of the fraternities to not have an issue with this and not go against these rules, the Interfraternity Council put out these guidelines for how it needed to be done virtually and the rules for virtual recruitment, and how it should be conducted and the chapters got with it. They didn’t fight it or anything.” The fraternities had a smooth transition to virtual events, and ran into very few problems with the process, Kaeshoefer added.