Winter recruitment holds record number of bids
Joining a fraternity could change the life of a student well beyond their college years. That lifelong bond is why many students consider going Greek at Grand Valley State University. This semester, the number of members recruited into Greek fraternities on Bid Night surpassed that of previous years.
On Feb. 16, new members of the Greek community walked across the stage to announce their official acceptance into a fraternity. The Interfraternity Council (IFC), GVSU’s governing body of fraternities, hosted the event in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room.
Derek Arguello, vice president of public relations for the IFC, said 51 total bids were accepted this winter, seven more than last winter's 44 bids.
Eight members joined Alpha Sigma Phi, while Alpha Tau Omega pulled six members, marking the two highest bid numbers for any of the fraternities.
Participating fraternities include: Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, FIJI, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Pi and Theta Chi.
“We believe that the winter semester is more difficult to acquire new members,” Arguello said. “This year, the IFC is emphasizing unity as a Greek community. Ultimately, the winter 2016 Bid Night had the potential to be the largest winter class of yet.”
First-year students are the main target of recruitment, Arguello said. Winter recruitment always has smaller numbers than the fall, as many students have already found a place in the community to thrive.
Ultimately, the winter iteration of recruitment focuses on providing a more relaxed environment than the fall semester’s formal recruitment.
“A majority of new members are composed of the incoming freshman class,” Arguello said, “because they are attracted to the Greek community, and large amount of people they can network with coming into a new environment. By winter semester, a lot of students already have their friend groups and are comfortable with who they have met while in college.”
Speros Panagos, president of the IFC and member of Alpha Tau Omega, said the council does not enforce quotas. He said a year-round bid process is encouraged to add new members, as quality membership will promote change and better the community.
Being an informal recruitment structure, fraternities have no limit to the number of bids placed.
“In terms of the winter semester, the turnout was really great,” Panagos said. “We stress 365 (day) recruitment, so guys looking to get involved with the community can always reach out to fraternities who hold individual events.”
The university upholds many values and traditions through education and service in the community. Panagos said these values drive membership, as quality men benefit GVSU and the Greek community as a whole.
“We don’t need quotas,” Panagos said. “I’d rather have four quality guys who will leave the chapter better than they found it, other than 10 members who will not. You should join because you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Over the years, Arguello said the IFC has gained a larger outreach to those on campus by highlighting the benefits of philanthropic cause and community service. He said this process has led for more students to consider recruitment.
“Fraternity and sorority life is a great opportunity to make the most out of college,” he said. “We provide the chance for our members to grow as a person through leadership development, philanthropic cause and community service, all while opening up a vast network of thousands of Greeks across the country.”
Information about fraternity recruitment can be found at the IFC website at www.gvsu.edu/greeklife/ifc or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.