Last night, a new group of fraternity brothers was welcomed into Penn’s 164-year-old Greek community.
This year, 703 students were registered for recruitment, and 489 bids were offered, according to College junior and Psi Upsilon brother Andrew Turell, the new Interfraternity Council president.
This marks a slight decrease in overall enrollment and number of bids issued compared to last year, but Scott Reikofski, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, attributes the decline to the smaller number of active fraternities this year.
There are currently 28 fraternity chapters within the IFC, three fewer than in 2012. Reikofski said that the absence of these fraternities—Alpha Epsilon Pi, Phi Kappa Sigma and Sigma Pi—likely accounts for the dip in numbers.
All 28 fraternities issued bids last night, and Turell expects the number of bids accepted to be about the same as it has been in past years. “I think most chapters are happy with the numbers they got,” he said.
According to College senior, previous IFC President and Zeta Beta Tau member David Shapiro, the average class size is 11 to 12 new brothers, but it could range anywhere from five to 30.
Many students signed their bids as soon as they were handed out, but all have the option of waiting a bit longer to make their final decision. The deadline for accepted bids is Friday at noon.
Reikofski spoke briefly to start off the night in Meyerson Hall, encouraging the students to embrace the strong Greek tradition at Penn but still work to balance their time between academic and social commitments.
University Chaplain Reverend Charles Howard echoed Reikofski’s message, recounting his years at Penn in the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. While he praised the merits of joining a fraternity, he used his personal story of dropping out of school for academic reasons to urge the new fraternity members to “keep your priorities in order.”
Yesterday also marked a transition from Shapiro to incoming IFC president Turell last night.
Shapiro congratulated the new brothers and highlighted the benefits of joining the Greek community.
“It’s about brotherhood, it’s about community, it’s about community service, it’s about becoming a better individual and branching out and meeting new people,” he said.
Reikofski said that throughout the night and while the new brothers picked up their bid cards, “You can tell there’s some anxious anticipation, which is normal.”
Wharton sophomore Hassan Saab plans to accept a bid from Psi Upsilon and said that there was not much stress before bid night because, “I already knew I was a great fit for the fraternity.”
After the lengthy recruitment process, College freshman Ernesto Montes said he was relieved to finally get his formal bid from Pi Kappa Alpha, which he plans to accept. “[Recruitment] was long and it was demanding, but it was a very fun process. I would do it all over again,” he said.
Shapiro said that the IFC is extremely pleased with how recruitment panned out this year and was glad that bid night was a success.
“It’s a really nice welcome to the Greek community,” he said.