New fraternities seek to fill unmet need in recruitment
Average new fraternity member classes expected to increase in size from 12 or 13 to 15
January 16, 2014, 5:58 pm · Updated January 16, 2014, 10:09 pm·
Yolanda Chen | DP
Penn’s two newest fraternities embarked on formal spring recruitment for the first time this week to meet a growing demand.
Each spring recruitment session usually leaves some 200 men either not being given a bid or not signing up to a fraternity, said College junior James Germi, the president of the Interfraternity Council at Penn. Alpha Sigma Phi, which arrived at Penn last spring, and Phi Sigma Kappa, which arrived in the fall, are both hopeful that they will be able to take advantage of the unmet interest in fraternities.
Germi thinks that there are “some niches which are not being filled” by the previously existing range of fraternities on campus. Each new fraternity which comes to Penn, he added, is able to “select a certain personality” and appeal to a particular group of people.
Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Scott Reikofski said that he expects the numbers of men participating in fraternity recruitment to increase this semester. Although the fraternity recruitment system does not yet require registration, women registering for sororities this semester has increased from last year. He identified this as a fair reason to expect a similar shift in fraternity interest. He added that he anticipated new member classes to average about 15 people after recruitment, up from an average of 12 or 13 last semester.
Phi Sigma Kappa, which arrived in the fall, currently consists of a group of 11 upperclassmen who were recruited based on character recommendations from sororities. The fraternity is returning to Penn after it left campus in 2007 due to low membership, but President and Wharton senior Nick McCormick expressed confidence in Phi Sigma Kappa’s ability to survive due to their now-clear identity. While no fraternity “really spoke to me” during freshmen year, he said, he found his place with Phi Sigma Kappa and hopes that others who haven’t yet clearly identified with Greek life will have a similar experience.
Alpha Sigma Phi began recolonization at Penn last spring and currently consists of 22 upperclassmen. It’s a brotherhood which chapter President and Wharton sophomore Elias Bernstein described as “the good guys’ fraternity.” He added that the malleability of a new institution is something which he hopes will appeal to prospective recruits, as everything is “up to us.”
Both fraternities are running standard events during the formal recruitment period and Bernstein expressed confidence after Alpha Sigma Phi’s first open party. The fraternity hopes for a pledge class of about 18, he said, although he emphasized that what he cares about most is “the quality of the guys we get.”
Housing has not yet been confirmed for either organization, but both presidents said that these are searches which should come to fruition soon.
McCormick and Bernstein have also both expressed interest in cultivating a relationship with Penn’s newest sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, which also began formal recruitment this week.