Just because formal recruitment is over, that doesn’t mean you can’t get into a fraternity anymore.
Several fraternities are currently participating in second-round recruitment, reaching out to the 157 students who participated in formal fraternity recruitment but did not receive bids.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life passed on the contact information of these students to six fraternities that wanted to increase the size of their new member classes.
College junior and Interfraternity Council president Jimmy Germi said that roughly 25 bids were issued to students as a result of second round recruitment last year. He expects the numbers to be comparable this semester.
Second-round recruitment is not regulated like formal recruitment, Germi explained. There is no set bid deadline, and the approach “varies a little bit from chapter to chapter,” he said.
Alpha Sigma Phi, one of Penn’s newest fraternities, which went through formal recruitment for the first time this January, is now participating in second-round recruitment. The fraternity issued seven bids after formal recruitment, five of which were accepted.
The fraternity is now hoping to expand the size of their new member class, president and Wharton sophomore Elias Bernstein said.
Alpha Sigma Phi’s approach to second-round recruitment is to hold one-on-one meetings with interested students, and last Friday, prospective new members had dinner with all of the fraternity brothers.
“I’m surprised more fraternities don’t take advantage of the opportunities,” Bernstein said. “We’re really happy with how it’s going.”
Wharton freshman Brendan Stone joined Phi Sigma Kappa through their second round of recruitment this semester.
Although he received a bid from a different fraternity during formal recruitment, Stone explained how the first round does not always allow students to find a place that really suits them due to the “problems of trying to split your time [among the fraternities].”
Germi also said that having three nights of open-round recruitment is not always enough for some students to find a fit with a fraternity. Second-round recruitment can play “an essential role” because sometimes students may be ill or focused on only one house the first time through, he said.
Now the recruitment chair in Phi Sigma Kappa, Stone outlined how the fraternity is reaching out more “by word of mouth,” contacting students who they think might be interested in joining. They have so far recruited roughly 12 brothers through second-round recruitment, he said.
College junior Matthew Hanessian, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of Penn’s largest fraternities, described second-round recruitment as a “great opportunity” for students who “maybe didn’t find the right fit the first time.”
SAE issued a total of 25 bids this January, 18 of which were accepted, giving the fraternity a significantly larger pledge class than the average of 14.5 new members. The fraternity is not participating in second-round recruitment because of this, Hanessian said.
He explained that because students can be offered multiple bids but will ultimately accept only one, new member classes can be smaller than expected. This can be a strong incentive for fraternities to participate in second-round recruitment, he said.
Hanessian added that second-round recruitment is a good example of Penn’s generally inclusive culture when it comes to encouraging participation in student organizations. “Penn does a really good job of finding places for people to feel welcome,” he said.