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Next year's freshman males will have two fewer days to take advantage of free food and last-minute trips to Atlantic City when a new InterFraternity Council rule shortening rush goes into effect.

In the first meeting held under the new IFC executive board, the council voted 27 to 4 last night to cut the traditionally 15-day rush period to 13 days.

"I'm really excited that the council has decided to shorten the rush period," IFC President Conor O'Callaghan said.

The length of sorority rush was shortened recently as well, with events taking place this year in the span of one week rather than the traditional two.

Unlike Panhellenic rush, the IFC has never had a strict calender for length in the past, IFC Executive Vice President Sean Levy said.

The changes are intended to reflect the IFC's emphasis on Greek strength in academics.

"It's been one of the IFC's top priorities to get the Greek male GPA above the all-male average," O'Callaghan said.

With last semester's Greek male GPA at 3.310 -- compared to the average male GPA of 3.313 -- "the change may be all we need to push us over the top," O'Callaghan said.

"The hectic nature of rush can sometimes have a negative effect on the academic endeavors of both the rushees and the current fraternity brothers," O'Callaghan added. "I believe that shortening the rush period will enable both parties to concentrate more on their work and get on top of things earlier in the semester."

Yet some fraternities did not fully back the new changes.

Kappa Alpha President Nathaniel Berry said that the shortened rush period will make it harder for rushees to make a decision about which house to join.

"I've never really seen evidence one way or the other about whether people's GPAs are affected by rush," Berry said, questioning the logic behind the change.

"How many people have tests on the first few days of school anyway?" he added. "I don't see how [changing rush] would affect" academic standings.

Yet IFC officers emphasize that other changes intended to boost academic achievement among Greek participants may soon go into effect as well.

In two weeks' time, a proposal is likely to pass ensuring that pledge class "study hours will increase [and have] more stringent enforcement and regulation," Levy said.

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