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Penn men who missed rush last spring have a second chance to join a fraternity this fall.

This semester, nine of Penn's Interfraternity Council fraternities - Alpha Chi Rho, Kappa Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Pi, Theta Zi and Zeta Beta Tau - will accept new members as part of fall rush.

Fall rush is more informal and low-key than spring rush, when chapters recruit most of their members. Chapters participating in fall rush typically accept only three to nine new members, according to Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs director Scott Reikofski.

Most chapters host two or three events that usually consist of barbecues and other events featuring free food, explained IFC president and Wharton senior Shawn Woodhull.

"Fall rush events tend to be smaller and more intimate," he added.

Because of the nature of these more personal events, closed rush - when the fraternities close their doors and personally invite men whom they believe will be a good fit in their fraternity - is much less extensive.

Fall rush is not open to freshmen. Reikofski said most of the men who participate in fall rush are either transfer students or sophomores and juniors who were unable to rush in the spring because of academic or athletic obligations.

"The number of male transfers drives fall rush," Woodhull said, explaining that in years when many students transfer to Penn, rush numbers increase.

It is entirely up to each fraternity whether to accept new members. Factors like chapter budget concerns and the size of the spring pledge class determine whether or not fraternities take part in fall rush.

Additionally, Reikofski explained that some fraternities start the year knowing they want to recruit in the fall, while others decide to participate much later in September.

Because only one-third of the IFC fraternities are participating, OFSA tracks each chapter's events, unlike during spring rush when the IFC sets a specific time frame for rush activities. Because of this, the dates of rush events this fall vary from chapter to chapter.

Once a chapter decides to take on new members, it informs OFSA, which assists in the completion of the necessary paperwork. Unlike spring rush, fall rush does not include formal bid-signing ceremonies.

Because the new members are not first-year students, the fraternities focus less on teaching study skills and time management than they do in the spring.

"The most important thing is for the fraternities to get their new members to look at the history and traditions of the chapter and to integrate these new members socially," Reikofski added.

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