UWF fraternities embraces positivity, welcome 85 new members
By Jamie Calvert
What do you think of when you hear the word “fraternity”?
Do you picture the typical movie-esque house parties, with people jumping off the rafters and music blaring?
Do you imagine intimate ceremonies with old rituals that solidify their pledge to their organization?
Or do you think of the millions of dollars raised by fraternities and their philanthropies each year?
Do you think of the countless men throughout history that are political leaders, CEOs of major corporations, philanthropists and leaders because of the skills they gained in their fraternities?
Yes, it’s true. A fraternity is more than just signing up to meet a bunch of bros and party. You gain access to something exclusive and profound- a brotherhood. Values are integrated into your lifestyle that were set forth by men that founded an organization decades before you were born.
At the University of West Florida, the small nature of the fraternity and sorority life community allows the six fraternities to make a personable influence on their new members.
The Interfraternity Council, also known as IFC, is the governing body that oversees the “frats” at UWF. The council recently hosted their recruitment week, where 85 men accepted bids, or invitations to join an organization.
“A couple weeks ago, I helped potential new members within the IFC community navigate the process of selecting a bid,” Emily Manassah, a graduate assistant with student involvement said. “Students choose their organization based on fraternal values and connection with the fraternities at their various rush events.”
Fraternities schedule rush events throughout a period of four days at various locations, giving potential new members the chance to get to know each one of the brothers.
The only stipulation is all events cannot be scheduled on top of each other.
“If all six fraternities are scheduling events at the same time, potential new members won’t get the chance to get to know them all,” Jacob Welcher, recruitment chairman for Sigma Alpha Epsilon said. “It really would restrict their chances of finding where they belong. We’re lucky that FSL has been working with us to make sure that each guy gets to where he wants and needs to be.”
IFC President, Matt Allen, stepped in and also filled the role as vice president of recruitment. He oversaw operations of the council as a whole, as well as ran recruitment for this fall semester.
“Overseeing the fall 2018 recruitment definitely had its challenges but overall I am proud of the work our chapters put in throughout this process,” Allen said.
Events ranged from a shrimp boil hosted by Pi Kappa Alpha to a day at the driving range with Alpha Tau Omega.
“I had a lot of fun guiding students in the process as Fraternity and Sorority Life actively tries to diversify and expand our community,” Manassah said.
The number of undergraduate men that enlisted to join a fraternity was lower than last year. This could be due to the tightening of requirements for enrollment to the university, as well as the raising of the GPA requirement to participate in fraternity recruitment. Some say it’s due to the poor media attention that fraternities are subjected to. However, Allen stays positive.
“Although numbers were lower this year,” Allen said. “from the applicant pool it seems as though our chapters have raised their standard and we received a high quantity of quality men for our community.”
Quality over quantity.