IFC Formal Recruitment breaks attendance record

Alpha Kappa Lambda and Sigma Alpha Epsilon recolonized this year.

For the 2013 Interfraternity Council Formal Recruitment, it’s another year and another attendance record broken.

The IFC’s formal recruitment weekend, held June 28 to 30, gave potential members a look at all of the council’s 31 fraternities. And this year, 416 men — an increase of more than 50 from last year’s record-shattering 363 — participated in the event.

“This is the largest formal recruitment class to date,” said Peter Birk, IFC Vice President of Public Relations, in an email.

Birk said that jump in attendance is no coincidence. He pointed out that increased marketing by the IFC, MU’s Greek Life staff and individual chapters was instrumental in once again breaking the attendance record.

Hosting these numbers, however, took careful planning. For the first time in three years, the event ran for three days as opposed to two.

A three-day recruitment weekend, Birk said, better accommodates the potential members and participating chapters.

A longer weekend was not the only change from last year’s event. Two fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Kappa Lambda, recently re-colonized their former MU stomping grounds.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was sanctioned for four years in 2008 after repeated violations of the school’s alcohol policy, while Alpha Kappa Lambda surrendered its charter in 2010 after a suspension following similar infractions.

The chapters, however, returned to campus this past year and were able to take part in last weekend’s recruitment, and both have no shortage of tradition to build upon.

“The original chapter was founded in 1884, contrary to what a lot of current undergraduates know, we have a lot of history on campus,” said Zach Amos, vice president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Alpha Kappa Lambda, first established at MU over 20 years ago, also intends to use its existing standing to reestablish itself as a major player among fellow fraternities.

“We have strong support from our national headquarters, and they want to see us thrive,” said Nick Ehrhard, Alpha Kappa Lambda public relations chairman and Maneater staffer.

As one of the newest fraternities on campus, Ehrhard said it’s often easier to bring in new members.

“By becoming a founding member, you can shape your fraternity experience the way you want,” he said. “We’re selling it as a small house.”

To prevent the reoccurrence of what kept them off campus, that “small house” will be a major selling point for both chapters.

“In terms of recruitment, we’re not necessarily looking at a number,” Amos said. “We’re looking for quality-over-quantity guys.”

Alpha Kappa Lambda President Dalton Boggs expressed a similar sentiment in the chapter’s summer newsletter, emphasizing what he called a “values-based approach to fraternity” in creating a sustainable brotherhood that will be a tradition passed from generation to generation.

Recruitment aside, though, both fraternities have high hopes for involvement in the coming year and beyond. Unlike upstart chapters, both recolonized fraternities plan on making their re-entrances with Homecoming in the fall.

"A lot of small houses don’t have the resources to participate in Homecoming, but we have a lot of alumni who’ve given us a lot of strong support since the re-founding,” Ehrhard said. “We’re very excited to be back on campus.”

Birk pledged the IFC’s full support to the new chapters.

“IFC welcomes AKL (and SAE’s) involvement in the formal recruitment process and we will continue to be a resource to them as well as all other IFC fraternities,” Birk said.

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