EWU fraternities expect a steady growth

Eastern fraternities are expanding their brotherhoods one recruitment and chapter at a time

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Photo contributed by EWU SigEp Facebook

SigEp members pose in front of the fraternity house on College Ave. in May 2015.

By Kendall Koch, Reporter

Rush processes have begun at EWU, and fraternities around campus are preparing for new batches of members.  There are eight recognized fraternities at EWU and a new fraternity will be added every year until 2021.

Fraternities are sometimes associated with excessive partying, but the principles and values that the organizations hold are just as high as others, according to Joe Luback, a member of Pi Lambda Phi.

One of the more well known and established fraternities, Pi Lambda Phi, continues its rush process with various events throughout the week. Luback says that in comparison to sororities, the fraternities are less structured.

“Guys usually try to pick the most basic thing compared to sororities, they always seem to come up with a theme,” Luback said. “But we have traditions for our rush events, like casino night, we play Texas Hold ’Em and Blackjack.”

The requirements to be considered to become a member of a fraternity are sometimes more relaxed compared to sororities in how they look for future members.

“The main requirement they, pledges, need is a minimum of a 2.8 cumulative GPA, and we don’t specifically look for anything,” Luback said. “We have all different types of brothers with different lifestyles. We have a very diverse fraternity.”

Once accepted into the pledge process for Pi Lambda Phi,  there are very simple lessons about the fraternity’s history.

“When I went through the process, there were four different small tests that we have to take,” Luback said. “It focuses on the fraternity on a national level and its history, which ends in a final exam that the minimum to pass is 100 percent.”

Pi Lambda Phi was founded by Jewish men who were banned from joining any fraternities. In response, they created their own, according to Luback.

“Our philanthropy Elimination of Prejudice comes in, meaning we don’t discriminate race, color or religion,” Luback said.

While Pi Lambda Phi has had time to establish its chapter here at EWU, a newer fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega is slowly gaining members. Corey Cleavenger, a member of Alpha Tau Omega, noticed the difference between the well-established chapters.

“The difference between Alpha Tau Omega’s rush week and other fraternities rush week is mainly the overall atmosphere at the events,” Cleavenger said. “Our goal isn’t to put the guys on the spot, it’s to get guys out in a laid back environment. We like to keep the events fairly casual which makes for a higher quality rush experience.”

Cleavenger’s take on why fraternities are held to higher standards compared to sororities is due to the culture at the time of formation.

“Today the culture of fraternities and sororities is fairly similar, but because of some chapters’ poor choices, all fraternities around the nation are constantly having to deal with the school breathing down their necks,” Cleavenger said.

Poor choices have been made by other fraternities, like at Yale University, where a chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon was banned for five years due to misogynistic chanting outside women’s dorms according to the New York Times. Or the multiple reports of students falling from fraternity balconies at Washington State University.

Because of this reputation, fraternities have to be careful of how they act in public when wearing letters or being associated with a Greek community.

Recruitment in the Greek community varies for each organization, but when fraternities are compared to sororities, the cycle of it is laid back and intended to help members grow within the organization.