Originally published: September 1, 2021
Updated: September 10, 2021
Fraternities and sororities had record recruitment numbers in Fall 2021 rush, with bid acceptances surpassing pre-pandemic levels. While the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for fraternities is still finalizing recruitment statistics, it is safe to say that fall recruitment has surpassed expectations. Preliminary results suggest that 800 students registered to rush, and 500 accepted a bid. The numbers for the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) for sororities are even greater as sororities on campus have higher membership and recruitment rates than fraternities because there are fewer chapters.
The respective councils have had their first meetings as individual Greek organizations have begun to review their semester budgets. After hours of debate at the IFC meeting and at a special meeting with sorority leaders and representatives, the majority of fraternity presidents threatened to strike by suspending proposals of 'mixers' with sororities until the CPC developed a plan for sororities to pay their fair share of the bill.
Mixers are a special event where a fraternity proposes to a sorority for the two to attend an off-campus venue to party, have dates, or socialize. These events are a great time for a fraternity and a sorority to get to know each other better and build positive relationships. However, they are pricey to organize and fund.
The event usually involves bussing the sorority to the venue, with paid security, catering, and drinks. The fraternity must fund 100% of the costs because national sororities currently forbid funding events with alcohol on the budget.
This week, IFC representatives have decided that the traditional arrangement is coming to an end. The majority of in IFC chapter presidents voted that the CPC must negotiate and devise a plan to split the costs of mixers. This resolution is influenced by many factors:
The use of private buses to the event, and sometimes private security, is a national sorority requirement.
At any given mixer, sororities have almost 5 times more members in attendance than fraternities have making the catering and accommodations costs cumbersome to fraternity brothers.
Some fraternity chapters are too small to accommodate a large sorority.
The influx in inflation stemming from supply chain issues and government policy changes have made budgeting for events uniquely difficult this semester.
Following IFC’s first meeting on Monday, August 30, 2021, chapter presidents and IFC representatives had a round table discussion with CPC representatives and chapter presidents on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, but no consensus was reached for the future mixers this semester.
On Wednesday, September 1, 2021, the CPC announced that they have agreed to ask sorority presidents to reach out to their national organizations to request policy changes to the funding of cosponsored events with alcohol on the budget, specifically, mixers. The exact details of these amendments are still unclear, and changes will likely not be made final for another month. Some speculate that the costs may be split 70/30, in favor of the sororities. If this is the case, mixers may not occur regularly since sorority chapters did not plan for mixer costs when budgeting for this semester.
Wednesday was planned to be the night where fraternities "propose" a mixer to sororities at their chapter meetings, usually through a dance, parodied song, or skit. Following the proposals, the sisters vote for which fraternities they would like to mix with, as they are formally limited by how many they can accept. Fraternal chapters that had planned to strike must now scramble to organize and rehearse a proposal.
Future negotiations are on the table, and both IFC and CPC are hoping to come out with the best arrangement for upcoming mixers between their chapters. These developments are part of a shift in campus culture where sororities are being asked to bear more financial responsibility for cosponsored events that were once chivalrously funded by fraternities.//
Update September 10, 2021
Following the meeting, the CPC agreed to begin developing processes for co-funding mixer events.
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