The weekend of Jan. 25-26, fraternities at the University of Maine held open house tours to kick off the spring rush season. This is the first time in recent years that an event like this has taken place, and it had participation from all 17 fraternity organizations at UMaine.
The day consisted of prospective members visiting fraternity houses, getting tours and talking to current brothers. For fraternities that do not have houses, spaces were provided in the Memorial Union, Buchanan Alumni House and other locations across the UMaine campus.
President of the Interfraternity Council Andrew Arsenault was involved in the planning of this event and stressed the importance of beginning the day in the Memorial Union to visit the fraternities without houses.
“The purpose of this event is to provide potential new fraternity members with an opportunity to see what their options are,” Arsenault said. “This is the first time in recent years that an event like this has occurred, [and] we are in hopes to continue with this or a variation of this [event] come the fall semester.”
Individual fraternities have separately taken part in open house events before, but this is the first time in recent years that events were coordinated together.
Coming at the end of the first week of classes, this event was, for many fraternities, the beginning of rush season, a period during which the brothers host activities and seek out prospective new members. Alpha Gamma Rho, for example, had several activities on their agenda throughout the weekend such as a bonfire, volleyball game, ice fishing and a dinner and chapter meeting.
According to the UMaine Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs website, approximately 13 percent of undergraduates are members of Greek organizations.
Nickolas Tozier, president of Alpha Delta, participated along with his organization on Saturday in the Buchanan Alumni House.
“Alpha Delta decided to be a member of this event in order to become more well know on campus,” Tozier said. “We are a very active fraternity on campus as the caretakers of Bananas the Bear as well as driving around every Friday and Saturday night with the Late Night Local. We are hoping this helps improve visibility and draws more interest to our group.”
On Jan. 24, Alpha Delta lost a member of their fraternity, Dylan Cooper, in a pedestrian accident.
“We are planning to have as many brothers there as possible,” Tozier said. “We know this is what Dylan would want us to do. To keep moving forward and continue providing service to our community.”
For more information on joining a fraternity or the fraternity recruitment schedules please visit the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs website or contact UMaineIFC@gmail.com.