Despite recent challenges to Greek Life’s existence at Lafayette and a brief suspension of even virtual Greek activities due to concerns over their alleged role in spreading of COVID-19 on campus, the majority of fraternities have decided to begin the recruitment process this December. Since the distribution of a letter on October 30 to the current presidents of each Greek organization, other Greek activities have also been allowed to resume, including virtual meetings to allow for sorority initiation.
Vice President for Campus Life Annette Diorio explained the reasoning for granting fraternities the permission to, as stated in the letter, proceed with “recruitment, extension of bids and new member education,” as well as virtual Greek activities to resume at large.
“Essentially, we asked the organizations to pause on their virtual activities while we looked into allegations that some activities were being held in-person. I am sure it seemed like a lot to stop all the groups while we looked into the concerns raised but our primary focus is always student safety,” Diorio wrote in an email to The Lafayette. “Once we determined that no widespread violations had occurred we asked each organization to reaffirm for us that all events would indeed be virtual and then allowed the activities to resume.”
Consequently, most fraternities have hosted or are planning to host recruitment in the near future, with the notable exception of Delta Tau Delta (DTD). In a statement posted to their Instagram page @lafayettedelts, the fraternity declared their reasoning for not engaging in recruitment this semester.
“The men of Delta Tau Delta voted to postpone the right to rush sophomores until a formal process can be established in the spring semester. We felt that we could not acknowledge the issues present in Greek Life while also participating in the proposed rush period that was set to occur in the coming week,” the statement read. “Our hope is that Greek Life can become a more inclusive and safe place for the students of Lafayette. We cannot in good faith support any decision we believe goes against that goal. We look forward to a structured and inclusive rush process in the spring semester that allows us to find new members that share our hopes for the future of Greek Life and our chapter.”
Many students have concerns about a lack of oversight of the rush process. In a post entitled “Fraternity Rush Update” the vocal Instagram account @abolishgreeklifeatlaf, called DTD’s decision to postpone recruitment “the first step in the right direction.” The post also noted that “IFC is not running or organizing this rush so chapters are not required to do bystander or PASA training before they recruit members. This is incredibly concerning and will continue to perpetrate an already incredibly dangerous and prejudiced system.”
John Schroeder ’21, president of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), wrote in an email to The Lafayette that DKE chose to move forward to “provide an opportunity for interested and approved students to learn more about our organization.”
“The decision was backed by the college who helped us design a plan to connect with the broader Lafayette community in a safe, engaging manner,” he wrote.
Chi Phi president Jack Chelstowski ’22, Phi Kappa Psi president Taylor Madeiros ’21, and president of Zeta Psi Mason Marsh ’22 did not respond to a request for comment.
Disclaimer: Managing Editor Andrew Hollander is a member of the DTD fraternity and did not contribute writing or reporting to this article.