Kenyon’s Greek Council may have undergone radical changes over the past year, but the Spring 2015 rush season is going forward as expected.
In April 2014, the Phi Kappa Tau (Phi Tau) fraternity became a colony of its national organization, while in November 2014 the sorority formerly known as Kappa Sigma Alpha gained national status as a chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. Rounding out this year’s changes were the PEEPs, who left the Greek Council in December.
“This is an exciting time for Greek life at Kenyon College because there are a variety of changes happening throughout the community,” Director of Student Activities and Greek Life Laura Kane wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Students interested in joining a Greek organization should use this recruitment period as a time of exploration; keeping an open mind will allow a potential member the ability to determine which Greek organization, if any, could be a good fit.”
Peter Granville, the president of Phi Tau, said the group is hoping to induct enough new members to charter, or become an official chapter of the national Phi Tau fraternity. While Granville is hoping for around 10 pledges, he noted that five or six new members would likely be enough to boost the group’s numbers to the level required for chapter-hood.
In achieving this goal, Phi Tau’s 2015 pledge class would be considered founding fathers of the Kenyon chapter of Phi Tau. “If you want to make an impact and leave a legacy, then we would be the group to join,” Granville said. “We’re looking definitely for leaders, for people who are willing to think outside the box. We’re looking for the sort of guys who would really question if someone were telling them what to do, … [who] really do have an open mind to all the possibilities.”
Granville said the Phi Taus’ rush week activities will include a milkshake mixer, a mocktail night and a storytelling coffeehouse, during which both prospective pledges and current brothers will have the opportunity to share stories about life experiences. The final Phi Tau rush event will be an event called “Party Gras.”
“While all the other groups will be doing invite-only steak dinners, we’re going to be making jambalaya and playing jazz music,” Granville said.
This year’s pledges to the Alpha Tau sorority will also be historic, according to Alpha Tau member Ella Jones ’17. “Since the sorority is brand new to campus, the freshmen or just new members who join during rush will all be the founding class at Kenyon together,” Jones said. “So what would normally be the new member education process, … with the freshmen being educated by the upperclassmen, we’re all going to be bonding together as one class.”
Jones said the Alpha Tau rush events will be encourage group bonding. The sorority is seeking pledges who meet the group’s core values of intellect, respect, connections, graciousness and excellence. “If you’re looking for a unique experience, we would be good for that,” Jones said. “Especially since this is the beginning of this particular group becoming national at Kenyon, you get to be a part of that chapter, so that’s pretty exciting.”
Despite their departure from Greek Council, the PEEPs do not plan to change their recruitment or membership policies. According to Co-Presidents Milad Momeni ’16 and Jacqueline Arkush ’16, the group has never participated in formal rush events, but is still seeking new members. “If anyone’s interested, they should come to meeting on Monday nights at 10:15 in the PEEPs lounge,” Arkush said. “I highly encourage people to come to [the] meeting if they don’t know what PEEPs is.”
Momeni said PEEPs appreciate students with Kenyon quirk. “Most students at Kenyon regard themselves as a little bit quirky or a little bit weird, so what we do at PEEPs is … try to embrace that weirdness,” Momeni said. “We don’t want you to feel like even though there are a bunch of people in the room that are very different from you, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a conversation with them or socialize with them.”
Other Greek organizations accepting pledges this rush season are Alpha Delta Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Kappa Sigma, Epsilon Delta Mu, Theta Delta Phi, Zeta Alpha Pi and the Archon Society.