UW-Madison won’t delay fall fraternity recruitment

Morning sunlight shines on Bascom Hall as pedestrians walk across Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during spring on March 29, 2012.
Morning sunlight shines on Bascom Hall as pedestrians walk across Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during spring on March 29, 2012. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The University of Wisconsin-Madison has decided not to move forward with a proposal to delay fall recruiting for its fraternities and sororities.

After studying the issue, a committee announced Tuesday that the proposed changes were unwarranted, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The nine-member committee included representatives from the school’s Greek organizations, university housing and others. It was led by T.J. Sargent, Greek life coordinator at the university.

The group met last school year to begin deciding whether or not UW-Madison should delay fall recruitment for fraternities and sororities until October or the spring semester.

Complaints received by the school’s student life office stemmed from the overlap of the recruitment period with Jewish holidays. Female freshmen students said they were unable to make a long-term commitment to a sorority while they were busy with religious celebrations.

The committee ultimately decided such restrictions would single out Greek organizations if they weren’t also required of the other student organizations on campus.

Instead of delaying recruitment, the committee and Dean of Students Lori Berquam suggested more philosophical changes, including aligning the Greek organizations’ values more closely with those of the university, encouraging students to join later in the year and making activities more inclusive.

“My dream is that we have a premier Greek community, where the bar is so high that other campuses decide to be like us,” Berquam said. “Would I say we’re there yet? No, not yet.”

There are 58 fraternities and sororities at UW-Madison. About half of the registered Greek organizations have housing facilities on campus.

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