IFC exploring opportunities for expansion

It has been a year of change for Bradley’s Interfraternity Council, but the next step it’s taking will impact more than fraternity men.

Over the past two weeks IFC has welcomed two fraternities to present and sell their national fraternity for the opportunity to expand on Bradley’s campus. After a round table on Thursday, IFC has decided to vote on welcoming a new organization to the  IFC community.

Conversations about expanding the IFC community initially began last fall when three national fraternities approached IFC in question of the opportunity to expand on campus, IFC President Alex Kapustka said.

“I think expansion is a good thing,” said senior Theta Chi member Jeff Baumgartner. “It brings competition and the whole school would get excited about a new fraternity.”

Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Jesse Koch said he agreed that expansion would be a positive move for Bradley’s IFC community.

“I like expansion,” he said. “It brings life and energy into a fraternity and sorority community. Change is good when it is done right.”

After being approached by the organizations, IFC has narrowed down the three fraternities to two, Alpha Omega Tau and Delta Sigma Phi. Both fraternities have been invited to present on campus, and IFC is entering more serious conversations about whether to expand and which fraternity would be the best fit.

Koch said there are many factors that will be considered before inviting a fraternity to campus including the organizations’ reputation, commitment to recruiting and educating members, the kind of support that will be provided by the national organization as well as alumni support and advising.

“We’re looking for an organization that is committed to being successful and setting up a group of men to be successful,” Koch said.

The most recent fraternity that came to campus was Lambda Chi Alpha six years ago when it was brought back to campus; before then it was Delta Tau Delta more than 25 years ago. By bringing a new fraternity to campus, men on campus who never considered greek life will then have the opportunity to join and find a new organization.

“Growth is good for everyone,” Kapustka said. “It would give people who have never been interested in greek life the opportunity to join.”

If a new fraternity were to join campus, it will not invest in a chapter house until it becomes an established organization.

“The fraternities don’t consider housing until they are on campus for about five years or until they are well established, when they can prove they can handle a house,” Kapustka said. “But they will still be able to block rooms together in a dorm.”

In addition to creating new opportunity for those who are not currently involved in the greek community, expansion will also challenge other fraternities on campus.

The first year that a new fraternity is on campus, it will not recruit during IFC formal recruitment. Instead they will recruit a few weeks after or during the spring semester. However, the following year the organization will take part in formal recruitment and would be competition. At that time, fraternities will need to step up their game, Koch said.

“I’ve heard concerns from at least one chapter president [about expansion],” he said said. “They’re worried about competition . . . but a new fraternity will show that two people can recruit 40 guys in four weeks and will show other chapters how it is done professionally.”

This Sunday IFC will propose expansion during a chapter president meeting, then the following Sunday, chapter presidents will vote. Following that decision, IFC will also vote on who to bring to campus and when.