Panhellenic Council Votes to End Novemberfest
In May 2019, the Emory Panhellenic Council (EPC) voted to end Novemberfest, an annual recruiting event where potential new members visit Sorority Village in a simulation of rush. Novemberfest will be replaced by two new events, Camp Greek, scheduled for Sept. 13, and a similar event scheduled for the winter, according to Associate Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Nicole Jackson.
“[During Camp Greek], members of the Panhellenic council will be out on McDonough Field … tabling to give [potential recruits] information about the chapters,” Jackson said.
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) oversees the EPC. Jackson said Novemberfest did not align with the expectations that NPC set for pre-recruitment events.
“[The EPC] wanted to revamp [Novemberfest] to provide recruits with more information and make the event a little less formal,” Jackson said.
Senior Director of Residence Life and Interim Director of Sorority and Fraternity Life Scott Rausch said that the change was meant to “remove the formality of Novemberfest and create two informal events that allow for more exposure and less stress for the women going in. This creates more of a learning experience and less of a recruitment experience.”
Chi Phi Returns to Campus After 4-Year Absence
Chi Phi fraternity returned to campus and began recruiting in Spring 2019 after a four-year leave. The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life previously removed the fraternity following a 2015 hazing allegation, the Wheel previously reported.
Chi Phi Fraternity National Office Director of Growth and Alumni Services John Fisher is overseeing the fraternity’s return to campus. Fisher said Chi Phi is looking to return to campus because of its history with the University.
“We were one of the first [fraternities] on campus,” Fisher said. “With it being 150 years since Greek life began on Emory’s campus, we thought it would be the right time to return and do things the right way.”
Fisher said Chi Phi currently has roughly eight members and is hoping to recruit at least 15 members by the end of Fall recruitment. Fisher aims to recruit more members before trying to move onto Eagle Row, a goal which he says is “two to three years [away].”
“I like to see the groups be successful in other things and not have to rely on the house,” Fisher said. “When groups [move into a house too early,] they start falling into the old tropes that give fraternities a bad name, and we don’t want that.”
SigEp Fails to Fill House on 15 Eagle Row
Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) fraternity moved out of 15 Eagle Row after it failed to fill its section of the house it shared with Beta Theta Phi (Beta) fraternity. Transfer students and upperclassmen currently live in the section.
“When chapters don’t have enough affiliated members, they search for nonaffiliated [individuals] who are willing to live in that space,” Rausch said. “SigEp was not willing to undertake that at this moment and they have opted out of living in that space.”
SigEp may be able to return to 15 Eagle Row in Spring 2020, provided they can fill their part of the house, according to Rausch.
“More than likely, we would allow [SigEp] to reestablish that space when we [go] into selection in the Spring,” Rausch said.
KA Returns to Historic Home
Kappa Alpha Order (KA) fraternity returned to its historic house at 14 Eagle Row this fall. Emory’s KA chapter was previously rechartered in Spring 2019 after its 2015 suspension following hazing allegations.
Rausch explained that KA was invited back following their rechartering because they have “historic domain” over 14 Eagle Row. Media, Literature, and Arts Outreach previously occupied the house and have now moved to 20 Eagle Row.
“A chapter that has historic domain — meaning that the house was built for that chapter or [that the chapter] had a claim to the house before they were removed — once they are rechartered, they have a clear path back into the house,” Rausch said.