Law fraternity stops rushing to allow more recruits
Running a registered student organization can sometimes be more like a business, and sometimes running a business means difficult decisions have to be made.
Such is the case for Phi Alpha Delta – the pre-law fraternity at Central Michigan University – when fraternity president Grayson Smith made the decision to eliminate the rush process about a year after he took office.
“It is a way to kind of filter members who do not contribute actively,” Smith said. “In February, I spoke with a national officer and talked about ways to improve our fraternity.
Smith said the discussion helped him realize the rush process was counter intuitive to the core values of the fraternity and, in order to improve the group as a whole, he needed to cut it.
“Our mission is service to the community and university,” Smith said. “By turning away people, we draw away from what we’re supposed to do.”
Smith said he hopes by accepting everyone into the fraternity, more people have the chance to grow and develop in their study of law.
After he spoke with the national officer, he met with the Office of Student Conduct and kept them informed every step of the way.
Phi Alpha Delta offers opportunities for improvement and personal gain for students going into business and law careers. Some include LSAT workshops and preparation, staged practice law trials and chances for professional contacts. They also bring in speakers and participate in community service events, as well as other Greek activities.
Smith said cutting the rush process, as well as cutting down on required events for membership, will allow people who want to be a part of the fraternity to participate more fully.
“It didn’t feel right to force people to be a part of things that they didn’t want to be a part of,” he said. “Good members who want to be involved will take advantage of all the programs we have. For us to sit and judge others, who are we to make that determination? We shouldn’t make the call.”
Smith expects to see more people joining the fraternity now that he has removed the rush process.
“Now we can recruit year-round, and we can recruit actively,” he said.
Phi Alpha Delta recruits in the traditional ways, using flyers, chalking sidewalks, through word of mouth and going to talk in classrooms. Not having a rush process means they will not have to recruit at specific times of the year, and will now be able to attempt to gain new members year-round.
Grand Haven junior Jacqueline Destrampe said making changes within the fraternity sounds beneficial.
“I think rushing can be kind of difficult,” she said. “It can hold people back from doing what they want to do.”