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Thursday, January 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 82

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Fraternities seek to dispel 'frat boy' image

By Sarah B. Lawrence
Daily Cougar Staff

Tables crowded the sidewalks of Butler Square on Wednesday afternoon as UH's fraternities recruited new members for the spring semester.

Fall is generally the big time for "rush," the membership drive that occurs each semester, but in the spring, the fraternities work full-force to recruit members.

"We are not just trying to rush," Sigma Phi Epsilon President Bill Kelly said. "We are trying to get our name out there for guys to get involved with the program."

The main goal the fraternities have established is to bring quality leaders to their chapters. These leaders will be involved in both on- and off-campus activities that will improve their management skills.

Ramon Nunez of Pi Kappa Theta stressed that fraternities can help their members develop quality skills for the future. Because they are set up like businesses, members are given the opportunity to join different committees within the fraternities. There they learn tasks and objectives that can help them in the professional arena.

Mainly, the groups attempt to dispel the "beer-chugging frat boy" stereotype.

"We try and let the community know we are not all about that and would like to do away with that stereotype," Patrick Bush of Beta Theta Pi said.

Aaron Piper agreed. "It is more quality than quantity," he said. "We look for what we refer to as 'SLAGs' -- scholars, leaders, athletes, gentlemen."

Each fraternity has a philanthropy through which it commits time to doing community service, a way for the students to work off campus and establish a good rapport with the public. The groups also help support the University and work with Frontier Fiesta, which was a hot topic among Forum participants Wednesday.

Another forum will be held Feb. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind Agnes Arnold Hall.

Spring rush will end with "bid day" Feb. 12, at which fraternities will announce their new members.
 

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