Assistant News Editor
This past week, Phi Sigma Pi Fraternity (PSP) hosted its Rush Week to attract new members. As an honors fraternity, PSP operates differently than many of the other Greek organizations on campus and has a focus on outstanding academic achievement.
While most of the other fraternities and sororities on campus held Rush and Recruitment two weeks ago, PSP’s Rush Week began at the start of last week. This is because PSP, as an honors fraternity, is not a member of the organizations that decide when to host Rush and Recruitment: the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for fraternities and the Panhellenic Council (PanHel) for sororities. This allows PSP to set its own Rush Week independently of the other Greek organizations.
“Phi Sigma Pi is not a member of [IFC or PanHel] because we are an honor fraternity,” said Ryan Brenner ’15, president of PSP. “As a result, we do not collaborate with either group regarding rush events and choose our own dates, usually a semester in advance.”
During Rush Week PSP hosted two open rush events for all students interested in joining to relax and meet the brothers. The first event was informal, and the brothers were marked by their yellow “Phi Sigma Fly” t-shirts and tank tops. The brothers played a jeopardy game with the potential new members and left plenty of time for informal mingling. Other games served to cement the fraternity as an option for quirky, driven students, and paid homage to the theme of this Rush Week, “Geek is the new Greek.”
As the week went on, students were invited for more serious, one-on-one interviews with the brothers. Overall, PSP had 34 serious rushes this semester, and, according to Brenner, planned on extending a maximum of 20 bids.
“That number could increase by a few,” Brenner said.
Contrary to Brenner’s expectations, the fraternity extended 17 bids, all of which were accepted. These 17 new initiates will make up the Zeta class of PSP’s Zeta Beta chapter, and will be celebrated during their Bid Day on Monday.
PSP is set apart from other Greek organizations by its status as a coed honors fraternity.
The focus of PSP is to foster strong academics and leadership over other traditional aspects of Greek organizations. They also have both women and men as members, both called Brothers in the Fraternity.
“PSP is filled with such a diverse group of Brothers from all walks of life that just enjoy spending time together and working with each other,” Brenner said. “We all have so many things in common and share a mutual respect for the brotherhood, what it stands for, and what we gain from being a part of it. I can guarantee you that every brother takes something different out of PSP and I am sure all of those things are equally valuable to our Fraternity.”
PSP is like other Greek organizations in that they host a number of events and activities on campus, and they hold many fundraisers for their national philanthropy Teach For America.
In the past year, they organized a few high-profile events such as the game “Are You Smarter Than an F&M Professor?” and held Rent-a-Puppy, where students could pay to play with adoptable dogs from local shelters, last Spring during reading days.
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