IFC? I have seen better days


Avi Joshi ‘26 is a prospective English and education major. He is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Wind Ensemble. Contact him at asjoshi@wm.edu. 

Duncan Griffin ‘26 is a prospective finance major. He is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Gibbs Accounting Society. Contact him at dgriffin@wm.edu.

The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own. 

As semesters begin at the College of William and Mary, there is a specific kind of excitement on campus and as students start to move in, the excitement among fraternity members for recruitment also begins. Traditionally, rush is the primetime for fraternities to look for potential new members. However, there has been a gradual decline in support of fraternity life at the College, subsequently causing a lack of support for rush — the most crucial period for the survival of fraternity life organizations. The state of fraternity life at the College is facing a big problem as semester over semester, it keeps boasting lower rush numbers. We believe that a major factor as to why fraternities on campus are losing support is because of the state of the Interfraternity Council. The IFC, despite being an organization created to represent fraternity life on campus, continues — whether intentional or not — to propagate anti-fraternity culture.

Before we get into the problems with the IFC, what exactly is it? The IFC is a separate organization from fraternities that serves as an intermediary between the school and the individual fraternities, and it is the governing body of the fraternities. The executive board is made up of current fraternity members on campus, who are elected by the fraternity presidents. They vote on current issues in fraternity life , discuss new policies and are supposed to strengthen all frats on campus. However, we have noticed that many of the IFC’s efforts have not done anything to help fraternity involvement and have often hurt it. This was very clear during this most recent spring rush. The biggest change going into this past rush was the shortening of the original rush period. Historically, spring rush was a full 17 days, but with this past spring, the IFC decided to shorten the rush period down to 10 days. What this meant was that rush  — which already moved very fast — was condensed down even further and became quite overwhelming. The biggest problem we noticed was that 10 days is not enough time for potential new members to be able to truly get to know the frats they are rushing. Rushing a fraternity or a sorority is not just a serious time commitment, but it is also an extreme financial commitment — especially for college students. It is already a big decision whether or not to rush, but with rush being only 10 days this does not allow for students interested in rushing to be able to get a full picture of whatever organization they intend on joining.  

Lack of support can also be seen through how the IFC uses its Instagram. First off, it rarely posts and if it does post, it is usually about hazing training or their own events. Oftentimes, it has advertised wrong dates and times for rush events. The biggest example of this would be the fiasco that was Meet the Greeks this past rush. Meet the Greeks is the first event of rush and it is a time for fraternities to set up tables and talk to potential new members. This past rush, they not only shoved the event into James Blair Hall but also completely advertised the wrong time for the event (and with 15 fraternities all participating in this event, the second floor of James Blair was not really conducive to that). Now, obviously, we should never assume things like the wrong time being posted are ever done intentionally, because mistakes always happen. However, it is just disheartening to see an organization that represents every fraternity on this campus being so poorly run or mismanaged. 

On top of the problems mentioned above, there is a lack of representation of positive narratives of fraternity life. During rush and throughout the year, the IFC regularly makes posts and sends emails about anti-hazing training. This is great, as hazing is a serious conversation and students should stay informed. The problem comes when the IFC heavily focuses on anti-hazing training and does not integrate advertisements that empower fraternity life. For example, during rush the IFC could also do posts about each fraternities’ philanthropy with explanations of each one, or even pictures sent in by all frats that can be posted to show the experience of fraternity life. The IFC could share information that reflects the positives of the College’s fraternity life culture. However, by dedicating all of their advertising to anti-hazing training, the IFC does not give narratives of fraternity life the exposure they should and it can turn off potential new members. 

Along with all these problems, there is a clear lack of a strong relationship between the IFC and individual frats. Oftentimes, frats do not get to reap any of the benefits that the IFC promises us. For example, before this past rush, frats were told that if they held a minimum of three IFC-approved events, it would receive a set amount of money to spend on those events. So if a frat wanted to order pizza for an open house, it could use the allotted money the IFC was supposedly going to give it. I cannot speak for other frats, but Alpha Tau Omega did not receive any money for the events it had, so it had to use its own budget for those events. Yes, we have a budget for these events, but the IFC should not promise frats reimbursement and then never pull through. Things like this are part of the reason there is not a strong relationship between frats and the IFC. 

We genuinely are not trying to bring any hate towards the IFC. We just see an organization that is supposed to be helpful making way too many mistakes without truly fixing them. The IFC needs to realize that its duty is to defend and empower fraternities — not restrict growth of fraternity life.


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