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There was no shaving cream or pickup truck motor­cades this time. But it wasn’t Waterman Tea either.

Fra­ternity pickup this semester com­bined the spirit of clam­orous motor­cades in years past with the for­mality of recently estab­lished cer­emony.

“We tried to combine the energy of old tra­di­tions with the solemnity of the new ones,” said senior and Inter­fra­ternity Council Pres­ident Victor Ten­brink.

This past Sunday, Feb. 12, 15 men pledged fra­ter­nities in a recently reworked cer­emony designed to show the fun of broth­erhood and the seri­ousness of pledging.

Delta Tau Delta fra­ternity picked up four stu­dents. Sigma Chi fra­ternity picked up six — not including four men who were unable to activate last fall for various reasons, and Alpha Tau Omega fra­ternity got five. Delta Sigma Phi fra­ternity did not par­tic­ipate.

“There where 35 guys who rushed,” said Asso­ciate Dean of Men Jeff Rogers. “Out of the four fra­ter­nities at Hillsdale, only three were allowed in the rush process.”

In com­parison, 30 men pledged fra­ter­nities last spring. Sigma Chi picked up seven and ATO six, while DSP did not par­tic­ipate. Delta Tau Delta, however, picked up 17.

Out of the three fra­ter­nities that rushed, Delta Tau Delta picked up sig­nif­i­cantly fewer stu­dents this semester. Scott Rode,  junior and fra­ternity pres­ident, said the fra­ternity looks for quality not quantity of men picked up.

“We don’t have a goal number,” Rode said. “We’re looking for guys who’ll be leaders in the school. Overall, we picked up four quality guys. We’re excited about what they can bring to the fra­ternity.”

He said that some years people are just not as inter­ested in the Greek system as they are in other years.

Some stu­dents have the­o­rized that the smaller rush numbers stem from a feeling on campus that the admin­is­tration is trying to stifle or elim­inate the Greek system.

Fra­ternity members them­selves, however, do not think that impression of the admin­is­tration is accurate.

“It’s easy to make the sit­u­ation out to be a debate or power struggle of some sort,” said sophomore David Wil­helmsen, ATO’s public rela­tions chairman. “It’s really important to realize that the admin­is­tration cares very much about the Greek system and the Greek system very much respects the admin­is­tration.”

Members agree that many dif­ferent ele­ments affect who rushes, from who attends the college, to how the Greek system is por­trayed when stu­dents first set foot on campus, to how fra­ter­nities recruit.

“There are so many dif­ferent com­po­nents that it’s hard to pin­point one,” said Sigma Chi Pres­ident Ethan Smith, a junior.

“I think it’s a com­bi­nation of things. With all the fra­ternity troubles last year and this year, there have been a lot of things hap­pening,” said DTD senior Josiah Hersey. “It’s not that the entire system in trouble. Guys are just waiting.”

Stu­dents who pledged this semester par­tic­i­pated in the rush process, which started on Feb. 5 with an inter­fra­ternity round table. The next day, men attended open houses for each fra­ternity.

“Guys have to go to each house during open houses to demon­strate that they’ve eval­uated each one equally,” Ten­brink said. “This helps elim­inate dirty rushing and false impres­sions of par­ticular fra­ter­nities.”

Since Delta Tau Delta cur­rently does not have a house, the brothers hosted their open house in the Formal Lounge of the Grewcock Student Union.

“The kind of guys that we’re looking for are not dis­en­fran­chised by the fact that we don’t have a house, but attracted to the fact that we are spread across campus,” Rode said.

Rogers said that fra­ter­nities can develop strong bonds but that shouldn’t be based on a physical house. They should be bound by some­thing greater. He encourages men to look beyond the walls of their houses.

“I want you to uphold the prin­ciples of your fra­ternity across the hall, down the street, and around the world.  I may not be around the world to watch you do it but you’ve given your word,” Rogers said. “That’s an old school idea. Saying what you will do and doing what you will say. How novel.”

Once the men attended open houses, fra­ter­nities hosted invite-only pref­erence parties for stu­dents they were inter­ested in picking up.

“After that point, fra­ter­nities vote which of the rushees to extend bids to,” Ten­rbink said.

Over the weekend, stu­dents turned in their bid cards, fra­ter­nities made their choices, and the deans played match­maker.

Pick-up on Sunday started when stu­dents were brought from their dorms by fra­ternity members. The day con­cluded with a formal cer­emony in Phillips Audi­torium.

“[An Inter­fra­ternity Council] decided to switch up the format a little,” Smith said. “Before the fall of 2010, we used to just do an informal pick up. Last year, in the fall, they made it more formal.”

The formal cer­emony included speeches from Rogers, Ten­brink, the pres­i­dents of each fra­ternity, and John Lovinger, who is a local lawyer and Sigma Chi alumnus from the Uni­versity of Arizona.

“The rush process this year is better,” Rode said. “The speeches and the cer­emony were all great.”

Rogers said he wanted to use his speech to remind the men that they both chose their brothers and were chosen by them. That, he said, is a great luxury.

“I am expecting results, not excuses. The Greek system is a system that works when men come together and push toward their noble prin­cipals that make their par­ticular fra­ter­nities shine,” Rogers said. “I admit what I said was sobering, but what did you expect? I wanted them to see the serious side of [fra­ter­nities], in the light of the current envi­ronment.”

The  goal of fra­ter­nities is to pursue the truth as their mis­sions state­ments say, Rogers said.

“You’re pledging yourself to be a man of noble char­acter. 24/7,” he said. “In the classroom and out of the classroom.”