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Phi Tau to follow new recruitment rules

Phi Kappa Tau’s spring recruitment at Belmont will start Thursday night, with a new process that replaces the university’s previous 100 percent bid policy.

The new recruitment model will more closely match the process used by Belmont’s National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities, said Phi Tau President Joseph Smith.

Recruitment will start with an informational meeting on Thursday night, after which, potential new members will be invited to attend Belmont’s Homecoming events with current fraternity members.

“We’ll use Belmont-hosted events to get to know potential new members better, and then from that point we’ll be able to invite members that we got to know there to our formal night,” Smith said.

In order to receive an invitation to formal night, potential new members must be nominated by a current member, and then that nomination has to be seconded.

“Basically all it takes for a PNM to get invited is to have two brothers that know their name,” Smith wrote in an email outlining the recruitment process.

After formal night, the fraternity will vote on who to give bids to.

Phi Tau leadership doesn’t have a specific number of bids they’re planning to give out or even a clear idea of how many people to expect for recruitment, Smith said.

“We’re totally flexible about who we’re going to and who we’re not going to give bids to. There’s not a quota or anything, we’re just letting it happen naturally,” Smith said.

This marks quite a big shift from the previous model for recruitment.

In the past, the two Interfraternity Council fraternities — Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Kappa Tau — would hold a combination of combined and individual recruitment events over the course of a week.

At the end of the week, Belmont required the two fraternities to comply with a 100 percent bid policy — giving a bid to every potential new member who attended recruitment events and met the university’s academic and Community Conduct standards.

This policy caused issues last spring, after ATO was suspended and wasn’t allowed to hold spring recruitment, leaving Phi Tau with the obligation to accept all potential new members. Phi Tau’s leadership didn’t agree to follow the 100 percent bid policy, so spring recruitment was cancelled for both fraternities.

But with only one IFC fraternity left on campus, Belmont’s administration recognized the need for a change, Smith said.

“With there being only one fraternity recognized by Belmont now, I think they’re recognizing that rule isn’t logistically possible right now, and so that’s kind of opening a door for new possibilities for recruitment going forward, both this year and in the future,” Smith said.

The number of fraternities on campus probably won’t change anytime soon, but Phi Tau will play an important role in determining the future of Belmont fraternities, Smith said.

“I think everyone’s on the same page with the fact that adding another fraternity is not something the university intends to do soon. It’s a possibility in the future, but that all depends on the state of Greek life over the course of this year,” Smith said. “Whether that’s our conduct history or our performance as an organization, I think that those are going to be some big factors that will affect whether or not the university starts entering to a conversation about whether or not they want to add another fraternity a couple of years from now.”

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