On Sept. 1, Mercer University’s Greek community marked the ushering in of the new pledge classes for the Interfraternity Council.
According to Mercer University’s Interfraternity Council webpage, “The Mercer University Interfraternity Council (IFC) promotes scholastic achievement among fraternity chapters at Mercer, provides for social recreational, and civic activities for Mercer fraternity members, and promotes the interaction and cooperation of all fraternities at Mercer.”
Members of each of the IFC affiliated fraternities celebrated the annual initiation event, more commonly known as Bid Day.
In the Greek Life handbook Mercer University provides, the handbook explains that “a bid is an official invitation to join a fraternity as a new member.”
As Recruitment week goes on, potential members are encouraged to go to informal events with each of the chapters to determine which group of brothers he feels he fits in best with.
All formal IFC events are mandatory for potential members to attend. “Generally, the more brothers [he meets], the better the fraternity is able to decide if [he] would be a good fit. Bids are given out on Saturday, Sept. 1st.”
Recruitment spans two weeks culminating in the Mercer tradition of running up the hill on Greek row to the fraternity they received a bid from.
During the two weeks, the fraternities host a range of activities that range from simple games of corn hole to a day at the lake.
Compared to sorority recruitment, “[IFC recruitment] is very laid back, but it’s a good way for the boys to get to know each other,” says sophomore Hillary Hendley.
Freshman pledge, Jaleel Menifee, added, “The recruitment process is very long.”
Despite the length of recruitment, the two-week span of time determining if the new pledges will fit in with the current brothers creates an air of suspense among those who received bids.
Alumni Garret McDowell says, “[The new pledges] are probably incredibly nervous” before running up the hill.
One advantage of the traditional running up the hill is the sense of community that forms. McDowell emphasizes the point that, “it’s nice to interact with everyone.
“The freshman class has a great opportunity by going Greek. There are many opportunities for them to make connections here,” at Mercer.
The sense of community as well as community involvement is an attribute that is emphasized in the IFC. “Throughout the year, the IFC…coordinates community service projects and educational workshops,” to ensure that the IFC is making an impact on the community of Macon, states the Mercer IFC webpage.
Menifee, one of the new pledges reflected on his experience of running up the Hill. He said, “I first started walking up the hill and told myself that I wouldn’t run, but everyone around me started running. The peer pressure set in, so I decided to run up the hill.”
Later, Menifee added – somewhat winded from running up the hill, “It feels very surreal” to be an official pledge of a fraternity.
by Marin Guta and Cecilia Villagomez