Chapter Recruitment

The Recruitment of New, Quality Members to RSE Is Essential!!

By Jake Hodgson ’20 and Don Thoma ’83

The suspension has made for a tough year for the junior members.  The JMs are really feeling the impact of their unfortunate decisions last year as the normal events of the house have been significantly curtailed.  No other activity has had a bigger negative impact on the house than the cancellation of this year’s rush.

Now, the JMs could have taken a “woe is me attitude” and brushed off the cancellation of rush, but that is not what has happened.  Thanks to the leadership of the Rush Chairman: Jake Hodgson ’20 and the President: Sean Graham ’21, the JMs have been actively preparing for the next rush as soon as it is open to RSE.

As part of the process for RSE to come off suspension, the JMs need to put together both a plan for reinstatement as well as a plan for recruitment.  At the Fall Trustees and Society meeting, we held a breakout session with the JMs and Trustees to discuss the goals, obstacles and plans for the next recruitment.  Out of this break out session, a team led by Jake and Sean with the support of Trustees Mark Anderson ‘79, Nick Sosin ‘11 and Don Thoma ’83, began preparing the recruitment plan. The plan is based on the key tenet that recruitment is key part of a healthy and sustainable organization.

Jake and Sean took a very practical and systematic approach to developing a solid recruitment plan that includes:

  • Identification of and synchronization with the RSE mission, vision, and values;
  • Development of a health and safety plan that identifies the commitment to an alcohol-free, substance-free and hazing-free recruitment;
  • Clear statement of RSE’s recruitment goals in a format that defines then as specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely;
  • Creation of values-based selection criteria for new members that ensures the JMs systematically evaluate and select new members that are aligned with the values of RSE; and
  • Definition of the specific recruitment events that are aligned with the above goals.

The plan has been through several iterations with the JMs as well as with the Trustees advisors.  Jake and Sean have met regularly with Dean Meredith Ann Bielaska, Associate Dean, Greek Common Life to get her input.  They plan to present plan to the school for approval in May.

The Greek Life Task Force is still in progress. The draft recommendations indicated that rush for incoming freshmen may be moved from the Fall of 2019 to the Spring of 2020.  If this comes to pass, it will make it even more important for the JMs to recruit quality new members.

“Since we’re here but for a spell”, we must turn rush into a learning process that becomes one of the fundamental building blocks of the continued recruitment of quality RSE members.  If you are interested in helping out, please feel free to contact Jake at or Don at

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