Although it has been allowed in previous semesters, dorm storming has been banned for Spring 2015 rush. The change in recruitment rules was handed down by the Dean of Students Office. Dorm storming has been banned in an attempt to maintain security in residence halls after a series of burglaries last semester. Since Matthew Hunt resigned from his position as associate dean of Greek life commons this past semester, Greek affairs have been overseen by Dean of Students Mark Smith.
The rules on dorm storming used in past semesters are outlined in Article IV, Section 2 of the Interfraternity Council Recruitment Policy. According to IFC policy, up to four members of a fraternity were permitted to distribute calendars and invite potential new members to their events during times determined by the IFC and the Office of Residence Life.
Dorm storming during this semester’s rush would have been complicated by the removal of universal access to residence halls during the fall semester. Allowing dorm storming would increase “piggybacking” and impair RPI’s ability to limit access to residence halls. However, some students claim these security measures are excessive. Ashley Dotson ’18 stated, “This security thing is getting out of hand. It’s becoming more of an annoyance than a preventative measure. If the doors to the rooms have to be locked, then why does it matter that people come into the building? More traffic won’t equal more open doors.”
The rush policy change has received negative feedback from both members of the Greek community and independents. Lambda Chi Alpha brother Brandon Cressi ’18 expressed his frustration, “It’s very difficult to get people interested in our rush events without going to their door. What security purpose does it serve? … How do two guys walking around a dorm really hurt security on campus? It’s just unnecessary.” Greek houses that previously relied on dorm storming to recruit people for their events are now forced to find alternate methods of reaching out to potential new members. “Delts has been going to Commons and the Union to try to recruit people, but it’s harder to get people because they’re in the middle of doing something. I disagree with the ban because it really is essential for fraternities to dorm storm. This could really decrease the number of freshman rushees,” shared Kirk Melhuish ’18, a brother of Delta Tau Delta. Smith and the Dean of Students Office were unable to be reached for comment on the matter.
Plans to improve upon the current dorm storming policy are in the works. The IFC is “working actively with the Greek community and the deans to come up with several alternatives to minimize the impact of this change.” Not only Greek houses are hurt by the dorm storming ban. The success of Greek rush affects the Office of Residence Life and the availability of on-campus housing. Isabel Johnson ’16, a Resident Assistant and member of Alpha Phi Omega, explained, “Reslife is directly affected by Greek life because RPI doesn’t have the ability to house everyone on campus, and students going Greek ensures that there is adequate housing for everyone.”