Daily Collegian Story - IFC rewards fraternities

By Jourdan Cole - Collegian Columnist

IFC rewards fraternities

The top five Interfraternity Council (IFC) Chapters of Excellence are now allowed to hold Wednesday night socials -- activities banned under the updated party regulations put into place at the beginning of the spring semester.

While Wednesday socials during the 2010-2011 academic year have been reinstated for these five fraternities, IFC officials said Tuesday night that other fraternities will not be allowed the same privileges.

Though top-performing IFC chapters have received a plaque in the past, the council built several rewards into its bylaws this semester, one of which allowed the socials.

While there are five Chapters of Excellence, the number of fraternities who are recognized can vary each year, IFC Vice President for Communications Dan Cartwright said. The five Chapters of Excellence this year are Sigma Nu, Tau Phi Delta, Theta Chi, Theta Delta Chi and Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Chapters of Excellence awards are attainable by all four greek councils, but the IFC is the only council giving its honorees rewards for achieving the honor, IFC President Max Wendkos (senior-marketing and psychology) said.

Besides Wednesday night socials, other rewards include name recognition, a 30 percent discount on IFC dues and a customized letter sent to the fraternities' national and international headquarters.

"There are limitless benefits for improving relations with alumni and nationals. All chapters benefit by saving money on dues and a large majority of our chapters do care about their social privileges, so extending them as a reward for impressive performance in other areas was a logical incentive," Wendkos said.

Cartwright (junior-energy, business and finance) said he hopes these rewards will entice more fraternities to strive for excellence.

"They've proved themselves as quality chapters in the fraternity community and we thought it was an adequate reward," Cartwright said.

Among the recipients was Tau Phi Delta, whose president, Corbin Rinehart, said the fraternity members always strive for excellence because they take pride in their house, though many of the members have yet to even learn of the rewards.

"Occasionally we would have Wednesday socials, but they were few and far between," Rinehart (junior-wood products business and marketing) said.

Wendkos said the IFC is recognizing chapters that are a good representation of their fraternities' values. The fraternities are judged on many things, he added --including alumni relations, educational programming and community service.

Wendkos said that all of greek life at Penn State submits applications and those who exceed 270 out of 300 total points receive recognition as a Chapter of Excellence.

"We wanted to create a system that would encourage all of our chapters to work hard and improve themselves," he said.

Rinehart said his fraternity does a great deal of community service work within State College and Penn State.

"I'm very proud to be a brother at Tau Phi Delta and be in charge of an organization with guys that pride themselves on not only themselves, but the fraternity as a whole," Rinehart said.