U niversity of Colorado sophomore Christian Dean is hoping to change the attitudes of Boulder's fraternity members by starting a new chapter, which he said has hopes to lead by example.
As a freshmen, Dean said he rushed and joined a fraternity, but quit after he got tired of listening to the members bad-mouth other chapters.
"They were constantly saying, 'screw the other frats,' and talking crap on each other," Dean said. "I want to help build up Greek life in Boulder and set an example for the community."
The national fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon recently initiated Dean and 22 of his friends as members. He said the chapter is hoping to double in size at its second initiation next week.
"The national fraternity has never had a chapter get 50 guys in the first year before," Dean said, "or have a house in the first year and we're hoping to do both, We're coming in hot."
Marc Stine, Interfraternity Council's Greek advocate, said "hot" is exactly how he would describe the enthusiastic group's launch this fall.
Typically, Stine said chapters come in with a "cold expansion," meaning that the national fraternity comes to Boulder with no members and then builds up the membership. The Tau Kappa Epsilon members (or TKEs) will be Boulder's first "hot expansion," starting out with an established membership, Stine said.
TKE is the country's largest fraternity, Dean said, which is just one of the reasons they chose the organization.
"Because they were the largest, they have more power, more influence, more alumni and more resources," Dean said. "That will make it easier for us to succeed."
The new chapter will be recruiting members over the next few weeks for those who did not join one of the other 18 Boulder fraternities during rush week, he said.
More than 1,000 men registered for fraternity rush this year and about 550 are expected to accept bids by the end of the week -- an increase of about 9 percent over last year, Stine said.
About 926 women registered for sorority rush this fall and 654 accepted bids -- a decrease of about 8 percent from last year. Stephanie Baldwin, coordinator of Greek Life and Leadership Programs at CU said the decrease is in line with the incoming freshmen class, which includes more men than women this year.
Overall, both groups said it has been a successful recruitment season and continue to see growth in the Greek system at CU and in Boulder.
Several new fraternity chapters have started in Boulder since the fraternities became unaffiliated with the university after the 2004 drinking death of freshman pledge Lynn "Gordie" Bailey Jr., but the sororities have not expanded in close to a decade, Baldwin said.
The Panhellenic Council, the governing body over national and local sororities, has been focused on supporting and growing the existing nine chapters at CU, but Baldwin said she thinks it may be time for some new chapters.
"We are in the process of assessing the current situation and if it's determined that there's room for new chapters, then there's a long process of approvals that would have to happen," Baldwin said. "I'm not saying it will happen, but I feel like we're ready."
Even if the council votes in favor of expansion, Baldwin said the fall of 2013 would be the soonest students would see a new chapter on campus.