Fraternity Rush: Free Food and Friends

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As a member of Greek life for four years, I’ve become well-versed in the ways of sorority life. I recall participating in formal recruitment my freshman year, learning the rules of rush that turned out to be the following: spend a full week deliberating over which pair of pants makes your butt look best, recite the conversational basics in your head as you walk from house to house (Where are you from? What’s your major? What did you do this summer?), gab your heart out to your rushers, snag yourself a bid, and proceed by spending the rest of your freshman year gallivanting from fraternity house to fraternity house (and participating in the monthly philanthropy sisterhood events, of course). 

But this led me to wonder… what are the fraternity-bound freshman boys doing at the same time?  Are they putting on their nicest pair of khakis and man-flirting their way into the good graces and open arms of the upperclassmen?  Luckily for you guys, fraternity rush is far more casual than the two weeks of formal sorority recruitment.  In order to uncover the practices of fraternity recruitment, I interviewed several male friends from different universities.  And after comparing their responses, I discovered that most fraternities – regardless of location – have similar rush procedures.

In terms of event planning, fraternities differ from sororities in that the Greek council does not coordinate events; in essence, each fraternity house on campus chooses how they approach their respective week of recruitment.  According to Temple University senior Gavin Wang, who belongs to Kappa Delta Rho, a typical day of rush includes events ranging from daytime barbecues to “stogie and hoagie” nights.  University of Michigan senior Matt Lacey of Psi Upsilon explains that Sunday rush events often consist of football-watching parties with plasma televisions and trays of food.  Food plays a significant role in the rush process because “free food lures in the freshmen,” said University Of Pittsburgh senior and AEPi member Dan Liffman.

Although the methods the boys use at their respective schools are pretty similar, the size of each incoming pledge class varies from campus to campus.  At a large school like the University of Michigan, Lacey acknowledged that typically 30 bids are given out each year, and the fraternity members of Psi U aim to end up with around 20 new members.  At Temple, a school with a smaller percentage of Greek life in proportion to university size, Wang said that a pledge class of 15 is perfect because it facilitates the ability of the fraternity members to get to know their newest brothers.

In short, fraternity rush is informal and allows you the opportunity to join a tightly knit brotherhood that you will have long past your college years.  And, if for nothing else, you can at least go for the free burgers and wings.


Photo: andydr of flickr.com

Senior > Communication and French > University of Michigan

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