By Karly Moll > Sophomore > Journalism > University of Maryland, Photo by Hector Alejandro
As spring recruitment takes off, students might feel like they are choosing their friends and can’t decide which Greek house suits them best. The key to staying calm during the spring recruitment madness is to choose the house that feels most comfortable and to remember to keep things in perspective.
Often candidates fear that joining the wrong house could be detrimental to their college experience, which is why it is important for Potential New Members (PNMs) to be as informed as possible before beginning the process, explains Zena Kurtz, a sophomore and member of Kappa Alpha Theta at the University of Michigan.
For men and women, the rush experience differs drastically. The sororities’ formal recruitment is a structured process organized through the Pan Hellenic Association (PHA). According to the PHA, spring rush tends to be more serious and formal for women. It often involves several different rounds of visits with the members such as house tours, philanthropy activities and a skit performance from the sisters. For the men, rush is controlled under the International Fraternity Council (IFC) and the less structured process usually includes bonding over wings and pizza.
It’s important for a potential new member to remember that the sisters and brothers of each house are organizing their members, ordering food and ensuring their events run as smoothly as possible in order to spark the attention of their PNMs. Rush week is always a crazy time, according to Samantha Fraser, a member of the Delta Gamma chapter at the University of Miami: “This year, we pulled an all-nighter decorating our house and setting up food for the rushes,” she said.
Because things can get hazy after a long day of fropping or shopping (fraternity/sorority hopping), writing in a pocket size journal during spring rush is a helpful way for students to remember what they liked the best and least about each house, says Gabby Farrell, a sophomore and member of Sigma Delta Tau at SUNY Binghamton.
It is also essential to stay energized and to keep calm throughout this process. By putting on a smile and being respectful while visiting each sorority or fraternity house, the experience will be much more enjoyable on both ends of the spectrum. Students going through recruitment should get some sleep and remember that the Greek members they talk to have been in their position before, says David Okin, a sophomore and a member of the Zeta Beta Tau chapter at Syracuse University.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the sterotypes for each Greek house, but it’s important for PNMs to base their decision solely on his/her personal experience with the visit and level of comfort with the brothers or sisters. By joining a chapter on campus, students are opening up a new chapter in their college career. “Being part of my frat has significantly shaped who I am and who I want to become”, says Evan Cairo, a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania.