What’s the rush?
Greeks recruit new brothers and sisters
| Audrey Dighans copy editor |
College is the time for trying new things and getting involved. For some students, the opportunity to join a sorority or fraternity offers them open door after open door.
Formal vs. informal
Recruitment week, or “rush” as it is more commonly called, generally takes place the first week or first two weeks of each semester. In the fall, sororities host formal recruitment the week before classes.
“All three of our sororities at Pittsburg State are National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) members,” said Meagan Smejdir, program coordinator for campus activities and Greek life adviser. “NPC sororities have rules and regulations when it comes to recruitment that create a much more structured recruitment season.”
Women interested in rushing a sorority at Pitt State must register during the summer for formal recruitment. The women, typically incoming freshmen, move into dorms a week before classes start in the fall and begin formal recruitment.
“Each woman is provided with a schedule for the entire week,” Smejdir said. “They visit all of the sororities and meet the members.”
Fraternities, on the other hand, have what Smejdir says is a much more relaxed recruitment.
“Fraternities may recruit new members year-round,” she said. “There are no time or date restrictions, and all nine fraternities on campus are currently recruiting.”
Spring semester, however, sees a game change. Both fraternities and sororities are participating in informal rush events this semester.
“A sorority’s participation in spring rush is based on numbers,” Smejdir said. “Chapters will sometimes have spots open and will work to recruit new members.
“If they do not have open positions, they are not allowed to recruit in spring. Therefore, fall recruitment sees larger numbers for both sororities and fraternities.”
Recruit, pledge, join
Mitch Flood, freshman in business management, rushed last fall.
“When I first came to college I thought fraternities were just a group of people that parties all the time,” he said. “At first, I honestly didn’t think I would join one.”
Flood says he came to Pitt with several stereotypes about Greek life. He wasn’t sure it was for him, even though his older brother was a member of a fraternity and talked about it whenever he would come home from college.
“When I came over to hang out the first time, I discovered it was a great way to meet people, and I made friends right away,” Flood said. “I only went to two houses. At one, I didn’t get along with anyone, at the other I did. I started to feel like I really belonged with those guys, and that’s the reason I changed my mind, decided to join.”
Pledging another semester
Like Flood, Austin Russell, freshman in plastics engineering, also attended rush events.
“I thought they would be like an extension of high school,” Russell said. “There would be one for the geeks, one for the jocks, just like how it’s usually portrayed on TV.
“My perceptions about them started to change really quick after I actually started to meet some of the members.”
Unlike Flood, Russell decided not to join any of the fraternities.
“I wasn’t employed and still lived with my parents,” he said. “Traveling back and forth between campus and home would be harder with fraternity events mixed in, and my family thought I should experience all of college more before dedicating my time to a frat.”
Russell added he also has an older brother in a fraternity who had even told him not to make his mind up so quick about it. Russell decided he would wait and look at rushing again in the spring.
“I learned fraternities and sororities are all about friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood,” Russell said. “They bring together people from all over who you’d think would never be friends, but they end up being great friends.”