Two lone sororities tabling outside the Bay Tree Bookstore in the rain last Tuesday morning appeared undiscouraged by the poor weather. Third-year linguistics major Kate Paulina sits under a blue canopy at a table with giant wooden cutouts in the form of the Greek letters Kappa Gamma Delta.
“It’s kind of shitty because it’s so cold,” Paulina said. “But it is nice just to hang out with your sisters even if people do not come up to the table. We enjoy spending time together.”
From March 30 to April 10, Rush Week, which is actually the first two weeks of each quarter, serves as the one of the few opportunities for Greek organizations on campus to recruit new members to their sorority or fraternity.
Fourth-year business management and economics major Ryan Josephson of Delta Omega Chi described Rush Week as “an opportunity to check out the fraternity and see if it is something that you would like to do.” Rush events are composed of icebreakers and events that allow for interactions between the members of the fraternity and potential pledges.
Toward the end of Rush Week, recruits who the members of the Greek organizations are comfortable with get bids, which give them the option to become pledges. Accepting the bid makes you a pledge, which eventually leads to membership — becoming a brother or sister in the fraternity or sorority.
Goals for Rush Week depend on the size of the Greek organization. A small and local sorority such as Tri Chi, which has only 21 members, might set a modest goal for Rush Week. Danielle Wilcox, a third-year psychology major and member of Tri Chi, said that she would be satisfied if her sorority was able to recruit five new members this quarter.
Theta Chi, an international fraternity with over 170 chapters across the U.S. and Canada and the largest fraternity on campus with 55 members, has taken on up to 22 pledges during a quarter.
However, some Greek organizations stress that there is no set number of pledges that they want to gain during Rush Week. As third-year mathematics major Samuel Levin of Theta Chi said, “It really is quality over quantity.” He recalled that one quarter, Theta Chi only took a single pledge.
Members of Greek organizations during Rush Week are not just looking for people who want to party, but people who are looking for friends that will sit by them and support them and their fraternity or the sorority in either rain or shine.
Third-year business management and economics major Dara Khron of Lambda Phi Epsilon described the ideal pledge as “a fun, motivated guy who is energetic, academically driven, [and] who has the potential to not just reap the benefit from our house, but also contribute to our house.” He continued, “Guys who are committed and not quitters.”