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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Greek life: the Alpha to Omega

Ashlee Salamon / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Ashlee Salamon
Ashlee Salamon / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Rush week can be a grueling and intense experience for someone interested in becoming a member of a fraternity or sorority. The process is long, hard and doesn’t always pay off in the end.

Students who participate in rush are considered potential new members. Rush is the week dedicated to visiting different sororities and fraternities in hopes of finding which one fits your personality and lifestyle. Most importantly, it’s a chance to make a good impression on current members.

Rush can be a tedious process. Potential new members may have to wake up early in the morning to start scoping out sororities or fraternities in which they are interested. They may not be done until late in the evening.

At the UA, rush is during one of the hottest months of the year. It can be quite uncomfortable walking around in the Arizona sun all day while trying to make lasting impressions on members of Greek Life.

Recruitment Counselors issue each sorority potential new member a gallon-size plastic bag in which they are required to keep all of their belongings.

“”I recommend that girls bring an umbrella to shade themselves from the sun, but only if it can fit in their plastic bag,”” said a sorority woman who could not be named due to Pan-Hellenic rush rules.

The goal of rushing is to generate bids from sororities or fraternities in which a potential new member is interested. A bid is a formal invitation extended to a potential new member by a fraternity or sorority asking him or her to become a member.

There are a number of questions a student should ask him or herself before they consider rushing: Why am I truly rushing? What do I hope to get out of rushing? Do I feel that belonging to a fraternity or sorority is a good fit for me?

If your answers to these questions have anything to do with partying and alcohol, you’re in for a rude awakening.

“”Go to a house that you feel comfortable at. You should feel like you’re talking with a group of friends, not rushing,”” one sorority woman said.

Jesse Zvibleman, a pre-business sophomore who participated in fall fraternity rush last year, said, “”You want to make a good impression early on. These guys see at least a hundred guys a night and you want to be the one that sticks out to them.””

Potential new members should ignore all stereotypes they may have heard about certain fraternities and sororities and stay focused on finding a brother or sisterhood that is fitting for them.

It will be beneficial if potential new members can distinguish between reputations and stereotypes.

Another sorority woman said, “”A lot of people know older people in sororities or fraternities. People should choose houses that they want because they feel comfortable with the members, not because they know people in the house already.””

Before starting fraternity rush, potential new members should already have a few chapters in mind to check out. Greek Life at the UA is large and it’s difficult to visit every chapter on campus.

A chapter is the local campus group of a national fraternity or sorority. For formal sorority rush, each potential new member will be escorted to every chapter over a two-day period, so if you like one, make a note so you don’t forget.

A legacy is someone who has a sibling, parent or grandparent who is a member of a fraternity or sorority. You can have the

member of your family belonging to a chapter write a letter to the chapter on your behalf.

Being a legacy does not automatically grant you membership in the sorority or fraternity, but it helps chapters to remember you.

“”Being a legacy doesn’t guarantee you a spot. You definitely have to work hard to get into any fraternity,”” Zvibleman said.

Bid day is the most exciting day of rush. For sorority rush, women gather in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom and are issued envelopes that they open simultaneously.

After the envelopes are opened, they race to the chapter house that selected them.

“”It was absolute chaos. There were girls crying because they were sad and screaming because they were happy. Girls were running everywhere. There’s a moment where you just don’t know what to do. I even lost my shoes,”” a sorority woman said.

“”Being in Greek Life is a great social opportunity. Once you’re involved you have the opportunity to do stuff nightly,”” Zvibleman said.

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