Sophomore year rush is justified

Molly Brown

Writer

We all know Greek life is a huge part of campus life here at the University, and many students make the choice to go through rush in the fall of sophomore year.  On other campuses, it is much more common to go through rush during the first or second semesters of your first year. While some students are frustrated by the wait to join a fraternity or a sorority, I feel the delay allows prospective members of the Greek system to explore other organizations and social groups here on campus.

Joining a fraternity or sorority automatically makes an individual part of a social group that incorporates both community service and social activities. There’s an entire selection of people for you to hang out with, study with, go get meals with, etc. This is a great thing, really, but by not rushing their first year, students get to make their own friendships and join clubs or organizations. They can branch out without a greater agenda of a sorority or a fraternity governing their choices. Because students have gone through an entire academic year before rushing, by the end of that year they have a host of diverse friends, some of whom may rush and some of whom who might not. Thus, once a student is involved with a Greek organization, he or she still has friends outside the organization, allowing him or her to maintain a varied social life. Also, because students have already discovered their personal interests in terms of activities, it means greater diversity within an individual sorority or fraternity chapter. There might be athletes, musicians, actors, artists, engineers, scientists, writers—the list is endless. By having members with such a diverse range of talents and interests, the sorority or fraternity chapter also branches out as members support one another in their endeavors.

Another benefit is the opportunity for first-years to get some solid footing during their first year on campus. Orientation and the transition from high school to college are already daunting enough. Can you imagine going through rush on top of the orientation schedule and your first week of college classes? If rush were during a student’s first year, many first-years might feel overwhelmed by everything, which might cause all their various commitments to suffer if they are spread too thin, both academically and socially.  This is not to suggest that academics are not crucial to Greek organizations—in fact, there is a minimum GPA requirement that must be met if an individual wishes to join and/or remain a part of the chapter—but rather an observation on the already-crazy whirlwind those first few weeks of University life and the fact that going through rush at that time might not be the most prudent.

All in all, I believe that the University’s “wait” to rush is beneficial to students because it forces them to develop lives outside of a sorority or fraternity, or even decide if rushing is right for them, before they worry about making a commitment to an organization. Patience is a virtue and students will enjoy being involved in Greek life more if they have had to wait and look forward to its opportunities.

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