Sorority Rush Week Explained

The hallway of the student center is flooded with nervous, hopeful girls brainstorming topics to talk about to woo the sorority of their choice. Inside the rooms that overlook the river, the current members of the sorority are clapping and chanting their sorority’s jingle, filled with the excitement of bringing a new generation into their sorority— welcome to Rush Week.

Rush is the process for Potential New Members (PNM’s) to see each sorority and discover which organization is the best fit for them.

Laura Stasio, Class of 2019, explains why she came out for recruitment: “I came out because I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone.  Greek life is an opportunity to expand your friend group [and] gain networking opportunities, and there are ways to get involved like taking on a subcommittee.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma members during Rush Week 2017.

“The process is basically a week-long full house. Each sorority has a room in the student center. The potential new members have a group leader from a sorority who leads them through each of the four rooms during the three nights of recruitment. The three nights are filled with different themes and activities but it gives the potential new members a chance to see what each of the sororities are like, what their philanthropies are and where they believe is the best fit,” described Rachel Tyson of Kappa Lambda Psi.

Girls are always looking for advice on what to do during the recruitment process. Tri-Sigma’s recruitment director Nicolette Dankmeyer spills what Sigma is looking for when they’re talking to potential new members. “We’re looking for girls who are happy to be there and excited for a future with us.  It’s always nice to see a girl with a smile on her face who is truly trying to connect with us by asking questions about and showing enthusiasm for our sorority.”

So, what happens after rush? The sorority talks about which girls would be a good fit for their sorority and invite them to a preference party. According to the Sorority Council Handbook, “preference parties are for the organizations to get to know you on a more personal level and in a less crowded environment.”

After the Potential New Members’ last preference party, they submit a list ranking the sororities by their preference. The sororities make a list of the girls they like and rank them on a list from 1-80, 1 being the person they want the most. A system called “Campus Director” uses a math algorithm to match the potential new members to the sorority’s ranking. Once the girls and sororities are matched, “bids” go out officially inviting the girls into the sorority.

Sigma Sigma Sigma during Rush Week 2017.

Sigma Sigma Sigma during Rush Week 2017.

“It’s a difficult process on both ends, but the point is to make new friends and develop amazing friendships with people you might never have met before. That’s what Greek life is all about,” comments Alpha Sigma Tau’s recruitment director Chloe Kaye.

Marist is unlike a lot of schools where Greek life is a big portion of social life on campus. Only about 10% of students are involved in Greek life at Marist, and this includes academic and other groups such as the band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. While there is a small percentage of Greek life on campus, they make their presence known with philanthropic events such as KLP’s “Take Back the Night,” Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Burrito Bowl Night, Alpha Sigma Tau’s Flag Football game and Sigma Sigma Sigma’s Smooch-a-Pooch event. These are only some of the examples of how sorority life is present on campus.

However, Greek life is much more than philanthropic events. The president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Melissa Annecchini, states, “[Joining a sorority] is a great way to meet new people you probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, and it’s also a good way to be involved more on campus through different events and off campus philanthropy opportunities! And, as a freshman or sophomore who doesn’t have a car, it’s the perfect opportunity to get off campus!”

Kappa Kappa Gamma during Rush Week 2017.

Kappa Kappa Gamma during Rush Week 2017.

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