The beginning of the fall semester means football season and the start of classes, but for many students at the University, it means something else.
Endless singing on Hill Street and flocks of students wearing the same T-shirt can only mean one thing: It’s time for rush.
The Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council, the University’s two largest Greek councils, started their recruitment, commonly known as rush, this week. While in the past rush for the two councils has always taken place during the fall semester, Alex Carrick, IFC recruitment vice president, said this year’s rush schedule is earlier than normal due to the Jewish High Holidays and the football game home schedule.
He added that there hasn’t been too much pressure to move rush to later in the year.
“There have even been studies done here at U of M that show that rushing first semester does not negatively affect academics,” he said. “Most chapters want new members by the first week of October, and trying to push it later would interfere with new member education.”
Stephenie Lazarus, Panhel’s vice president of public relations, wrote in an e-mail that although some universities hold recruitment during the winter semester, Michigan Panhel likes to have recruitment in the fall so new members won’t be biased by common stereotypes about each chapter.
“It allows women to remain impartial about chapters during recruitment,” she wrote in the e-mail.
Lazarus wrote that she was initially concerned that the economic crisis would negatively affect rush, but with two new sororities — Alpha Epsilon Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha — she anticipates recruitment will be successful.
“Currently, we have more potential new members registered to take part in formal recruitment than we did at this time last year,” she wrote.
Although recruitment started during the first school week, IFC president Ari Parritz wrote in an e-mail that he feels that rush will be even stronger this year than it has been in the past.
“IFC will award eight $1,000 scholarships to new members this year and we have encouraged our chapters to act similarly in defraying the costs of joining the Greek community,” he wrote. “We held an extremely successful recruitment training event last week and we intend to capitalize on our chapters’ energy and enthusiasm for fall recruitment.”
While IFC and Panhel each hold a council-wide recruitment, the other two Greek councils on campus — the Multicultural Greek Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council — handle the process differently.
Carmen Loo, MGC vice president, wrote in an e-mail that instead of holding a mass recruitment meeting and having all the potential recruits rush together, each individual MGC organization takes charge of their own recruitment process.
“The organizations create their own schedules in which they put on various events for rushees to come and get to know more about their specific organization and members,” she wrote. “These events range from socials, workshops, food-incorporated get-togethers, mixers, sports events, informational meetings, etc.”
She said the groups hold separate events so that recruits can get a sense of the 19 house’s individual character.
The recruitment process for most MGC organizations starts during the first two weeks of school, with the process length ranging from two weeks to around a month, depending on the organization.
“MGC will look over each organization’s events, making sure things are appropriate and everything runs smoothly, but it is essentially each individual chapter’s job to recruit for itself and organize its own rush process,” she wrote.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council’s rush process works similarly to that of MGC.
David Middleton, National Pan-Hellenic Council vice president, said that each organization has its own informational meetings, but there is also an Open House in October.
Middleton said the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s recruitment process starts later in the year because each chapter schedules rush in conjunction with their national chapter.