The first few weeks of school can be an extremely hectic time for freshmen. In addition to necessities like learning their way around campus, becoming acquainted with college-level courses and buying books, some students must also decide where they will live during their sophomore year. Recruitment, also known as rush, for fraternities and sororities takes place within three weeks of new students’ arrival on campus. Many find the pace of these events hurried and ill-timed, which of course gives rise to the inevitable question: Why rush rush? The University and leaders in the Greek system should work together to delay rush until winter term.
Entering into the Greek system is a big commitment. Not only do students commit themselves to residences where they will live in years to come, but in large part, they select the group of people they will be associating with over the next four years. These students are not just choosing how to spend their weekends; they are selecting homes.
Many students are unfamiliar with campus affairs and are often unwilling to participate in the Greek system because they simply do not have enough information to make well tought of decisions. Since rush takes place early in the fall semester, fraternities and sororities miss out on many students who may have participated otherwise.
Some students feel pressured into entering into these commitments because of friends’ influence or because they fear missing their window of opportunity. They join hastily and regret it soon afterward. The Greek system would benefit from delaying rush at least until the winter term because students would be more equipped to make this very important decision. More students would rush if given the chance to settle into school and learn more about the programs.
One concern that arises regarding postponing rush until the winter is the effects that would have on other housing options for students who end up not joining a house. Many students worry that those who decide not to pledge would be left without any other options for the next year’s housing. If rush were moved to the winter term, however, fewer students would drop out of the process as only those students truly interested in joining a house would rush. In addition, there is housing available for the relatively small number of students in question as students can continue living in residence halls after their freshman year.
As there is really no sufficient reason to thrust freshmen into the process of rushing within the first month of school, this practice should be revised. The Greek system only stands to benefit from allowing students to settle in and become acquainted with the school and housing options, and rush is just one more issue aggravating the already hectic lives of incoming freshmen.