Rushing headlong into the new school year, fraternities and sororities at SVSU sought to recruit new members last week with engaging Rush Week activities.
Rush Week is a biannual series of events that give fraternities and sororities a chance to attract new members by hosting events that are both fun and informative.
“The most successful events are those that are unique, interesting, fun and accessible to students,” senior Shane McClure said.
McClure leads the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at SVSU, which oversees the four social fraternities on campus. He is also a brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE).
Fraternities sought out new members by putting on events throughout the week where interested students could meet the current members, have a good time and learn about all that Greek life has to offer.
TKE alternated fun and informative events by progressing through Rush Week with an informational meeting on Monday, a slip-and-slide in the President’s Courtyard on Tuesday, a second informational meeting on Wednesday and, finally, a picnic on Thursday.
“As for the turnout, we were super excited with the numbers we got,” said Chris Conrad, a fourth-year member of TKE. “Some of the best we’ve seen in a while and we’re thankful for that. It was great to get our name out on campus as well as build a stronger network.”
Sigma Pi similarly began rush week with an informational meeting on Monday, followed by dodgeball on Tuesday, a barbecue and sorority mixer on Wednesday and bowling on Thursday.
Alpha Kappa Lambda hosted more events than the other fraternities, beginning with bubble soccer on Sunday, a general meeting on Monday, a “Bro Night” on Tuesday, an informational meeting on both Wednesday and Thursday and a barbecue on Friday.
Phi Kappa Tau took the opposite approach, beginning the week with fun and ending with information. They hosted beach volleyball with a sorority on Monday, video games on Tuesday, giant Jenga on Wednesday and IFC info night on Thursday.
“Personally, I love the connection I immediately formed with the guys I met,” said Jarrett Dancer, a freshman who attended the giant Jenga event. “They allowed me to come in and be myself,without worrying about having to make them like me. They now even message me when they have plans and invite me to go and hang with them, which is amazing. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet them.”
Although Dancer does not intend to join a fraternity, he still enjoyed the event and made valuable connections, he said.
The IFC info night, an informational meeting for all four fraternities, was held on Sept. 14. The meeting was hosted by the IFC and allowed interested students to come learn about the benefits of Greek life.
Although some of the fraternities did their own info sessions as well, the IFC info night was an open forum. Attendees were rotated from room to room with each fraternity to get more information and compare what each fraternity has to offer.
Both Sigma Pi and Phi Kappa Tau had “sorority mixers” during which a sorority and the fraternity hosted an event jointly, allowing for interaction between groups.
The sororities took a slightly different approach to recruitment. The process began with several different orientation meetings for information on the sororities. Attending an orientation was mandatory for participating in the recruiting process. Those meetings took place on Sept. 6, 7, and 14 in the Alumni Lounge.
Then, over the weekend, two recruitment rounds took place. Friday, perspective sisters were given the opportunity to learn more information about the sororities they were interested in and meet the chapter’s members.
Saturday’s recruitment round focused more on philanthropy and was culminated by a preference party, in which perspective members were able to spend time with the sorority they were most interested in. They were also shown some of the sorority’s rituals.
Throughout the process, perspective sorority sisters were able to interact with several Rho Gammas, who serve as unbiased sources for the women going through recruitment. The Rho Gammas didn’t reveal their organization until bids were released.
The culmination of sorority Rush Week took place yesterday with Bid Day at 1:30 p.m. at the SVSU Bell Tower. Hopeful students and returning members dressed up and celebrated the end of the week. There, bids were given out to new sorority members, which was an exciting time for both new and returning sisters.
“Sorority life has made a significant impact on my college career and has opened up countless doors for me,” said Sandy Haddad, College Panhellenic Council president and fraternity and sorority life coordinator. “Looking at a group of 100-plus women makes me excited to see their potential and growth and how this will shape their SVSU experience.”
Out of the 135 women who attended orientation meetings, 52 bids were given.
“Fraternity and sorority Rush Week is very much a competition between all groups to impress students,” McClure said. “Each group decides its own events and how they are executed. The participation of brothers and sisters as well as other friends has brought in class after class of men and women who are committed to improving their collegiate experience, as well as themselves.”