Mukhi: Navigating fraternity rush

I didn’t plan on rushing for a fraternity when I came to college. However, I attended fraternity rush events during my first semester. The allure of free food was too great, and as I spent time talking to brothers, I found that I was interested in rushing.

I remember being overwhelmed with the overlapping and uncoordinated schedules of the different fraternities. I remember lamenting my inability to get a feeling for all the fraternities and meet as many active members as possible.

At the time, I felt that an analogue to the sorority system, where prospective pledges have a “Rho Chi,” (a temporarily disaffiliated member of a sorority to act as a guide) would be more effective. Having a guide, someone who went through the rush experience before me, would have helped me navigate the sometimes confusing world.

In the end, I rushed for and joined Phi Kappa Tau, and I’m extremely happy to be a brother in the fraternity. I guess the chaos of fraternity recruitment did its job and helped me find a fraternity with people I liked.

However, as I learned more about rushing for sororities, I was thankful that when I rushed, I didn’t have to follow a dress code or be, as one of my friends put it, “forced to socialize for hours on end.” Recruitment for sororities seems to be a gauntlet of socializing, enthusiasm and stress.

Whatever others’ experiences are, I’ve had a positive experience as part of Case Western Reserve University’s Greek Life. It sounds cliché, but I believe that rushes for both fraternities and sororities have their merits. I’d propose a blend of the two for recruitment purposes for both fraternities and sororities.

From my perspective, the formalized structure of sorority recruitment is appealing for the same reasons it can also seem stifling. During a sign-up period of sorts, potential new members (PNMs) should be able to declare interest in Greek Life and then have the opportunity to meet members from each fraternity or sorority, respectively, over the course of a week.

In so doing, people interested in Greek Life could hone in on the specific organizations they are interested in. This would be a time-intensive process, which would definitely be a lot of stress for people who may be less social but are still interested in rushing.

The payoff, however, would come during the second week. Before the second week of rush, invites to additional events could go out to interested PNMs for events so that each fraternity or sorority could get to know the PNMs better. This would allow for the same exploration that the fraternity recruitment process provides while still taking into account a more formal structure like sorority recruitment.

Ideally, this would help interested students find their “perfect” organization, or a Greek organization that they can feel a part of. The feeling of belonging to a greater organization that Greek Life provides and the opportunities (social, academic and post-university) are fantastic, and I feel that interested students ought to have the ability to experience all the potential organizations they could join.

Zubair Mukhi is a first-year student who is Case Western Reserve University’s most recent computer science major. He writes opinion pieces bi-weekly and is hopefully sleeping. He rushed Phi Kappa Tau last semester and is happy about it. He likes very specific shades of blue.