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  #1  
Old 06-21-2007, 01:02 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Rush at Pitt Prior to NPC Crackdown!

Let me start by explaining that Pitt was dragged kicking and screaming into the standard NPC rush we now know and love. Prior to that - as in, before the mid 1980's - there was a hybrid rush that is guaranteed to shock and dismay most Panhellenically-minded people! I'll put comments from the "other side" of rush in Royal Blue.

Upperclass Rush started in mid-September, and was over by early October. Freshman Rush started two weeks later, and finished on November 30th. Total was 55, and Quota was figured by how many seniors each sorority had, allowing for much skullduggery ("but of course we had 18 senior sisters studying abroad last term!" ) So, if Quota was 10, and a chapter returned with 50 sisters, 5 of them seniors, they could take 15 pledges. If a chapter returned with 50 sisters, and 30 of them were seniors, they could take 40 pledges. Seniors taken in Upperclass Rush didn't count towards Total. Pledge Classes rarely exceeded 10.

During Freshman Orientation, a Panhel Tea was held, where freshman could indicate their interest in rushing. If you did sign up, you received a "Pitt's Greek To Me" booklet, and a Rush Counselor was assigned to you & wrote to you all summer. The booklet had the full composites of every GLO; I made grand decisions on which sororities I preferred by the number of Greek Letters in their names, and what each wore in their composite pictures! Identical outfits were blah, creative composites more desirable - but mostly Greek Letters (as opposed to Roman) trumped similar dress! Rush Counselors did not disaffiliate; many rushed their groups quite openly. My RC was from a very small and somewhat struggling (at the time) sorority, and frankly, leaned firmly on all of us to rush it.

Rush itself started with "Panhel Preview", when each sorority would have a table in the Student Union ballroom, with their composite, any recent trophies, scrapbooks and similar goodies. Usually the sisters who could talk to a brick wall were selected to man the tables, and PNMs were encouraged to sign up at each table for rush - even though each PNM was already signed up for all of the sororities to even get into Panhel Preview! All names & numbers were given to each sorority, but they usually focused on the ones who had signed up at their table.

This was followed by "Chat Dates" - somewhat similar to COR. A sister would call a PNM and set up a time & date to meet with her. They would "chat" and get to know each other - sometimes alone, sometimes at a party, sometimes with a fraternity, sometimes at a sorority table in a coffee shop called the Tuck Shop, where each GLO had a booth (these was being phased out when I rushed). Sisters had to have at least X amount of chat dates per week.

Then you received invitations to five round parties, then more chat dates, then 3 round parties, then still more chat dates, then Pref, followed by blessed silence - unless you got the dreaded phone call between 6pm-7pm. Bids were handed out the night after Pref, when PNMs stood in line and separately spoke to the Greek Advisor, to make sure she was okay with her bid. She then went directly to her new sorority home, had pledge celebration, followed by an All-Greek Mixer. Have I lost anyone yet?

At the time, there were 11 sororities at Pitt, but one was so small (5 members), it didn't participate. In no particular order, I'll call them:

Diamonds
Pearls
Sapphires
Rubies
Emeralds
Opals
Jade
Topaz
Garnets
Amethysts

I was not only a legacy to one group, but my high school boyfriend's sister had been its President, and two good friends from high school were members. I knew this chapter all too well, and loved it! I had two greataunts who were also members of a sorority, but to this day, I still don't know which one! I really should investigate that... My mother really wanted me to pledge her mother's sorority in the worst way - I had seen my grandmother's pin since I was a child. To keep me from possible disappointment, I had also been schooled to believe that anyone not in a sorority or fraternity had rushed, but didn't receive a bid. I knew I had to excel to get that precious bid!
ecam
I should also mention that I already planned to transfer after my freshman year; starting college so young, my parents didn't feel (correctly!) that I was mature enough to accept my out of state full scholarship. Many of the sororities at Pitt were also represented at W&M.

None of my high school friends were interested in rush, which simply amazed me (one was even a legacy!), so I made a lot of friends in my Rho Chi group, and through the number of parties we attended. The ones whose opinions meant the most to me were: Ann, Meg, and Lisa.

ETA: I eventually found out that my greataunts were members of the local which became Kappa Alpha Theta at PSU.
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Last edited by honeychile; 10-30-2011 at 01:11 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2007, 01:20 AM
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NutBrnHair NutBrnHair is offline
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Oooooo good...sounds like this will be good! I'm ready.
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2007, 02:07 AM
SoCalGirl SoCalGirl is offline
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What chapters were there at the time?
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2007, 02:14 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Originally Posted by SoCalGirl View Post
What chapters were there at the time?
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Epsilon Phi
Delta Delta Delta
Delta Zeta
Delta Phi Epsilon
Theta Phi Alpha
Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Sigma Delta Tau
Chi Omega
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2007, 09:20 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Originally Posted by ta kala View Post
I guess this is before KD came back. I was looking forward to one with my chapter in it.
Tri-Sigma came the next year, and KD the year afterwards.

It would be terribly hard for me to remember what I wore to what, with all the chat dates. I do know that most of what I wore was immortalized in the Preppy Handbook; my parents often teased me about "Oh, it's a Lily day" or "This day is brought to you by Bobbie Brooks" (this is when Bobbie Brooks was cool). I had platinum blonde hair (such a rebel!) cut just below my shoulders that I wore straight turned under or pulled back with a scarf. Scarves & Quianna were huge; as were Shetland pullovers with turtlenecks, or the standard wool sweater with a shirt underneath. Anyone aspiring to get a bid to a "good" sorority would not have even considered wearing either jeans or a t-shirt until after Rush - it would have been Rush Suicide! This was not told to us by our Rho Chis, it was something we all just knew.

I unknowingly had a hook - a pin that was made for me by another member of an art group I belonged to in high school. It was a huge washer, with a nut, a bolt, a screw, and a smaller washer welded onto it and gold plated. It was very dear to me, and I wore it a lot.
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Last edited by honeychile; 06-21-2007 at 09:25 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2007, 10:35 AM
AnatraAmore AnatraAmore is offline
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Yay!!! A retro thread with Theta Phi!!! And I love the pre-NPC rush craziness! (Although I can't imagine going through it!)
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2007, 11:23 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Panhel Preview was interesting in a few ways. One was that I had never seen the Student Union Ballroom (not a great picture, as the crystal chandeliers are covered)



Even though every sorority was allowed only the same number of people at the table (You had to stand at the doorway and count, as an active), it was very plain to see who were the major players - and my silly method of the summer seemed to play out. I remember wearing a pink plaid kilt/skirt & pink twin set to this, because the DZs made a comment about the pink! Guiltily, I signed up at my Rho Chi's sorority, knowing at the time that I wouldn't really be giving them a chance.

All but two of the Pitt sororities are in one dorm (Amos Hall); the other two were in a duplex just off of campus. All chapters are called "houses", whether or not they're in Amos Hall or a house.

Open Houses were that Sunday afternoon. We met our Rho Chi at the Student Union, then started on our way. I wore light blue pants & sweater, with a navy blazer, a scarf looped loosely around my neck, with my pin anchoring it.

Rubies had an actual receiving line - each PNM was greeted by the main officers (each with a corsage), and handed off to a sister to show her around the house. It was beautiful, and my rusher was upbeat but "posh". There was no mistaking that this was the rich girl's sorority!

Diamonds were next. They had a welcome song, and were peppy and down to earth! You couldn't help but laugh at the patter that was going on as you went from room to room.

On to Opals! Again, a song, followed by a cheer. Very feminine house, with very nice sisters - but I was paired with someone with whom I was a tourguide. She was a sour type, and the only thing we had in common was our jobs.

Jade were like a pep squad on speed! There were about 20 sisters who never stopped singing or cheering, and it made it hard to hear. My ever-so-bright-eyed rusher & I sat down and made puppets out of brown paper bags for Children's Hospital. I remember thinking that, if the kids weren't sick when they went in, they would be when they saw those bags!

Then we went to Emeralds, my Rho Chi's GLO. They were friendly, maybe a little over-friendly due to our Rho Chi. Guess what we did? Right - paper bag puppets for Children's Hospital. I made a dragon, but they didn't have any scissors to allow for fangs. Hmmm...

Topaz did their best to do a door song, but it came off as a cheap imitation. The rusher wore jeans & a t-shirt, and my little group (Ann, Meg, and Lisa) all raised our collective eyebrows. The conversation centered on a topic that could be a give away to the GLO. Then came out the paper bags!

The Sapphires had a very comtemporary house, and very ultra-chic in a Vogue way sisters. While they sang, it wasn't in an inviting way. All four of us mentally cut them immediately.

The Pearls had a door song, and seemed very down to earth. I could go into the discussion we had, but again, it would tip off something about this sorority. I knew it wasn't for me, but another woman in my Rho Chi group sailed through in sheer bliss.

The Garnets had sisters humming a song as you walked in, and you were paired off with a sister who showed you through the house. They were very real, admitting that they were tired from the long day, and we all giggled. This was the only house who disclosed financial obligations from the start.

The last house was the Amethysts. They had a great reputation on campus, sang and cheered at the door, then we sat down to the now dreaded paper bag puppets for Children's Hospital. I knew two of the sisters from campus activities, and thought I was being wise when I suggested, "Why don't we try to get to know each other better, rather than play with the bags?" Meg looked at me in shock, and I realized I blew it!

So, at the end of the day, it was suggested that we make a list, ranking the sororities by how we liked them. We were then told to sit back, and wait for the telephone calls for Chat Dates. I had decided that I would only accept Chat Dates from:

Diamonds
Rubies
Emeralds
Opals
Jade
Garnets
Amethyst
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  #8  
Old 06-21-2007, 11:29 AM
LegallyBrunette LegallyBrunette is offline
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Yay!

A thread with Theta Phi AND a school I'm a little bit familiar with? Amazing!
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  #9  
Old 06-21-2007, 11:31 AM
tld221 tld221 is offline
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Originally Posted by honeychile View Post
The last house was the Amethysts. They had a great reputation on campus, sang and cheered at the door, then we sat down to the now dreaded paper bag puppets for Children's Hospital. I knew two of the sisters from campus activities, and thought I was being wise when I suggested, "Why don't we try to get to know each other better, rather than play with the bags?" Meg looked at me in shock, and I realized I blew it!
hehehe i probably wouldve said the same thing - four groups doing the same philantrophy project? why??? that is really annoying and boring.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:32 PM
polarpi polarpi is offline
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Yay! I can't wait to see where you end up...
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  #11  
Old 06-21-2007, 01:33 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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So, what can be more exciting than a "date" with another woman, who's checking you out? Some of the chat dates from this "round" were:

Rubies took me to the Tuck Shop between classes almost daily. Guys from fraternities that they hung out with were always stopping by.
Garnets had group chat dates, where you sat in a sister's room as they got ready, then watched two movies. Sounds boring, but it was fun!
Diamonds also did the Tuck Shop thing, but one asked me to go shopping with her - unusual, but fun.
Jade were also big on the Tuck Shop, and on bringing people to their house for group chat dates.
Opals met me for lunch or for pizza.
Emeralds had a craft night, and also met for cokes.
The Amethysts I knew well "rushed me" from work as a tour guide.

I went on Chat Dates with two members of Topaz, but still didn't feel that they "clicked".

I was dropped by both Sapphires and the Pearls, which I had expected, and Amethysts, which I hoped wouldn't.

Without comparing notes, Ann, Meg, and Ann's roomie had the same schedule. Lisa had the same, with the exception of Opals, which was a hard drop for her.

For the next round of parties, I was invited back to:

Diamonds
Rubies
Emeralds
Opals
Jade
Garnets
Topaz

With the prodding of my Rho Chi, I dropped Topaz and Opals. I dropped Opals with regrets, and more because Ann & Meg were dropping them, too. In retrospect, I wish I had kept Opals for one more round.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:39 PM
violetpretty violetpretty is offline
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You got it, I am definitely shocked. Since there were separate upperclass and freshman recruitments, does that mean that there was a quota plus seniors for both? I understand the number of NMs a chapter may pledge, but is quota the standard # of PNMs/ # of chapters? Then you'd have quota plus how ever many more women you can take because of seniors. And since those extra spots open by the seniors would be taken by women in the same pool, it seems that it would only allow for the bigger chapters to get bigger and the smaller chapters to fall behind. And of course, I am appalled that your Rho Gammas did not disaffiliate! I can see why NPC pushed for the switch, but not so sure why it was "kicking and screaming".
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:13 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Originally Posted by JessSigKap View Post
You got it, I am definitely shocked. Since there were separate upperclass and freshman recruitments, does that mean that there was a quota plus seniors for both? I understand the number of NMs a chapter may pledge, but is quota the standard # of PNMs/ # of chapters? Then you'd have quota plus how ever many more women you can take because of seniors. And since those extra spots open by the seniors would be taken by women in the same pool, it seems that it would only allow for the bigger chapters to get bigger and the smaller chapters to fall behind. And of course, I am appalled that your Rho Gammas did not disaffiliate! I can see why NPC pushed for the switch, but not so sure why it was "kicking and screaming".
Exactly - it was the huge chapters which fought it, tooth and nail. Only when those nationals involved were threatened with expulsion from NPC (at Pitt) did they fall in line.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:31 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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The system is different, and it seems ripe for dirty rushing, but it also seems that you'd get to know people more authentically. Those activities are sort of the natural things college kids do as they are meeting and making new friends (although the idea of dropping and being dropped aren't quite so obvious). There are things about it that I like actually.
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:36 PM
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The system is different, and it seems ripe for dirty rushing, but it also seems that you'd get to know people more authentically. Those activities are sort of the natural things college kids do as they are meeting and making new friends (although the idea of dropping and being dropped aren't quite so obvious). There are things about it that I like actually.
Honestly, this is probably more in the spirit of what the founders did/wanted than today's rush. But I understand why that wouldn't work.
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