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Old 11-11-2002, 07:15 PM
adduncan adduncan is offline
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How is rush "supposed" to run?

Hi Folks--
I've met a bunch of you great people over on the "Alumni Involvement" section and I'm just cruising around to see what goes on. Since I'm hoping to be initiated as an alumna, "Rush" isn't the right term for what I'm going for. But I'd like to hear from some people about how rush works at their schools. Mine (from way way way back in the old days) was unusual, and for curiosity's sake, I'd like to get an idea of how it's "supposed" to be done.

My first Rush experience was as a sophomore at Boston University. I don't know if that contributed to my not pledging at the time but there were *many* things at the time that made rush much more stressful than it needed to be.

First, all of the GLOs had recolonized w/in the past 18 months to 2 years of my rush. Back in 1970, when then new president John Silber came on campus, he decided that as part of the plan to "clean up" BU (it wasn't a good school at the time.....) he would revoke every Greek charter, chuck them off campus, and rent out Greek Row (aka, Bay State Road) to GLOs from MIT. It was a good 15 years before GLOs were allowed back at BU, and even to this day they are considered "clubs". No houses on campus, and a limit of 70 members per chapter, including pledges and initiates.

At the time of my rush, everything Greek was just getting back up and running. Looking back, everyone was making a lot of old mistakes as well.
Things have improved since my college days but imagine the following:
1) No Rho Chis. The basic informational meeting was a barbeque and *everyone* wore their letters, before, during, and after rush.
2) 8 sororities, 2 days. And that was the basis of choosing your prefs. The girls would decorate a classroom in one of the buildings to perform their skits and talk about their group and in one day, all rushees walked from room to room for each presentation. This went on for an entire weekend. (one run-through on saturday, one on sunday.)
3) No silence period. I heard later about some very open negotiations among rushees and chapters.
4) No activities in order for girls to get to know each other in a social setting. The presentations I mentioned above were all anyone had to go on in selecting their prefs. This could *not* have been easy on the girls picking new members, either.
5) I've heard of this done differently elsewhere so I'll mention it: Everyone was allowed up to 3 pref parties. Each party lasted all of 20 minutes. Not much time to make such big decisions, for anyone. All of these parties were held in one afternoon.

At that time, I had a hard time imagining joining a group of any kind under these circumstances. It was rushed (no pun intended) and confusing and it built up the pressure beyond where it needed to be.

Fortunately, my alma mater's Greek system has re-evolved and most of the problems I mentioned above have been corrected, so that rush doesn't feel like a cattle call for anyone involved.

So, now that I've ranted a little (!) I'd like to know how did this process happen on other campuses? Part of my dream of being an alumna initiate is to help my school build up its Greek program further.

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Old 11-11-2002, 08:27 PM
FuzzieAlum FuzzieAlum is offline
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I just want to say that I'm appalled the groups' alums and nationals would allow that kind of rushing to go on (assuming they were national). Panhel has had guidelines for rush since well before the time you were rushing, and I can't believe that two years after colonization things were that messed up!
Alpha Xi Delta
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:17 PM
angelic1 angelic1 is offline
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Basically everything that went on then was wrong... I dont see how anyone could have made a choice if they knew nothing about the organizations already and it is best to go in with an open mind.

Well, at Virginia Tech we hold formal rush in the spring. Rho gammas are already in silence. After registration, each girl is assigned a rho gamma.. who takes them to each party for the first day and then helps them with where to go after that. There is a go greek night, a philanthropy night, a skit night, sisterhood, and then preference night. The parties get longer as you narrow down your choices.

This is actually a new way. We use to do it during the school week each night, but now we are just doing parties on the weekends. It will take longer but you dont loss sleep and get behind in your classes.
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Old 11-11-2002, 11:10 PM
aprilxo aprilxo is offline
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We have some sort of preview picnic where only a certain number of girls from each sorority can attend; our recruitment counselors are disaffiliated (recruitment is the weekend right before classes start--it ends out orientation week so it's not TOO bad for them). Recruitment begins on a Friday night, we have a pretty casual "Philanthropy" night were we all wear khaki shorts, a XO shirt and brown sandals, then sit around doing our philanthropy project for Make-A-Wish foundation while talking usually 'get to know you' type conversations; this party is 50 minutes long. Second night is red dress night, slightly more dressy for the PNMs, we give house tours then chat to get to know them better; it is 50 minutes as well. Pref is Sunday and that is our only invite-only party. We wear more formal black dresses and sit around talking more about XO and how the decision making is going for the girl; then we have a ceremony and the PNMs leave--this is the longest party, at 60 minutes. Then we have strict silence until Monday evening when the girls find out who they got bids from and are led by their respective sororities' recruitment counselors to their new houses, and they've all got on our shirts so we get really excited when we see them coming

That's our recruitment weekend in a nutshell--quota this past year was 17, which is larger than normal. We've only got 3 NPC sororities, total is at 65... so we don't have too large a number of girls going through recruitment on average, which is why 3 days works out just right for us

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Old 11-12-2002, 12:28 AM
adduncan adduncan is offline
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Hi FuzzieAlum

Yes, you're right, things were messed up. These were national sororities across the board. (Names omitted to protect the innocent.) Recolonization seemed to happen all at once and the school was *not* supportive. Everyone learned everything the hard way, it seemed. But like I said, the process has re-evolved and is much more consistent, the stress is reduced as much as possible and the process is much more humane, IMHO. They've come a long way at BU and if they can survive under the current administration conditions, they can thrive in anything!

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Old 11-14-2002, 01:33 PM
violets violets is offline
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What year did you Rush at Boston University? How far did you go with the process?
I'm sorry your experience was such a disappointing one...but you seem to have kept close contact with BU, you've described the many inprovements within the Greek system, which clearly indicates a fondness for the school.
As far as getting an idea of different types of recruitment experiences, any of the threads on the Rush board will provide a glimpse of how things are done in larger Greek Schools as well as the regional differences of Greek life and recruitment. As an advisor I've been able to gain immeasurable insight into the recruitment process by reading the well thought out and well written posts on this board. I encourage you to enjoy them as well!
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Old 11-14-2002, 01:46 PM
adduncan adduncan is offline
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Hi violets :-)

My rush was in 1987. I went all the way to bid distribution. I got a bid, but from a sorority I didn't feel I could get along with, so I decided not to accept. The way I look at it now, the time just wasn't right for me--sometimes you just have to look at the cosmic big-picture to make sense of things.

You're right, I am very fond of Boston U, and would like to see the Greek system there continue to grow. IMHO, it will take a LOT of good behaviour and gentle persuasion to restore the system to what it once was. Administration is only one issue--the urban campus, the political climate, etc, all pose huge challenges. But like I said, if they can survive under the current conditions, I have no doubt they will succeed.

I have been looking at the other rush threads and getting some good ideas, as well as learning from others' issues. If my quest for alum initiation is successful, I hope to have the chance to help others in the area as well.

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