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  #1  
Old 11-07-2008, 11:32 AM
wildcat95 wildcat95 is offline
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Smells Like An Early '90s Retro Rush

Just as hair bands were giving way to grunge, I went through Rush at a large Midwestern University, we’ll call it, MWU. Rush was fairly competitive at my campus. I was not very familiar with Greek life. None of my close family had been Greek, just a few distant relatives and family friends, so I really knew nothing. I wasn’t really planning to rush, but my mom, who had always wanted to go to college, but couldn’t afford it growing up, thought it would be a great way to meet people prior to school starting as rush took place the week before school started. So that’s the attitude I took: great if it works out, but if nothing else, I’ll meet some people. My older sister had two friends (OSF#1 and #2) who were in houses at MWU. They both were great about answering my questions. OSF #1 was very panhellenic about the whole thing, saying the best house is the one where I felt I could be myself. OSF #2 was a little more specific about telling me that one of the houses was facing closure and I might want to avoid that, but didn’t name names. They put me in touch with my hometown alumnae panhellenic, which took care of recs for me, and who hosted a great rush workshop. Although I was armed with a bit of info, I still went into not sure if this was really for me.

At the time I rushed, there were 12 houses at MWU:

Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Xi Delta
Chi Omega
Delta Delta Delta
Gamma Phi Beta
Kappa Alpha Theta
Kappa Delta
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Pi Beta Phi
Sigma Kappa
Sigma Sigma Sigma


I’ll name them after the 12 months of the year in the order that I visited them in the first round.

I knew only one other person from home going through rush, a friend of mine named Erin. When my parents dropped me off at MWU for rush, I was assigned a dorm room and roommate specifically for rush. I’d move into my actual room and meet my real roommates after rush. My rush roommate, Joanie, had an older sister who was an active member of October, so she knew much more than I did. My rush counselor was nice, we met our rush group, we had an orientation, and that evening it was on with the show.
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2008, 11:52 AM
srmom srmom is offline
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Yay!! Another story! I love to kill time at work! Woohoo!
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2008, 12:48 PM
PiPhiERDoc PiPhiERDoc is offline
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Yay! Another story from my era!
Can't wait to read your story (i.e. a plea not to drag it out over days and days...the suspense kills me)
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:39 PM
lawgal lawgal is offline
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How lucky that you had a hometown alumnae panhellenic. They seem so scarce in the midwest. (Susan314- here's hoping the Toledo Alumnae Panhellenic is doing well.)
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:54 PM
AlwaysSAI AlwaysSAI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawgal View Post
(Susan314- here's hoping the Toledo Alumnae Panhellenic is doing well.)
I haven't seen her on here in ages. I hope SHE's doing well!
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2008, 02:51 PM
wildcat95 wildcat95 is offline
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Days One and Two –Open House

Open house was broken up into two days. We visited 4 houses the first evening and then the rest the next day. It was full frills rush, so matching outfits, great food, lots of yard art, the whole shebang. I was not a particularly girly girl, so this all surprised me a great deal. I had a small notebook with me to keep notes, but I really could hardly tell the difference between a Sigma and an Epsilon at this point.

January: The first house I visited. We stood outside, and I was a bit freaked out when they came out and matching outfits singing at the top of their lungs. I made a mental note that this was not the place for me if that’s the kind of things they did. I was led into the house, which had undergone a major addition and renovation the year before. Seeing how nice it was made me think maybe I could handle the matching outfits and singing after all. The first girl I spoke with was nice, but quiet. The second a bit more outgoing. I was still wierded out by the matching outfits. I wrote down “too girly” in my notebook after I left.

February: It took me about 10 seconds after arriving at February to realize everyone must dress in matching outfits and sing loudly. I was also amazed that although my older sister’s friends had a done a good job about not giving me the stereotypes of houses, that in the few hours I had been at MWU, I already knew them based on the other rushees’ comments. The Februaries were known as the party girls. And as they came out, they did look like they were having a good time. I had great conversations. Maybe I wasn’t a party girl, but maybe I could learn to be; I liked them.

March: This was the house that, despite being one of the older chapters at MWU, was facing low numbers and possible closure. I was wary going in. Their house was beautiful, extremely cozy and looked like a real family’s house. Even though we were paired up two rushees to one rusher, I liked that and it took off some of the pressure. I liked the Marches I talked to. I couldn’t understand why they were struggling.

April: April was my last house of the first night. I had heard really nothing about them from the other rushees. They flew under the radar. Their chapter house was the newest on campus, and really bright and modern. But the conversations with the two people I talked to were just awkward and difficult. Maybe I was just tired, but I was happy when the party was over.

May: I started off the next day at May. May was the newest chapter at MWU. They had colonized the previous year. They did not have a house yet and rushed in one of the fraternity houses. Being the 18-year-old that I was, I really didn’t want to be in May. I wanted to have a home at college, not a meeting room in the student union. I made a mental note that I would cut them if I had the chance (I realize now how immature this attitude was.).

June: I was happy to see that the next house, June, was an actual house. One of the first people I saw after being led in was a girl who had been in my older sister’s high school class but had moved away before she graduated, and her mom had been my grade school principal. I asked my rusher if that was Karen, and she said yes, and motioned her over. Not only was Karen the person I thought she was, but she was the June president. She remembered me, and she, the rusher, and I had a great talk. I had always looked up to Karen and her mom, so I was excited about June.

July: July was THE house at MWU, according to the other rushees. There was a girl in my rush group whose mother and grandmother were Julys. She was basically told don’t come home unless you are a July. The whole group was exited to finally get to July. Almost as soon as I walked in, I felt uncomfortable. My rushers were perfectly put together, but the conversation never got beyond the basics. I didn’t think I’d fit in at July.

August: This was the house of OSF#1, although she was not at rush due to an internship. I also recognized two other girls from my high school in the skit. Both of the rushers I had talked a lot about the fact that the Augusts had been intramural champions for practically forever. They each asked me what sports I was into. I told them I couldn’t even run out to the mailbox. I wasn’t sure if I would fit in the athletic house, but I did have nice time.

September: September was one of the oldest sororities on campus, and many women I had greatly admired from my hometown had been Septembers at MWU, two favorite teachers, one of my parents’ best friends, and a woman I babysat for. I was excited to see the place where they all had lived. The Septembers didn’t disappoint. They were all very sweet, and really made me feel at home.

October: This was the house of my rush roommie’s sister. They had the reputation of being the prettiest girls on campus. And they were. It seemed as if each one was more beautiful than the next. Joanie was every excited to get to her sister’s house. But besides being beautiful, I found the Octobers were great conversationalists too. I told Joanie how much I had enjoyed October when we left.

November: This was the house of OSF#2. It had also been the home of one of my great aunts, who had been a November in the 1930s. The house was beautiful. And from what I heard from the other rushees, it was right up there with July as one of the top houses. The Novembers seemed very laid back and welcoming. As I left November, having had a great time, I saw OSF #2 standing on the stairs smiling at me.

December: This was the house, based on the rush brochure, that I was the most excited to see. It looked like what I thought a sorority house should look like – a big Tudor with Ivy on the outside walls. I had comfortable conversations at December. It was a great way to end the first round.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2008, 03:20 PM
lovespink88 lovespink88 is offline
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can't wait to read more!!
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2008, 04:07 PM
AXi1257 AXi1257 is offline
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Yay- midwest and in the '90's!! Can't wait for more... I second the don't drag it out 'cuz I need to get away from the computer sometime!
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2008, 04:11 PM
drgnlady drgnlady is offline
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I would have pledged you just for the "I can't run out to the mailbox" comment.
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:03 PM
wildcat95 wildcat95 is offline
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Doesn't everyone say to just be yourself? And myself is not an athlete!
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:15 PM
wildcat95 wildcat95 is offline
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Day Three-House Tours

We did not get to rank the houses, we were simply given a list of invites, and we could attend a maximum of 8. I really had no idea what to expect, but I was starting to lose my notion that if it didn’t work out it was OK; I was a nervous as everyone else.

I opened my invites to find……




I was cut by July and August. July was no surprise, but August was a disappointment.

I had to cut two and decided to cut April and May.

One thing that my sister’s friends had said was find the place you’d really be comfortable just being yourself, and so I tried to keep that in mind as I went about the day.

December: I started off where I had ended the previous day. And I was ready to see what the houses looked like beyond the living room. December was old, but absolutely charming inside. It was there that I learned of the existence of sleeping dorms. I didn’t think I could ever get used to that. The party started off great, and then the first rusher asked what I was doing over Labor Day weekend. I mentioned that I was going to a Garth Brooks concert. At the time he was hugely popular. I wasn’t even a country music fan, but my brother had free tickets. All the rusher could then talk about was Garth. I think she had decided I was her rush crush right then because I had Garth tickets. I was so relieved when the next rusher came, only rusher #1 immediately told her about my tickets, and then it was Garth all over again with rusher #2. I wrote two words in my notes afterward: Garth Brooks.

November: They had an adorable Disney theme; they were all in polka dots like Minnie. Once again I was impressed with how easy going and natural the Novembers were. The house was even more gorgeous as I got to see more. I learned that sleeping dorms were apparently the norm. OSF#2 stopped to talk to me, and ask me how I was doing, and it was so nice to see a friendly face. I was having such a good time, I was sad when the party was over.

October: Once again, the Octobers’ combination of beauty and sweetness just blew me away. I was in awe of them. Joanie’s sister picked me up from outside, and I did most of my tour with her. She was great. I could see why Joanie wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps. The house itself was physically smaller than many of the others, but I thought that added to its coziness. I really liked October.

September: As with the day before, the Septembers were sweet. Each one I talked to seemed kinder than the one before. The house itself was nice, if a bit of a confusing layout. But I realized that I felt like I was at my grandmother’s house. I had the feeling that if I told a dirty joke, it would not go over well. I didn’t think I could be that sweet for four whole years.

June: Back to June, and I was picked up by a girl I had a great conversation with, and then when the bump came, it was Karen, the president and girl I knew from home. She said she was happy to see me back and how because her parents moved around so much when she was growing up, that June was truly home to her. I knew that’s what I was looking for at college, a true home, so June was high on my list.

January: January’s tours were like no other, you walked around with your rusher, but you also had a tour guide that lead the group around. It was nice to get to interact with several rushers and rushees as well. I was happy to see they did not have sleeping dorms. But they also did not have phones in their rooms, but rather phones throughout the house and an intercom system (this was before the days of cell phones!). I wasn’t too thrilled about that. During the tour, I made some sarcastic remark about something, and my rusher laughed and the tour guide laughed. I really felt like January was a place I could be myself.

February: I had had a lot of fun at February the day before and once again, the Februaries looked like they just really enjoyed each other’s company a great deal. I was surprised to see the older sister of a high school classmate of mine among the actives, and she came and talked for a bit. I wrote three words in my notes after February: Fun, fun, fun.

March: It had been a long day when I arrived at March. They too had a Disney theme, and this drew direct comparisons to November’s party. It was easy to see what a difference having smaller numbers really made. The girls I talked to were nice, the house was beautiful, and due to the small numbers, you even only had 2 girls to a bedroom. I felt bad for the Marches, but I just felt I wanted a place where it wouldn’t be a struggle to keep up with the other houses.

We would receive our invites in the morning, but in my head I had formed a triage of sorts:

Houses I loved: January, November, October
Houses I liked: June, February, September
Houses I liked the least: December, March

After arriving back at the dorm, I went to check on my friend Erin from home, and found out that she had only been invited two houses that day, September and March. She was devastated, but decided to wait until morning to see what to do.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:31 PM
PiPhiERDoc PiPhiERDoc is offline
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Great story - and I love the code names, I can actually keep them straight!
Please keep going!!!
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:43 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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yes. please keep going.
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2008, 01:26 PM
wildcat95 wildcat95 is offline
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Day Four-Skit Day

The next day at 8 a.m., I stared at my invites in disbelief:



I had been invited back to all 8!!


Erin came up and told me she had only been invited to March and was dropping out. It was also a sad day for Joanie. She had not been invited back to her sister’s house, October. She was hysterical. She called her mother in tears. Our parties did not start until after lunch that day. It was going to be a long morning for her. But around 11, our rush counselor came to find her. Joanie’s mother had called her sister, her sister looked into it, and it had indeed been a mistake. Joanie was going back to October after all.

I needed to cut 3. I decided to cut March, December and September. Although it’s funny, I would later have several December and September friends and would have probably fit in at either place. As for March, they indeed closed the following year. They remained closed for five years, and then reopened. They have been going strong again for nearly a decade.

October: Once again I was mesmerized by the Octobers. I suppose there was a part of me that felt if they keep inviting me back, they must think I am pretty too, which was a bit of an ego boost. Their skit was fun, and I had great conversations. I felt like a princess at October.

June: After skit day, I could really see why Karen had said June had really been a home for her. You could absolutely tell the tight sisterhood the Junes had. There was no real stereotype I had heard about the Junes. I could easily see myself fitting in at June.

November: The Novembers lived up to their reputation as a top house with skit day. It was a Grease theme. All of those not in the skit were in poodle skirts, and for the refreshments it was root beer floats. It was magical. OSF#2 told me how happy she was to have me there. They were just so cool. Everyone wanted to be a November, and I did too.

January: The girl who picked me up at January looked a lot like me, and we laughed about it. And from then on we had a fantastic time. Their skit was based on a Broadway show and it was amazing. It was by far the best skit I had seen. The Januaries were known as the scholarly house, and I liked the idea of that. I had the best conversations that I had had all day. As the party ended, I was hit with the feeling that January was where I belonged.

February: Once again it was fun, fun, fun at February. They just all seemed liked they loved it. That day I was paired up with the girl I knew from home. After the skit was done, she took me over to talk to the president and one of their VPs. And then I had an experience that would easily qualify for the Weird Rush Stories thread. For graduation my parents had given me a ring with a gemstone in it that happened to be the same color as MWU’s color. I got several comments on it throughout rush. While sitting with the Pres and VP, the VP asked me if she could try my ring on. I said sure and gave it to her. We keep talking and I was feeling great about February. Then it is announced that the party was ending. I asked the VP for my ring back. She smiled, said nope, and started walking away. I stood up and went after her and again politely ask for my ring back. She turned to me and said in a nasty tone, “sisters share everything” and slammed it into my hand. I didn’t know what to say. I loved the Februaries, and I felt like I had just blown my chances because I wanted my ring back. I left February nearly crying.

That night our rush counselor took us out on a hill overlooking the city just for a chance to clear our thoughts. I was at the point where I felt I would really be OK with any of the five I had left. My favorites were January, then November, but I knew somewhere in the five I could find a home at MWU.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2008, 01:39 PM
BabyPiNK_FL BabyPiNK_FL is offline
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Originally Posted by wildcat95 View Post

February: For graduation my parents had given me a ring with a gemstone in it that happened to be the same color as MWU’s color. I got several comments on it throughout rush. While sitting with the Pres and VP, the VP asked me if she could try my ring on. I said sure and gave it to her. We keep talking and I was feeling great about February. Then it is announced that the party was ending. I asked the VP for my ring back. She smiled, said nope, and started walking away. I stood up and went after her and again politely ask for my ring back. She turned to me and said in a nasty tone, “sisters share everything” and slammed it into my hand. I didn’t know what to say. I loved the Februaries, and I felt like I had just blown my chances because I wanted my ring back. I left February nearly crying.
Wow! Just wow! Theft in exchange for sisterhood? PASS!
What were they thinking? Were they intentionally trying to make you not want to come back? What a loony!
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