What Does "Rush" Mean?

If you're in college and plan on joining a sorority or a fraternity, chances are you'll be attending a few rush events.

  • Rush week is an opportunity for Greek organizations on your campus to get to know new students outside of the classroom and interact with you in a more casual setting.
  • Generally, rush events allow potential members to learn more about the values and goals of the brotherhood or sisterhood of college students.

Fraternity Rush Events

There are different rules regarding sorority and fraternity rush events.

  • Fraternities are, for the most part, more laid back in their event requirements and fewer rules apply to rushing college men than college women.
  • For frats, rush events can range from poker nights and smokers to flag football games and barbecues.

These events can be opened to all or closed to a select group of individuals the fraternity is interested in, depending on each college's rules pertaining to Greek life. Fraternity members still get the chance to choose who they want to be a part of their national organization, just like sororities.

Sorority Rush Events

Sorority rush events are usually a little more formal and personal and utilize a different format.

  • While fraternities invite individuals they are interested in to partake in a wide variety of activities, sorority recruitment usually happens in rounds.
  • During these rounds of the recruitment process, sorority members meet potential ones through a series of conversations, skits and songs.
  • After each round, sororities weed out those who won't be a good fit and invite those who will to the next round.
  • Then by the end of rush week, the potential new members the sisters chose will receive an invite to join the sorority on bid day.

Rules When Rushing

While rushing may seem like it's all fun and games, there are rules and guidelines that each Greek organization must follow.

  • These rules are put into place by a college's Panhellenic Council, which sets recruitment restrictions.

Dirty rushing, or breaking the recruitment rules, occurs much more in sororities than it does in fraternities as there are more rules regarding sorority rushing.

  • Each Panhellenic Council sets rules regarding contacting new members, sending gifts and other violations which are specific to their college, especially hazing which is a big no-no.

Benefits of Rushing

Being a part of greek life in your college experience can be a rewarding experience that allows you to make friends that last a lifetime while participating in community service. The mixers, living in a sorority house, and added social events greek life puts on at college campuses are also a huge plus.

  • The rush process gives you the opportunity to determine which fraternity or sorority makes the most sense and is the best fit for you during your college life.
  • Going through the process will allow you to make an educated decision about the group you want to be affiliated with throughout your college career and allows current members to determine if you're a good fit for them as well. It can be a large time commitment but is well worth it in the end.

Final Tips

  • When rushing, always be yourself!
  • Show each Fraternity/Sorority the best version of you.
  • Remove all photos or videos of yourself smoking or drinking on social media when rushing in greek life, for most organizations this is against the rules.

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