Fraternity rush week is a common experience for many new college freshmen. Knowing what to expect when you go through the recruiting process can help you make the right impression on the right fraternity brothers. Above all else, it is important to be yourself so that you can get into a house that fits well with your personality and goals.
One of the most challenging things for some prospects to do is to put aside the "Animal House" perception they have of fraternities. Sure, many fraternities do enjoy partying and social activities. However, rush week is a time for brothers to learn about you as a person. Showing respect, being personable and introducing yourself to brothers as you meet them is important. Remembering names is also important in showing genuine respect for the house and the rush process. Brothers also watch the way you interact with others to see if you will portray the right image on campus.
Show respect to fraternity members by arriving on time to all rush week activities. At most schools, the week starts with Greek mixers where all fraternity brothers and new recruits participate in a meet and greet. This event is your first chance to make a good impression. After a couple days, you can select a few houses and make additional personal visits. Again, showing up and being punctual show sincere interest. As the week progresses toward bid offers, fraternities may invite you to other formal and informal gatherings. Each gathering is a chance to show your commitment.
You may worry that too many questions could offend brothers and hurt your prospects. Actually, one of the main qualities fraternity members look for is a genuine desire for brotherhood and belonging. Asking questions about the history of the organization, its culture, values, members and activities helps convey your desire for a strong social community. If you worry that specific questions may disclose too much about your own personality and interests, you are looking at things the wrong way. The right fraternity for you is one where you mesh with the house and its members.
Being open-minded in the rush process doesn't mean you have to engage in hazing, illegal or reckless behavior. In fact, many colleges and Greek life houses have banned hazing for legal and ethical reasons. Being open-minded means not rushing to judgment or buying into one person's gossip about a fraternity or its members. Experience the fraternity for yourself. Attend events, meet as many members as possible and get many perspectives. Your involvement and willingness to participate in rush week activities, aside from those that go against your core values, helps you form a good impression.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.