By Mia Konstantakos, Contributing Writer
Last week fraternities and sororities on campus held their annual Fall Rush Week. Focusing more on fraternities, Fall Rush Week plays an important role in building larger sophomore and upperclassmen membership in Greek organizations, providing sophomores, juniors, and seniors the opportunity to join fraternities or sororities.
“Membership recruitment week includes a series of events to let prospective members know that Greek Lettered Societies at F&M are open for membership,” said Stuart Umberger, interim director of fraternity and sorority life. “Recruitment is a two-way process and an exciting time for F&M students to
commit to a life-long experience.”
In contrast to the Rush Week that takes place in the Spring, Fall Rush Week is strictly for non-first years. This is because F&M does not allow first-year students to join fraternities or sororities during their first semester so they are able to get accustomed to classes and social life at the College without the pressures of joining a Greek organization; it also allows Spring Option students a fair chance to participate in Greek life at F&M.
Upperclassmen have various reasons for taking part in Fall Rush Week. Some did not rush in the Spring of their first year due to certain commitments and the stresses of adjusting to college life and decided to do so now, while others simply did not know enough about Greek life at F&M to feel compelled to join.
Throughout Fall Rush Week, fraternities were open for eligible men to take a look by participating in various events designed to foster connections between them as potential new members and fraternity brothers. By the end of the week, the individual fraternities decided on which rushes to offer bids of membership; factors include the number of people who rush and whether or not they meet certain standards upheld by specific fraternities. This semester, all fraternities at F&M were open for Rush Week.
“Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who meet the minimum criteria of the fraternities, Inter-Fraternity Council, and college partnership are welcome to participate in the process,” Umberger said.
While primarily aimed at fraternities, F&M’s sororities also participate in a limited version of Fall Rush Week. Sororities that did not meet their membership quotas in the Spring will accept certain upperclassmen as new members. Bids are offered to girls that are known to have an interest in sorority membership, though the number of bids extended is usually minimal during the Fall.
Participation in Greek life, according to many Greek leaders, can be an important part of the college experience for many students, as it offers a social outlet that provides leadership opportunities, builds values, and helps to foster personal growth among members.
“[Joining a Greek organization] gives you the opportunity to test what you believe in and test the level of commitment you’re willing to give to something that you don’t know much about,” said Jack Mahoney ’14, president of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. “It’s a leap of faith.”
First-year Mia Konstantakos is a contributing writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.