Rush brings a bag of such mixed emotions. On one hand, I get the opportunity to recruit the future of my beloved fraternity. On the other, I am required to indulge in hours of repetitive, monotonous conversation with kids who seem as if they’ll drop dead of nerve failure at any second.
Rush doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Too many potential new members (PNMs) fail to realize that the smallest bit of effort stands out. In a sea of goobers and try-hards, being the normal guy who can hold a decent conversation means more to us than you can grasp at the time.
It’s important to remember that we’re not sororities. There is a reason most fraternity rushes are shorter and less complex than their sorority equivalents. We simply don’t care as much. Now, don’t take that to mean that we are purposely wrecking the future of our chapters, because that is completely false. Guys are easier to understand, and odds are, we can tell if we want you or not after a just a few short interactions. We may not hit the bull’s-eye on every PNM, but our percentages are pretty solid.
Frankly, I don’t want to see you wearing a specific outfit each round of rush, nor do I want to sing you a song about my fraternity. I only want to get to know you as thoroughly as I possibly can in the small amount of time allotted. It’s what makes fraternity rush so simple, yet so many kids still fail to understand the one key of rush: be yourself.
It’s one of those fraternity clichés that I honestly hate even typing, but there is no better way to express it. It’s a fundamental key, and the ONE thing you must get right as you attempt to choose your home for the next four, five, six, seven, or possibly even eight years. (Shoutout to the eighth-year seniors. Idiots.)
With all that said, I’ve compiled a short yet informative list of tips for PNMs going through formal rush. This list includes the basics, but it covers everything you need to know in order to have a successful rush, too. Enjoy, you heathens.
- Don’t dress like an idiot. There are two types of idiots: those who overdress and those who underdress. I do not want to see you wearing a sports coat and a bow tie just as much as I do not want to watch you walk into my house sporting your finest white undershirt with some killer Walmart gym shorts. I recommend sticking to the classics: a polo shirt and khaki shorts. It’s easy and it looks good. We notice it, too.
- Find a brother and talk to him. This seems so simple, yet you’d be amazed at how many PNMs stand in the doorway waiting for a brother to go out of his way to converse with them. We WANT to talk to you. It kills time, and, who knows, we may find a potential bid.Whether you are too nervous to start a conversation or too cocky to approach us, it’s killing your chances of finding a home. Never be afraid to approach any free brother and ask him questions. Trust me, if you can give us a semi-respectable conversation, we’ll most likely invite you back for the next round. As I said earlier, most rush classes are not filled with orators.
- Avoid discussing polarizing topics. Where I’m from, social protocol states that you are to never start a conversation with a stranger with divisive and polarizing topics. If I met you on the streets and immediately began criticizing the president, you’d be taken aback by my boldness, regardless of your agreement or disagreement with my opinion. The same goes for rush. Topics such as politics, religion, racial issues, and anything else that could cause friction should be avoided.
- Don’t be drunk. This is another one of those tips that I wish I didn’t have to give. DO NOT pregame formal rush. Very, very few of you can hold your alcohol as well as you think you can. It doesn’t impress us that you’re secretly drunk for a sober function, nor does it give us any incentive to invite you back for the next round. It’s just an awful idea.
- Don’t mindlessly follow friends. People change from high school to college. Just because a kid you knew fairly well in high school wants to go to a certain fraternity, it does not mean that fraternity is a great fit for you, too. Remember, you’re choosing your home for the rest of your college career. It’s not a decision you should make lightly.
- Feel free to ask us about stuff other than partying. I love bragging about our social calendar for the upcoming semester–it’s full of a ton of fun parties and events, and it’s one of the strongest on campus. However, I have probably been asked about it 15 times before you even stepped into the house. I’m more than happy to answer your questions about the partying side of fraternities, but there are plenty of other aspects that I’d love to discuss, too. Besides, it shows me you may actually have an interest in academics or service, and most likely you won’t be the pledge who flunks out his first semester.
- DO NOT BEG FOR A BID. Nothing aggravates me more than a kid blatantly begging for a bid. Not only is it a huge red flag, but 90 percent of the time, this kid will be a PNM I’ve known for all of 10 minutes. We aren’t going to lead you on. If we’re interested, you’ll know. It serves us no purpose to continuously invite a kid back who we know we’re not giving a bid to. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, and it’s a cruel move in general. If you can convince me that you’re a normal guy who is genuinely interested in our chapter, you will have nothing to worry about. My rush chair will hear your name in a positive light.
- Don’t lie to us. When you registered for formal rush, you most likely filled out a long form with every bit of personal information IFC could squeeze out of you. Guess where that information is sent? Yep, to the individual chapters. I already have every bit of personal information on you that I could possibly want. If you want to lie to us about your high school activities or GPA, go ahead. We already have that information from IFC. If you’re going to lie, hopefully you lied in your registration, too. But either way, we’ll find out.
- Don’t act like you’re already in. Don’t refer to us as your brothers, or anything along those lines. You haven’t even received a bid yet, much less been initiated. While it’s not the biggest problem I face during rush, it’s one that happens every year and really makes me think twice about a kid.
- Please just be yourself. It all boils down to this. It is said repeatedly, yet many PNMs fail to understand that it is the one way to have guaranteed success during rush. Do not try to be someone you’re not. The only way to find the right home for you is to go through rush with an open mind. Temporarily molding yourself into someone you’re not will always end disastrously. In the end, it’s best for everyone if you put your true self on display. Be proud of who you are.
I wish all you goobers the best of luck during the many upcoming rushes across the country. I hope all of you find the perfect home and are able to enjoy Greek life to the fullest.