The term ‘Rush Week’ may bring theatrical images of wild parties and hazing to mind for anyone who has watched Hollywood’s depictions of Greek life in the United States, but Temple’s Greek leaders say this isn’t the case with their organizations. They maintain that the stereotypical image of the Greek life Rush Week does not apply here.
The Greek organizations on our campus mostly follow their own individual schedules and rules for accepting new members into their organizations.
Delta Phi Omega is a city-wide sorority that follows a complicated rush calendar because of the variance of schedules between its participating universities. Each school has a Rush Week every month to accept new members, which in return adds constant growth to the organization.
“Rush Week is very flexible and it usually depends on how the executive board plans it for that year,” Divya Thomas, President of Delta Phi Omega, said. “It’s usually held in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. We used to wait for Drexel [University] to come back into session to start rush but we have realized that each school should start rush respective to their start date.”
Delta Phi Omega isn’t the only Greek organization playing by its own rules. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority does not participate in set rush weeks, but offers prospective members the opportunity to participate in events to mingle with the sorority sisters. They can attend campus-based programming and community service opportunities as a part of their intake process on a need-basis.
Others, like Temple’s Pan-Hellenic Association sororities, may experience some upcoming recruitment changes for the new school year.
“With the number of students coming out for sorority recruitment increasing each year, we generally begin prepping the semester prior,” Lili Zheng, Council President of the Pan-Hellenic Association, said. “[We] stay in contact with fellow executive board members and chapter presidents throughout the summer. During the spring semester, we go over the logistics concerning the expected number of girls who might be coming for recruitment.”
The Pan-Hellenic organization has a history of a demanding recruitment process where prospective members had to attend events for multiple hours a night for a week straight. Luckily for incoming members of Greek life at Temple, this will no longer impact their schedules, according to the Student Affairs Office.
“The calendar for Pan-Hellenic recruitment has changed,” Christopher Carey, Director of Student Affairs, said. “So [now] they don’t have to come out every single night.”
Despite their recruitment process, all Greek organizations can agree on one thing: the future of their organization is important, and therefore requires a planning process to ensure its sustainability. Some sororities and fraternities begin planning for recruitment as early as an entire semester or months prior to the actual time of rushing.
“In order for groups to have long term sustainability, they should really consider what their expectations are so that they can meet them and be prepared, ” Carey said.
Greek leaders said many Greek members see preparation and organization as a key to successful recruitment, yet tend to work at their own pace. Keeping an organized recruitment plan is important with such a massive amount of students at Temple and their growing interest in Greek organizations.
“We have been planning since the middle of the spring,” Interfraternity Council President Sean Casey said regarding planning for upcoming fall recruitment. “We’ve worked to successfully secure Greek representation at new student orientations, set the dates for rush and are preparing to make sure every chapter follows the rules during recruitment week.”
Other groups such as the Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. do not rush at all. Their prospective members go through a formal process of contacting their national website along with getting in contact with one of the sorority’s sisters for acceptance. They pride themselves on building strong bonds between sisters who have an interest in community service and strengthening their GPAs.
Despite operating on different schedules, each Greek organization is working towards common goals of maximizing recruitment and minimizing any preconceived notions of chaos – while still maintaining the Greek life grandeur that Hollywood has played up so well.
Mary Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org