Animal House. Old School. Neighbors.
These are some of those well-loved comedies that you never get tired of watching. You and your friends may even quote scenes from these movies word-for-word in normal conversation.
These films have hilarious, often ridiculous storylines that revolve around fraternities, and it’s no wonder the movies are so popular. There are more than 9 million members of Greek organizations across the country, with huge volumes of young men and women joining the community every year.
If you’re thinking about rushing a fraternity at your school, you may be feeling overwhelmed or anxious. We know that frat rush can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you have no idea want to expect.
Don’t stress! We’ve got some simple tips to help you survive rush, so you can move on to making some of the best friends and memories of your college career.
Explore Your Options for Rushing a Fraternity
Even if your dad, uncle, and older brothers are members of one fraternity, you should check out all the fraternities at your school. Most schools organize a Greek Night or Rush Day. Potential members can walk around and meet brothers from each fraternity to try to get a feel for how each one differs from the next.
You won’t really get to know the brothers you talk to at this event. It’s likely to be so packed and busy that you’ll only have a chance for a few minutes of small talk. Introduce yourself to everyone you speak with, and be sure to remember their names for the next time you meet.
All the frats will have information about their own rush week events. Keep their flyers so you can create your own calendar for the rush week. After or during the event, takes notes on your phone so you can remember who you met from which fraternity, and any information that made you favor or dislike a specific frat.
This can be a tiring and overwhelming day. It can be helpful to attend with a friend or two. You can rehash the event together after and help each other remember people’s names and share your opinions on the different frats.
Register with the IFC
At this point, you’re probably committed to rushing a frat. Find your school’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) website so you can officially register to participate in Rush Week.
You’ll provide your basic information and learn more about your eligibility to rush. For example, most IFCs require a GPA of at least 2.7 – though this obviously isn’t applicable to incoming freshmen.
The IFC’s purpose is to help advance the fraternity community. It serves as the governing body of the fraternities. Once you become a fraternity member, you can join the IFC as a representative or officer.
Attend Rush Events
Every fraternity will host a handful of rush events for rushees to attend. These events are optional but extremely beneficial. An info session, pizza and poker night, or party provide the perfect opportunity to get quality face time with brothers and get to know the organization better.
Of course, you want to stand out as an individual at these events, though it’s still important to show the brothers how you can fit in with the group. Try to dress in a similar style as the brothers, and make a point to smile, laugh, and generally show your sociability and openness.
You can expect to be asked questions about your major, hobbies, and what sports you play. Be prepared to talk about why you want to go Greek and whether you’re serious about joining.
Don’t try too hard, and don’t make stupid comments about drinking and partying. Compliment the brothers and the fraternity and be genuine. You want to make an impression as a friendly, cool, and trustworthy guy.
Attend Any Invite-Only Events
Most fraternities will host invite-only events toward the end of the rush week. If they like you, you may get a text about a private event. This is the part where the fraternity does the selling, so you can relax a bit and let them convince you to join.
These events are a great time to ask more questions. You can ask brothers about their own experiences in the fraternity and ask about the fraternity life in general.
The subject of dues will probably also come up, especially if the frat is interested in you and wants to make sure you know what will be required if you join. Semester dues typically range from $500 to $1,000.
Accept Your Bid
The fraternities typically won’t start putting out bids until the day before the last rush week event or even right after the last event. There are some exceptions where you’ll hear of bids given out throughout the entire week, but this is rare.
If you start hearing that other guys have received their bids yet but you haven’t, don’t feel discouraged. Keep attending the events and stay relaxed and open.
Once all the bids are out, you’ll only have a few days to make your decision. You’ll need to fill out more paperwork with the IFC, and they’ll vet the process and make sure you attended rush day and that you’re eligible to join.
There will be a bid rally to attend, which is a huge event where all the fraternities go to welcome their new members. You’ll probably get your first lettered fraternity shirt at this event. Then, all the fraternities will have their own parties to celebrate their new class.
Rushing a Fraternity is Just the Start
Rushing a fraternity can be one of the most exciting times of your college career – and your life – but it’s just the beginning of an awesome journey.
Being a fraternity member is a huge commitment. From the initial pledging process to philanthropic requirements, socials, and maintaining your GPA, you’ll have a lot of responsibilities and duties. But the payoff will be huge.
You’ll have an awesome social life with fun parties and events during college, and a valuable network of brothers to depend on for the rest of your life. It may not be exactly like in the movies, but being part of a fraternity will be an incredible experience that can lead to finding your best, lifelong friends and creating unforgettable memories.