What is “rush week” at an American university? Aditi Bhowmick, a writer for International Student Voice, went through rush at Cornell University, and had this unusual description of the phenomenon:
Rush week is basically seven days when one will see the most number of girls you have ever seen in your entire lives trudging through snow ridges.
In plainer terms, “rush” is the process of applying to join a fraternity or sorority. In a typical sorority rush, all the potential pledges visit each sorority house, participating in activities and meeting the sorority sisters, as the sororities figure out who they want to take and the pledges figure out where they want to join. Aditi explained her rush week like this:
…if nothing else, rush week is exciting. As you pass through the doors a sister will sweep you into the most picture perfect parlors. For all you know, you could be starring in a Victorian play where your coats are taken and the most creative drinks are served in champagne glasses. One gets to meet an army of upperclass-women and have conversations about everything from the weather to theses on biology and neuroscience! I have never been so polite and well-mannered in my entire life; my mother would be proud.
But one thing she stressed is that it’s not all about dressing up and impressing the sisters. According to Aditi, there’s a real sense of fellowship to the ritual:
It is a rare thing seeing Seniors tear up because they treasure their sisterhood so much, it makes it all feel real.
Aditi ended up joining the Kappa Delta sorority, and she wrote that she actually learned something from going through rush.
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false”. It is my abstruse verdict that Shakespeare would have made a great Rho Gamma (Recruitment Advisor).
Read more about Aditi’s experience at International Student Voice: http://www.isvmag.com/2013/02/the-good-the-bad-the-greek/
Do you have an experience with Greek life you want to share? Are there other bizarre rituals of university life you can help explain? Share your story in the comments, or using the form below.