For freshmen entering their first year at the University of Mississippi, rush can seem like a terribly daunting experience.
Those who live within the privileged states that make up the Southeastern Conference have heard rumors about this mysterious event maybe since they were children. Women talk about the lunch they just had with a few of their old sorority sisters over summer break, dads talk about the wild parties they had during their stay at Sigma Nu, and their children inevitably grow up with a pretty healthy amount of knowledge but also questions about the recruitment process.
Young girls, especially, have a lot to look forward to and, consequently, a lot to worry about. With 34 percent of undergraduate females being members of a sorority, as compared to the 28 percent of undergraduate men in a fraternity (according to a study by U.S. News) it seems that more and more young girls are expected to become a part of the Greek community. Many girls who have decided on Ole Miss in high school wonder for years what going through recruitment will be like once they graduate.
While rush is complicated, there are many things that a PNM (potential new member) can do to improve their chances of having a good experience in the summer before their first semester, in the weeks preceding recruitment and during the actual week itself.
The summer before the first semester
- At the beginning of the summer, start acquiring recs (recommendations) from alumni members of each sorority. For girls living in Mississippi, this is easy. Girls out of state have a harder task. A call to the Greek Life Office on campus should provide some insight, and it is also important to try and find each sorority at Ole Miss’ own website. Often, alumni’s names and phone numbers can be found on these sites, and these women are for the most part willing to write a rec for anyone. Recs are extremely important for the recruitment process. Sororities go through each girl’s name and make sure they come with a letter of recommendation. Without a rec letter, it would be difficult to have the best rush experience possible.
- Do your research! Again, look at the sororities’ websites. Pay attention to their philanthropies, activities they are involved in on campus, and rankings, such as Highest GPA on campus. Find out what is important to you in a sorority and try to find an organization that has similar values to your own.
Weeks leading up to rush week
- Pay attention. Watch the girls in their Greek letters on campus. Observe how they interact with each other, other students, and their professors. Which girls stand out to you? Who could imagine yourself spending a day with?
- Be friendly to the sorority members in your classes. Unbelievably, they are just as interested in you as you are in them, and would love to meet you!
- Make yourself visible in the weeks of school before recruitment. Eat with your friends on Saturday mornings at Bottletree Bakety (a popular spot for sorority girls.) Stop by the ASB Office and introduce yourself to a few people. This is just as important for an independent student as it is for girls planning to go through rush. Just remember to be your best, friendly self!
- Keep an open mind. You should have an idea of which houses you are interested in before the process starts, but some sororities may surprise you. Give every chapter an equal chance. A place you might have never thought of may be the one that you fit in with the most.
- But, do be critical. Remember that you are choosing the sorotity just as much as they are choosing you. You need to figure out who you are going to be spending the next four years with, and which personalities and values mesh best with your own. Don’t let one person determine your opinion of a whole chapter, but do have a head on your shoulders.
- The most important tip: just relax! This whole process was made for fun. It is not meant to be stressful or upsetting. Enjoy a week of getting to meet new people, watching girls dance and sing, and drinking fruity mocktails. Have fun! The sorority you are supposed to be in is already there, waiting for you. All you have to do is enjoy the ride!
Miller Hollingsworth is a HottyToddy.com staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.