Here at Syracuse University, over 30% of our student population is involved in Greek life. Over the past eight weeks, this sorority process has taken on a life of its own. There are girls who have been enveloped in their anxiety and stress to the point where they are failing classes because of the time commitment. Although I did not participate in this popular organization here, I have experienced it from my closest friends. Be prepared to hear the process and my view on some of the sororities.
First, there are four rounds during the rush period (recruitment). Round 1 is called "Go Greek" where you have twenty minute parties with each sorority. This consists of the first weekend that is dedicated to visiting the houses and finding out which ones you like and getting a feel of which ones vibe with you. Then, Round 2 is known as "Philanthropy Round" where parties are held for forty minutes and you are informed of the type of philanthropy the sorority affiliates with. Round 3 is "House Tours" which are again forty minutes spent at each house. When the girls visited for Round 3, they had to dress business casual. The last step is Round 4 where you arrive in cocktail attire to a few of the houses that you love and seem to love you back. Here, you get to experience their traditions to see if you really like them. Keep in mind after every round, you can drop houses that you don't like and the houses can drop you if they don't feel like it is a good fit. Rush is hands down a very nice experience because you get to have intimate conversations with all of the houses and dress up. The only downfall is the time commitment of two full weekends are practically taken away.
Next is the one and only....BID DAY! The night before bid day was almost more anxiety producing than waiting for college applications to come back. Most girls have up to three houses on their list, but some only have one. I was up all night until 5 am with one of my closest friends because she was so scared that out of her two options, she was going to get a bid from the house she didn't like. It was a night full of laughter and tears, but most of all it made us closer. I was honored she allowed me to see her vulnerable emotions every girl rushing was feeling that night. Now here we are at bid day. All of the girls enter Schine Auditorium early in the morning with trembling limbs waiting to find out their fate. They sit on their letters waiting for the moment they are allowed to open them. Soon they get up and are either jumping and crying out of joy or absolute disappointment. I met girls who didn't get the sorority they hoped they would get and were applying to transfer out of Syracuse. How crazy?! Once they have their house, they run to the house along with their new PC (pledge class) to greet the rest of the sisters.
After the girls decide whether or not they want to drop their house, they begin the 6 week pledging process. During this process Some houses make the girls attend two times a week, and some make them attend up five or six nights a week. This is the time period where no one knows (except me of course) what happens behind those sorority house doors. The pledges cannot tell even their closest friends what their PM (pledge master) does to them either verbally or physically. Oh wait you thought sororities don't haze? THAT'S FUNNY! Some sororities don't haze which is fantastic, but the reality is some do which I don't like. I will never understand the purpose of sorority members doing harmful things to new members that are about to be your "sisters". I suppose if you go through the same agony it technically makes you equal. I don't stand for taking the time out of these new member's day to be mean to them instead of them focusing on either their academics (which is why they are at college) or simply teaching them the philanthropic ways and what you expect of them.
As I conclude my article, I want you to know that today is the end of pledging and the start of initiation parties this weekend. My friends can drink as much as they want and party with their new "families." Although sorority life isn't my top choice of spending my time, I am glad that my closest friends and others have found their people through this type of organization.