As fraternity rush begins this semester, graphic design freshman Noah Borer anticipates finding the right fraternity for him, new friends and role models.
The Inter-Fraternity Council at Loyola will hold its annual rush this year from Jan. 22-31. Rush is a formal process for fraternities to meet prospective members, as students learn twhe values, traditions and history of each fraternity. Rush is a free event open to any male student with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
All eligible men are invited to the first round of rush, which involves a convocation. Students invited to the second round participate in a full formal event, usually hosted at a restaurant. The third day is considered a “dead day,” and fraternity members are not permitted to speak to the students rushing to keep the process unbiased as students make their decision about which fraternities they want to join. The fourth night — also known as “bid day” — holds the closing ceremony where students discover the fraternities to which they received bids and decide which of those they would like to join.
Borer said that he has always been interested in rushing.
“It is a great way to meet great people,” Borer said. “I have friends who are in fraternities at Loyola whom I look up to as positive role models.”
During the 2011 spring semester, around 100 students signed up and approximately 83 were admitted. This year Loyola is expecting around the same numbers, according to Jenna Rae Vercillo, assistant director of student leadership.
Joseph Billiot, IFC president and political science senior, said the fraternities’ selectiveness reflects the need for wholesome character and trust.
Like Billiot, Vercillo considers those involved in Greek life as well-rounded individuals.
“There are many campus wide leaders, scholars and men committed to service who are Greek. Men who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and want an organization founded on values should consider going Greek,” Vercillo said.
“It only takes one kid to do something stupid and ruin it for everyone else,” Billiot said.
Billiot and Phi Kappa Psi member and theater senior James McBride described the rush process they could pass on after experiencing it for four years.
This year they said they are hoping for increased numbers.
“The trouble is getting kids to join. It is important to keep an open mind like any other organization,” Billiot said. “A lot of kids don’t want to hear our message, and it hurts them more than us.”
McBride said he had no initial intention of rushing or staying at Loyola during his freshman year. He had two sisters, however, who were already involved in Greek life at Loyola, and as he grew closer with their friends in Phi Kappa Psi, he was encouraged to rush.
“The reason that I didn’t transfer was because of my fraternity…they were a close-knit group of friends that was different from any bond that I had ever experienced. I thought I had more to learn from that,” he said.
English digital media freshman Enrique Galvan said he has no intention of rushing and said he is concerned about the expenses involved. Galvan also said he does not feel that the IFC does much.
“Maybe if they had a house, there would be a better sense of community,” he said.
McBride said fraternity expenses are affordable.
“I have made more money through scholarships that I obtained from being part of a national fraternity than I ever had to pay,” he said.
Finances are not the only reason students are hesitant to participate in rush. Billiot said he understands that rush is not for everyone.
“It would be arrogant to say that fraternities are absolutely for everyone and that everyone would have the same experience, but at the same time, there is a place for every different type of person who wants to join,” Billiot said.
For those who are reluctant to particpate in rush, Vercillo suggests to keep an open mind.
“Give Greek life a chance,” Vercillo said. “You might find it isn’t for you, but at least you will know that from going through the Rush process, then assuming it wasn’t for you.”
Jade Domingue can be reached at [email protected]