What’s the Rush?
So I’m sure most Case guys have experienced a fraternity brother forcing a calendar upon them during the first few days of school, I did. I’ve never been a huge fan of flyers that are handed out to me when I’m going somewhere, usually because I have grown accustomed to ads that have little to no importance to my life. But of course, naturally, I took one, probably because I’ve always had a hard time saying no. I really didn’t think much of it, especially since I was given 6 or 7 different ones filled with events that all seemed pretty similar. And why did I care? I didn’t come to Case just to join a fraternity, I came for academics and other opportunities. Clearly it’s a little different for me now.
Fraternities, to me at least, have always been something depicted in movies or on television. Most people my age have seen the movie Animal House or a similar rendition sometime in their lifetime. These representations show fraternities as a group of people who focus their college experience around alcohol and creating trouble in every way, shape and form.
At Case, the first 2-3 weeks of each semester are known as Rush Week. As an incoming freshman I had not the slightest idea of what that meant. It was soon clear that nearly every fraternity on campus was trying to get to know me. At the same time, each particular one was trying to sell the idea of Greek life, specifically, their individual chapter. Pretty much every fraternity has a specific rush calendar packed with a variety of events catered to what they were looking for in the new students. For example, a fraternity that emphasizes competition and sports holds events pertaining to, well, sports. Those focused around social activities hold dances and trips to restaurants with the existing brothers. Whatever way they do it, each fraternity attempts to show others why they think their specific chapter is the best on campus and why the prospective student should join.
The problem is, the majority of freshmen have little to no idea what these fraternities do coming into college. The idea of fraternities having a party first philosophy is a myth, especially at Case. Yes, parents have gone to other institutions where fraternities have little respect for others and themselves but Case is a different scene. The Greek organizations on campus are made completely of Case undergraduates. Clearly they are here for a great education and to take advantage of opportunities they can get nowhere else. If anything, some Greek students may have a stronger incentive to do better in the classroom because at Case especially, GPA rank is important to fraternities and sororities. Clearly each chapter on campus is a little different, but at Case, academic importance should not be the reason not to join a Greek community.
Personally, I feel that even if a student has no interest whatsoever in Greek life they should rush regardless. I had no interest until I started going to events and meeting brothers that shared the same goals in life and the same values that I have been brought up with. Even if you rush one fraternity or several and don’t end up joining, chances are you went to a fun event and got to spend time with old friends and meet new ones (This was very important to me in the fall because I’ve never been that naturally outgoing). During rush I met friends that I will know for a very long time, even some that didn’t join SigEp. Even for those that enjoy being antisocial, I believe rush is a great time to leave your room, even if it’s just to get free food from the events.
I feel very strongly about rush because it allowed me to be convinced to join a fraternity (which is one of the best decisions since coming to Case). Even to those that don’t join or girls that have friends that rush, I think that rush week is a great opportunity for the Greek community to dispel any myths created by movies or TV shows. Fraternity brothers are proud people. They are proud of themselves, their education and their fraternity.
So if you haven’t gone Greek already take the calendar next time it’s offered to you. Even if you don’t have the slightest interest, take one and see what happens. I believe that there is a fraternity to fit anyone, especially at Case. If you’re looking to get something more out of college than just the 20 minute walk to and from class I think exploring Greek life is the way to go.