Rush tradition carries on in spring

By Alyce Malchiodi

Rush has become an annual week-long tradition within greek systems and NIU sororities are continuing the tradition with the coming of spring semester.

Kim Kolek, of Phi Beta Chi sorority, said Rush lasts roughly a week. The seven days are divided into two parts, Formal and Informal Rush.

“Give it a chance,” said Rush Chairwoman Marsha Jewel. She said she encourages women to try sorority life and added she thinks it is a great way to be involved and to sharpen leadership skills.

Formal Rush lasts three days with one day as an introduction. The introduction day is the Wednesday before classes begin when the women are given a Rush counselor, called Rho Chi. The Rush counselors will help the participants throughout the entire program, Kolek said.

There are 60 Rho Chis. The sorority houses are allowed to send 10 applications and then applicants are interviewed. The women best suited for the job are asked to stay and help the Rush participants understand Rush, guide them through it and to help select the sorority best for them, Kolek said.

Thursday through Sunday is Informal Rush and the women go to nine houses. They stay in each house for 20 minutes. Each sorority gives general information about greek life and what kind of an effect the sorority will have on other aspects of campus life.

Jewel said Friday morning the women find out from their Rho Chi which chapters have invited them back. The maximum number of houses a woman can attend on Friday is seven. The women then go to each house for 35 minutes.

Members from each chapter put on a skit, or set up brag tables, where pictures and other memorabilia are displayed.

Saturday morning the women find out again which sororities re-invited them back. This time they may attend a maximum of four houses. The women stay for 45 minutes in each house and they learn more details about the house and sorority life.

Sunday morning the women receive the last list of houses inviting them back. This time they can attend only two and they stay in each house for one hour. This concludes the first part of Rush.

The second part of Rush is Informal Rush. This lasts about three days. The women go to the sorority they are still invited to and want to pledge to get more familiar with the members.

Each house may do different activities and themes throughout Rush. A theme popular last fall was Disneyland, Kolek said.

Jewel said last year roughly 600 women applied for Rush and 550 came to the introduction meeting. The first two days are when the most women drop out of the program because they discover sorority life is not for them, Jewel said. Last fall 335 women pledged out of the original 600, she said.

Kolek said sororities are looking for enthusiastic women who have good grades and are in the beginning of their college career.

The rules are loosely defined, Jewel said. Houses are not to “bad mouth” other houses and they are required to follow the time limits on visitation, she said.

Trying to pressure a Rush participant to join a sorority is also not tolerated, Jewel said. There is rarely a problem with “bad mouthing” and pressuring participants, but chapters occasionally have difficultly meeting time limitations, she said.

Rush is not only in the fall. Rush can take place again during a school year or can continue until the sorority has met the quota. Jewel said that it is not often a sorority does not make its quota.

In order to be qualified to Rush, the Rush participant must be a student at NIU and have a 2.0 grade point average. Age can not disqualify a participant, but Kolek said sororities do take age into consideration.