Among the various events that make up the “first year experience,” only one of them makes me want to avoid it like it was swine flu.
The fraternity recruitment process is simple at its core. For approximately two weeks, representatives from every fraternity on campus stop by your dorm multiple times to tell you about the unique and exciting events they’re holding (they’re all doing the same things, by the way). Did I mention that they stop by about every five minutes?
They also all make references to escaping the “dreaded Commons food.” I haven’t even been at Rensselaer a month; Commons hasn’t lost its appeal to me yet, so that argument isn’t even valid.
But perhaps the worst aspect of the rushing is that there’s no way to opt out. Not interested in greek life? They’ll continue their endless onslaught of interruptions in the hope of eventually whittling your patience away until you give in. Instead, we’re left with no other alternative but lying. I know several people that would rather pretend they weren’t in their dorm than have to answer to yet another recruitment squad, the people down the hall from me put a sign on their door reading, “Greeks go home,” and I know my roommate and I have made up plans on several occasions as an alternative to the guilt of outright rejecting them.
If the goal of a fraternity is philanthropy, I don’t see how partying, smashing cars, or going cliff diving accomplish that mission. As odd as it might seem, hosting a chicken-wing-tasting party with dozens of different flavors is not the best way to show how you contribute to the community.
And if rush isn’t bad enough, it occurs once per semester. That means that, if they didn’t manage to annoy us into submission already, we get to go through this all over again in three months.
At least they’re honest about it; one fraternity’s web site reads that rush week is where you are “continually annoyed by people knocking on your dorm room doors.”