With spring quickly approaching, it is important to note the differences that accompany the change in season.
Ian Sanabia, president of the Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity, said there are a few notable differences in rush seasons worth keeping in mind.
“It’s a lot more stressful in the fall because there are about 250 people who are rushing,” Sanabia said. “You’re trying to get the biggest pledge class that you can with most quality guys that you can. In the spring there’s usually about 20 people — so it’s a lot less stressful and a lot less formal.”
Sanabia said his experience with fall rush was more extensive and intense, but worth it.
“At first, I did not know much about rush. I was convinced to do it by one of my friends,” Sanabia said. “We visited every single house on the first day. It was pretty exhausting to go through every house — but I chose Alpha Kappa Lambda (AKL) because I felt really comfortable here. There were a lot of guys I could relate to.”
Sanabia said he recommends rushing in the fall because of the broader exposure to campus Greek life and potential friends.
“I personally think going through fall rush is more fun,” Sanabia said. “If you go through spring rush, you’re not able to see all the houses like you would during fall recruitment. You’re not made to visit all the different houses — instead you’re just meeting guys with flags on a table.”
Sanabia emphasized the lack of connections freshmen get to make when they choose to rush in the spring.
“One of the disadvantages I think is that you don’t get to meet as many people in the spring rush,” Sanabia said. “A lot of the people you meet during fall rush, even if they go into different houses, still become really good friends and allows you to have connections in other houses.”
Lake Campbell, an undeclared freshman who snapped to AKL this semester, said he didn’t want to wait for spring rush because he already knew the type of house he wanted to join.
“I didn’t really enjoy the dorm experience,” Campbell said. “Brotherhoods are also important to me. I had a lot of friends in Sigma Chi, so I would spend a lot of time over there. I saw what they did, and I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that.”
Shannon Brink, a senior at Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, offered her point of view from the sorority perspective. She said rushing can be intense no matter the time of year, but eventually the experience becomes comfortable.
“It’s super overwhelming,” Brink said. “You’re walking into a house with a hundred singing women, and you’re stressed — probably a little self-conscious. But they’re very welcoming, and they make you feel right at home.”
Brink said that one of the main differences between rush seasons is the way houses recruit.
“With spring recruitment, you are promoting on social media, you are trying to talk to girls in class or anywhere else on campus,” Brink said. “But with fall recruitment you don’t really know anybody that’s coming. So, there are massive social media efforts looking for anyone who is interested.”
Brink advocated for people to be their genuine selves when they rush.
“In recruitment everyone is trying to put on their best show,” Brink said. “Obviously you’ll be talking to them about real things, but you’re not seeing anybody at their worst yet either.”
Brink said her No. 1 reason to rush in the fall would be people may still be unsure exactly where they want to go.
“In fall recruitment you have all of the houses. You can have exposure in every single house,” Brink said. “You don’t have that in the spring. You may love everybody in the house that you chose, but maybe there was another house you weren’t able to see that was a better fit for you.”
However, Brink said she recommends rushing, no matter when, to anybody who is debating it.
“It’s not for everybody though, absolutely not,” Brink said. “But I’d advise if you are thinking about rushing in the fall, or spring, you should do it. Even if it doesn’t work out there is always room in the residence halls, and there’s always going to be a place for you. It’s an awesome experience to learn a little bit more about yourself.”
Andrew Ward can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @WardOfTheWorlds