Greek Life: Would you advise your teen to Rush?

The University of Georgia begins its Fraternity and Sorority Rush Tuesday (as do many other universities I am sure), and I’m wondering: Would you encourage your teen (or child in the future) to Rush?

Were you in a sorority or fraternity in school? Do you they think they are just as important at schools as they were in your day? What have you shared or would you share about your Greek experience with your child?

Here are some sites I found about UGA’s rush and the Greek life in general.

Rules of Rush for UGA sororities (Apparently rush is now called recruitment, which is actually kind of creepier sounding.)

A Web site and magazine about sorority life in general

Apparently, the boys still call it Rush and their info page is a little more informal.

Here’s a quote from the front of UGA Greek Life page that interested me: “The 2008 UGA National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that students who are members of UGA social Greek letter organizations report higher levels of overall satisfaction with the institution (statistically significant finding).”

I did not rush although I was advised to by my mother. I just wasn’t into it. I didn’t want to be judged and try to impress people. (The irony is everyone you meet at college is judging whether they want to be your friend or not.)

I did end up joining the college newspaper, The Red and Black, at the end of my freshmen year and essentially that became like a fraternity or sorority. We spent all our time there. We went to parties with all those people. We’ve stayed in touch with those people much more so than just regular friends from Georgia, and we use those people for business connections now. (Hmm, sounds a lot like a fraternity.)

One big difference though, we got paid to work there instead of paying dues!

So, would you encourage your child (now or later) to join a fraternity or sorority and why?

107 comments Add your comment

fk

August 10th, 2009
11:14 pm

Like you, I was not interested in joining a sorority. People just don’t judge you in college, but throughout life. Some people never get passed that stage. I had a job all four years in college. Greek life was not a big deal where I went to school, but I do remember visiting my older brother in the midwest, and driving thru a big college town where there were sooo many Greek houses. It looked like A LOT of fun, but even back then, at 18, I felt that these organizations were elitist. Whatever floats your boat.

My older nieces, who are 10 & 11 years younger than me, did not join a sorority either, but they played club sports. However, two other nieces who recently graduated from college, were both in a sororities and loved, loved, loved the experience. I have a niece out in CA and she very much enjoys being part of the sorority. My son was getting calls all summer long to check out fraternity events. He is really interested, but will be involved with a fall sport, so he won’t rush. My nephew, who went to school on a partial athletic scholarship, quit football to join a fraternity. He had the ultimate college experience, in his opinion. I don’t think Greek life is as important if the kids are involved in something, like the paper, a club sport, an artistic program or a competitive sport. I do think it’s important to be part of a smaller organization when attending a large university. Otherwise, it’s easy to get swallowed up and lost in the crowd.

At my previous job, I worked with my boss’ wife once a week. Their daughter rushed for a popular sorority and was rejected, but her friend got in. She was crushed, the mother was crushed. The mom cried as she told me the story. I really felt very sorry for them. No one wants to see their child hurt in that way…rejection can be so tough on kids.

DB

August 10th, 2009
11:39 pm

Interesting topic :-) I was a little surprised when my relatively non-social son rushed a fraternity at his school and will be president next year. It’s a smaller fraternity, and he has seemed to, surprisingly, enjoy the social aspect as well as the opportunities to exercise leadership and negotiation skills. We had suggested that he might enjoy going through rush just to meet people, since he was going to school out of state and didn’t know anyone there. He didn’t accept the bid he got first semester of his freshman year, because he didn’t really feel like he knew the brothers that well. However, over the course of the semester, he discovered that people he tended to gravitate towards all seemed to belong to a particular fraternity, and he ended up pledging there in the spring. They are pretty low-key, which fits him perfectly.

My daughter, on the other hand, has absolutely NO interest in sorority rush. After six years in her school’s marching band, she’s looking forward to playing in the marching band at UGA, which has over 450 members. Organizations such as that (similar to the school newspaper example Theresa gave) tend to be a sort of club, too, since they spend so much time together.

Also, I think she was a little put off by the horror stories that you hear every year from the cut-throat rush at Georgia. The cattle drive from house to house, scrambling to procure recommendation letters, and how — shallow? is that the right term? — it seems to have become for the sororities, who have sooooo many people to evaluate, and as a result end up having to make decisions based on fairly superficial observations. Rush at different schools is very different — unfortunately, at Georgia, it’s extremely, extremely competitive. She just wasn’t up for it, and that was ok with me, too. I wasn’t in a sorority in college, because it wasn’t a big part of the campus life at my school, then. (Besides, you don’t have to be in a sorority in order to go to fraternity parties! :-)

The thing I dislike about the rush at UGA, in particular, is that it is all done BEFORE you even step foot into your first classroom, and probably before you’ve gotten to know your roommate, much less a houseful of girls you are planning to spend the next four years with. You spend the week before, going from house to house, not knowing anyone (or knowing just the right person?), so many girls get their hopes up for a particular house, and then, on the first day of class, they find out whether or not they get a bid. For most of them, then, they feel like a total social failure before they’ve even started college . . . that’s a heck of a lot of pressure, it seems like. (And because of the way the houses are set up, financially, there aren’t too many pledges older than freshmen). It’s not nearly as cut-throat for the guys.

Here’s a YouTube clip from Bid Day 208 — the pledges arriving at the houses that have given them a bid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUddJOIyQ5Y

The AJC had a series of articles about the rush process at UGA in particular two years about (about this time, I believe), that was rather interesting — it’s been archived and you have to have a subscription to read it, now, but it followed some girls around for a few days during the first and second rounds of visitations, etc., who got bids, who didn’t, who was devastated, who shrugged it off, etc. What I think it even more interesting is the reaction of the PARENTS (especially moms) when their daughters don’t get a bid, or get a bid, but not to their hoped-for house. For these girls, many of whom were golden girls during high school, this is their first time being rejected — and the parents don’t take it kindly at all.

Ironically, when I sat in on a Greek Information System at my son’s school a couple of years ago, one of the moms — who obviously had knowledge of the importance of the rounds of recommendations needed by many of the southern universities — asked about recommendation letters. The girls running the session looked a little bland, looked at each other helplessly, and then one said, “Recommendations . . . for what? Oh, for a sorority? Oh. Hmm. Well, we don’t really get too many, but if you have one, then sure, send it in . . .” It was VERY different from UGAs scramble for as many letters as you can get!

nurse&mother

August 10th, 2009
11:47 pm

I have always viewed Greek life as having to pay to have friends. It’s that simple in my eyes. I don’t have to buy my friends.

How can anyone know in one week’s time whether or not a girl/guy would be a good match for a sorority/fraternity (unless external factors are the primary basis for the decisions-ie. looks)?

No, I didn’t rush myself at UGA nor would I encourage my children. Interestingly, my husband didn’t rush at Georgia either (for the same reasons). He attended before I met him. I guess great minds (maybe intelligent minds-just kidding) think alike.

HB

August 11th, 2009
12:15 am

I wasn’t interested in Greek life and don’t have any strong feelings for or against it overall, but I do feel strongly that schools should not allow freshmen to rush in the fall, and certainly not before classes start. Joining is so often a huge commitment that to me seems to be based on little substance (how much can you really get to know about the people and house during rush?). Emory freshman cannot rush until second semester, and I think that’s a great policy. Most people I knew who rushed knew at least a few upperclassmen in houses by January and had a good idea of which 2 or 3 they were most interested in before rush started. I also knew people who decided to pledge sophomore year after becoming friends with a lot of people in one house as a nonmember, like DB’s son. And even more people skipped rush all together in favor of other activities. Incoming freshmen should have a semester to get used to living on campus, learn what non-Greek extracurricular opportunities are available, and get a little sense of what the different houses are like and meet some members (if allowed) before signing their lives over to a fraternity or sorority.

Sorority Girl

August 11th, 2009
1:25 am

Just happened to come across this and thought I would put in my two cents. I am currently a senior at a large state school, and yes, I am in a sorority. I do think it’s unfortunate that schools push rush on incoming freshman before they even begin classes. Honestly, if your daughter is uncertain, it’s always better to wait for the next rush rather than plunge into it. If a sorority wasn’t part of the original plan, let her wait and she how she feels about the school in general, and how influential the Greek system is on campus. Let her watch the system from the outside and then decide if it’s something she would like to be a part of.

Also, Being in a sorority isn’t “paying for your friends.” Every campus club will have some member fee. A sorority truly only interested in a rushee’s money isn’t a sorority at all. I could not pay my dues for a semester when things became financially tight for me. Instead of forcing me to take leave from the sorority, my sisters joined a pool together and paid for more than half of my dues. Being in a sorority becomes about friendship much more than money. I didn’t sign my life over to my sorority either. With most sororities, you get out what you put in. You can spend a lot of time with it, or none at all. I am only required to attend weekly meetings and complete volunteer hours every semester. That being said, being Greek is being Greek. Read about the system at UGA, read editorials and student opinions, not the school’s website. Read about each sorority on campus. Decide if it would be something healthy to be a part of.

The absolutely most important thing to remember, however, is that each and every sorority is different. Like I said, if there is any uncertainty on her part…WAIT! Rush will always come around again; don’t push her, if it’s not her choice, she won’t enjoy it. However, if she does rush, (it’s a cliche, but it’s so true) tell her to be herself. Each sorority will have a all sorts of girls but most have some kind of overriding personality. Don’t let her get caught up in others’ opinions…it’s the worst thing you can do at rush. Tell her to choose the sorority she felt most comfortable with. Where was conversation most natural? Which philanthropy did she identify with? If she doesn’t get a bid, it’s a sorority she would find herself unhappy with anyway. And just as a little security, she will be able to de-pledge if she finds herself completely in the wrong place. Being Greek is good for some girls, and bad for others. I, personally, think joining a sorority was the best decision I made in college, for myself. But it’s not for everyone.

OedipusTax

August 11th, 2009
6:46 am

I live in Atlanta. A friend I met in 1966 at my university died last Thursday in Minneapolis. I’ll be leaving for the funeral tomorrow, which is at 11 AM on Thursday. We both happen to have been a member of a fraternity there and became life long friends. Pompous people tend to judge others with self-serving arrogance with a variety of motives, which include, among others, envy, jealousy, and pride. I’d say allow people to make up their own minds what is best for them, and to pay attention to your own business first. That’s what happy people tend to do. Let God be the judge, and let each of us take care of our side of the street. Remember, miserable people wish happier people to be brought down to their level. Stereotypes paint with too broad a brush. If your son or daughter wishes to rush, great. If they don’t, great. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just be active and positive and the friendships will come, and I hope they last forty years and more as mine have.

BitterEXdemocrackkk

August 11th, 2009
6:52 am

Even though I hung out all thru college at various frats, I waited until my FINAL semester to pledge Kappa Sigma, and it worked out great for me. One does NOT have to pledge a frat or sorority their FIRST semester, in fact, I advise against it. It DOES take longer than a week to decide…

BitterEXdemocrackkk

August 11th, 2009
6:53 am

(Actually, I first thought this article was about advising your child to LISTEN to RUSH, which I strongly advise!)

JATL

August 11th, 2009
7:12 am

I have to say most people who know me are surprised when they find out I was in a sorority. I seem much more like a “GDI” (that’s a g-dmmd independent) than a sorority girl, but when I went to UGA I was younger than average, and I didn’t know anyone else going there at the time. Everyone I did know at home kept asking me if I was going to rush and saying they would write recs for me, so I did it. Neither of my parents were Greeks. My dad thinks it’s stupid and my mom didn’t go to college. I did find the entire rushing and elimination process to be incredibly cold and nervewracking. There were some girls there who I wondered why on earth they wanted to subject themselves to it. Had they not read anything about it? I know that sounds really mean, but this is coming from the mind of a 17 year old and someone who did feel sorry for them and wondered why they didn’t just spare themselves the trouble.

Anyway -as catty as it can be (and the flip side -when you’re cutting girls gets CRAZY -you get in fights, etc. deciding who gets invited back and who goes), I was thankful to have a group of girls with similar interests to help me transition into life at UGA. It was a lot of fun, but once I got on my on two feet, I found my own friends -both in and out of Greek life -and I was much less active in the sorority. Some girls eat, sleep and breathe it the entire time, but a lot of us kind of use it as a gateway or helper.

I have two sons, but if they’re into that kind of thing I would support them if they wanted to rush in college. I would also tell them about some of the downside to being in a fraternity particularly, but if they wanted to try it -why not? It actually can help you tremendously out of college too as a networking tool. AND, if you decide you don’t want anyone to identify you with a Greek organization, then you never have to tell anyone!

JATL

August 11th, 2009
7:36 am

I must second Sorority Girl’s comments that ANY organization you become a member of could be construed as “paying for friends”. We know that’s not the case though -you join organizations because of an interest and the hope that maybe you’ll meet some fun new people. There are also a lot of differences in the sororities and fraternities -they are TRULY not all alike. I DO think they should wait and hold rush after the first semester of school. I like Emory’s policy, but even at UGA you definitely get a feel for sororities and they get a feel for you. It’s fast and imperfect, but with that many people it is difficult to do anything more in depth.

RHR

August 11th, 2009
7:36 am

I wasn’t a greek at UGA bu my daughter rushed and pledged a sorority at Auburn last fall. That rush week was SO stressful! I kinda got turned off by the whole thing seeing how stressed it made my daughter during rush week, the first 2 days when everyone visits all the houses its fine but that 3rd day when they get their invites back to the houses that wanted them and my daughter called me all upset because she had only been invited back to 5 or 6 houses out of 16. I know she questioned herself and felt inferior at that time even if it did work out that she got a bid to one of her favorite houses in the end. Now she is very involved and loves it and is working her butt off last week and this week during the rush for the incoming girls and she sees how it is on the other side and knows that maybe it wasn’t that those 11 houses that rejected her didn’t like her, they just had a limited number of girls they could choose. Good luck to the PNMs (and their moms) out there, its going to be a very emotional week for you!

Rod

August 11th, 2009
7:40 am

I think that rushing – and getting involved in a fraternity – can be a great experience.

HOWEVER, having said that, I absolutely would not allow my son/daughter to join a fraternity their freshman year. I think it would be good to rush that first year, to see what it’s all about and to see which frats they initially like. But then go about the business of school, get established with your schoolwork, learn some people, find out the “reputations” of some of the houses and grow up.

Then, if their freshman grades are very good, as a reward they could rush their second year and actually see about pledging. Kids need to get established at a major university before they start the whole fraternity thing.

shaggy

August 11th, 2009
7:40 am

Give me a break. Who wants their kid to become a frat boy jerk, or a sorority bimbo? Wouldn’t it be better for the parents to just once, support education over being in a popular cliche? Oh, I forgot, the parents are the ones encouraging pop behavior.
Oh well, frat boys do have great drunk parties, and sorority girls are many times hot, always easy.

Andrea

August 11th, 2009
7:41 am

I didn’t pledge a sorority when I was in college but I have no problem with my children participating in a fraternity or a sorority. My son (who will be 14 this year) is actually a part of a junior version of a longstanding fraternity and I have no problem with it. I don’t view it as paying for friends. He has made new friends in different parts of the country and while some of those bonds may fade over time, some will remain in tact.

He truly enjoys the activities, the trips and the commaraderie (sp?). With his only sibling being a younger sister, he LOVES hanging out with the guys in the group. If at some point he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore, he doesn’t have to.

Ilaidabeta

August 11th, 2009
7:53 am

rush is a coronation for the few and horrible for a few more

Nick

August 11th, 2009
7:56 am

Best thing I did in college was pledging a fraternity later in college at 21. Life long friends and a lifetime of memories.

Martha

August 11th, 2009
8:05 am

No sorositutes for me, nor my children. We’re nice enough that we don’t have to pay for friends. But for those who need the crutch…..sure.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 11th, 2009
8:05 am

It seemed like the UGA sororities were making special attempts to recruit older college women — I read it fast but it looked like they were holding spaces for them.

Go Jackets

August 11th, 2009
8:10 am

It is the height of cliche to suggest that fraternity and sorority life is “paying for friends.” In college, you’ve got to have a roof over your head and a place to eat, so why not pay for it by writing a check to a fraternity or sorority instead of the school? If you don’t want to be greek, that’s fine, but remember that the greek kids are probably doing more community service and getting better grades than non-greek kids. That’s just a fact. You shouldn’t knock what you haven’t tried. I certainly don’t put down people that were on the newspaper staff or in the marching band. I can promise you that my kids will be at rush when they are of age.

Photius

August 11th, 2009
8:19 am

“People always think something’s all true.” ~Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 2…. Greek life…. Phonies

Billy

August 11th, 2009
8:28 am

I encouraged my daughter to pledge a sorority. She was already a social person, but needed the academic support that the sorority would provide. It turned out to be one of the best things she could have done. If she did not make her grades, then she could not be in the sorority. They provided tutoring at no extra money and really put the pressure on their members to make good grades. It is true that Greek members make better grades than non Greeks. She is still involved in Greek life as an advisor to a local chapter of her sorority and loves helping young women become better citizens.

motherjanegoose

August 11th, 2009
8:29 am

NO rushing for me….is that the shortest comment ever? TROLLS pay attention. I now have connections in 46 states, so I guess it did not hurt. I can relate to still having friends from college and hold them dear. Have fun y’all.

David

August 11th, 2009
8:31 am

I recommend rushing, I did. I rushed while I was at Tech, three times actually. A week is just not enough time to find a group that you can attach yourself to with no regrets for the rest of your life, so I went through it twice, different fraternities each time, and received bids each time. I didn’t take any of them, none of the fraternities that I rushed struck me as groups of people I wanted to be associated with as a member. I was one of those GDIs for college, and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. I met my wife, some really good friends I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise, and got some pretty decent grades. The Greek system at Tech may not be your typical Greek system, I don’t know, but it wasn’t some be-all-end-all for the social or educational scene with us. It’s just not that important at Tech, or beyond it.

JATL

August 11th, 2009
8:31 am

Wow -I must say, those of you who are SO hateful about Greeks must really harbor some jealousies! I certainly don’t see the people affiliated with sororities and fraternities on here being crass and ugly about all of you who aren’t. I think those who have said -”Neh, not for me or my kids -just wasn’t into it,” are the people who truly were NOT into it. The petty and defensive comments sound like they’re coming from some folks who wanted to be Greek, but -for whatever reason -couldn’t do it!

UGA grad

August 11th, 2009
8:37 am

I quit a sorority about 2 months after pledging as a freshman. Nothing worse than a bunch of girls all together. A snobby, catty bunch of “belongers” to me. And the frat boys are just as bad. Rush is the most humiliating experience anyone could go through. Why anyone is attracted to that kind of social life is beyond me. Maybe greek life in a smaller school is better, but at UGA it is awful.

Micro_Engineer

August 11th, 2009
8:38 am

What amazes me is the number of hateful & jealous anti-sorority comments posted here people who either never went to college or are jealous.

Notice how the people who *actually know what they’re talking about* have posted far more mature & fair comments.

Becky

August 11th, 2009
8:41 am

@OpedipusTax, sorry to hear about your friend..

Just the Facts

August 11th, 2009
8:42 am

I am always amazed at the ignorant comments by those who have never joined a sorority or a fraternity. If you don’t want to join, don’t join. Paying for friends? Again you show your ignorance. I was and am a lifelong brother of a fraternity at the University of Kennesaw. Did we have parties? Yes. Do we socialize and have a good time? Yes. Are we serious about our school, our academics and making sure all of our brother’s graduate? Yes!

You know what it’s not for everyone. As a brother you’re expected to help out with community projects, be supportive of your school, and be a good citizen. “But you guys charge dues, and that just paying for friends.” Yes we charge dues and what does that money go for? How about a scholarship to some unfortunate brothers that may not have the money. How about helping out on books and supplies. The money goes to a lot more then what you would think. Does your club or friends help out with Habitat for Humanity? Do your friends donate their time to Make a Wish? Do you help our senior citizens groups? Do you or your friends help deliver food to the needy? Do you support your school? Are you there for all of the games, no matter what the sport is?

If you find your happiness with the newspaper, chess club or any other group, so be it. All I can say it that I have lifelong friendships with dozens of brothers their wife’s and their children. We grew up together in college, we have each other after college and I know I will have all of them in the future. Its been 22 years since I graduated from Kennesaw, and I know for fact that I could call 30 to 40 brothers right now if I was in trouble and they would drop everything to come help me.

Will your chess club extend the helping hand?

motherjanegoose

August 11th, 2009
8:44 am

JATL…hope you do not think I am defensive…just was not my cup of tea.

Once, in Morgantown WV, I had a meeting at the college and drove by the frat houses on a VERY windy road. There were coolers, kegs and empty cases of beer EVERYWHERE. I am not sure if anyone could walk on that twisty road much less drive. I was happy that it was 7:30 a.m. Saturday and NO ONE was up.

The mail carrier dropped in for lunch as he was husband to one of the teachers at the conference. I chatted with him and he mentioned that they offer him beer regularly. He obviously is NOT going to drink on his route but agreed that the roads would be way to windy to continue with his route, on foot or in a vehicle, if he did accept.

Andrea

August 11th, 2009
9:02 am

I don’t understand all of the negativity directed at the sororities and fraternities. If you don’t want to join, that’s perfectly fine. But why label anyone that does participate in one as needing a crutch or paying for friends.

I am friends with people who are members of sororities and some of your assessments could not be further from the truth. Does the athlete need to pay for friends? Does the band member need a crutch? Stop with all of the bashing against people that join fraternities or sororities.

Jessica

August 11th, 2009
9:04 am

I did the whole sorority thing my first two years of college, and I found it to be a huge waste of time, money and energy. Even though I didn’t get much out of it, some of my “sisters” loved it and seemed to benefit from the sorority experience. There were also lots of opportunities to do service projects, and there wasn’t a lot of drinking or wild behavior at sorority parties; they were actually very”clean” compared to most of the independent parties around campus.
Would I recommend it for my daughter? Probably not, but I wouldn’t forbid it either. I just hope she will find more meaningful campus activities and seek out friends who have more in common with her than just greek letters on a t-shirt.

New Step Mom

August 11th, 2009
9:33 am

I am so glad to hear positive comments about Greek life. I was in a sorority as was my mom. My grandfather and husband were/are fraternity men. I was also a Fraternity Sweetheart and I have fond memories of most of my Greek experiences. Was the process all positive…No, but neither is anything else in life. I learned more about living with other people and being part of a group (both the good and bad parts of both of those situations)by being in a sorority. I also learned that sometimes you don’t get your way and putting on you big girl panties and dealing with it will get you further than being a victim and complaining to anyone who will listen.

I also did have a fabulus time with the sisters of my sorority and had about 6 guys who treated me like a kid sister in the fraternity that I was sweetheart for. I always had someone to order late night pizza with, a shoulder to cry on or one of the guys to help me figure out what was wrong with my car. Did I go to parties and do some dumb things, yes but if you can show me a college student who hasn’t I would be surprised.

I know greek life is not for anyone, but I would encourage ALL college students to find some way to make their campus “smaller” by finding a group of like minded folks to be a part of. I do think that fraternities and sororities do a lot more positive than negative, but the positive is not very “sexy” reporting so it is often forgotten in the news.

Bottom line, is Greek life for everyone-no, but there are a lot of positives for those of us who “rushed” and I hope all students find their niche like I did.

lwa

August 11th, 2009
10:15 am

It is always interesting to me to hear the comments of people who are not a part of a sorority or fraternity.

I believe that kids should be a sophomore before being allowed to pledge. This way, they have an opportunity to see what a particular organization is about and learn about the core foundations of the organziation.

nurse&mother

August 11th, 2009
10:31 am

Why would anyone be jealous of Greek life (as someone else suggested)? Anyone can rush right? So why WOULD anyone be jealous? Not a valid argument, imho.

I suppose, I chose not to rush based on what I saw. As I mentioned earlier, how can you really get to know someone in one week (unless you are judging superficial qualities)? Maybe I am wrong. That is what I saw from a distance.

Maybe UGA is different than other schools as far as Greek goes. I had friends that rushed and it seemed that they felt like they had to put on airs. That is NOT my style. I have never felt like I have to impress someone just to be my friend.

I have friends that went to different colleges and said that is was not so cliquey. Those friends also said that there wasn’t much social life except Greek life.

DB

August 11th, 2009
10:32 am

I never thought of Greek life as “paying for friends”, since most of the people I know/knew in Greeks were generally pretty outgoing and friendly anyway, and never lacked for friends. But that’s the nice thing especially about a larger campus — if not Greek, there are always organizations that will appreciate your time and energy, and will give you an opportunity to make life-long friends.

Theresa, that was interesting, the comment that some sororities are savings spots for older girls. I once listened with fascination to a very in-depth analysis as to why it’s harder for older girls to pledge at UGA — apparently, a lot of the decision is financially-driven in some houses, in that it’s better for the sorority to give a spot to someone who may be paying dues for four years, instead of just two or three.

I just feel sorry for so many girls who have pinned all their college hopes and dreams around being a part of sorority life in college, only to have those dreams dashed before school even starts. It makes a tough transition even tougher — but they survive, and almost everyone manages to find a niche, eventually.

nurse&mother

August 11th, 2009
10:35 am

Ok, if I am wrong about greeks judging folks, then why can’t a student be in ANY sorority or fraternity that they want to? But no one is being superficial, right?

uconn

August 11th, 2009
10:41 am

Read Pledeged by andrea robbings … Very insightful…I thought that I had wanted to plegde up north … but when I went to the meetings I found that I did not want to be judged on what color my hair was or what kind of car I drove. I was happy to just be me and I found my true friends that way.

PHR

August 11th, 2009
10:44 am

I was influenced by my mother to Rush when I went to college. She had been in a sorority and had made great friends. I went through Rush at a large school and it was tough when I didn’t make it. It was very stressful and I was very upset. I ended up leaving that school and transferring to a smaller school and joined a sorority. It was a great experience and made some dear friends.

I think it would be wise to wait a bit so that you can see what each group is about. Some colleges have winter Rush at the beginning of 2nd semester for that exact reason.

Zachs Mom

August 11th, 2009
10:51 am

I wanted to be in a sorority when I went to UGA in 1989 but I was about 15-20 lbs over weight at the time and NONE of them would even give me the time of day. It didn’t matter that I had good grades, was a hard worker, and had several letters. I was told that “I just wasn’t the “TYPE” for this group or that one”

After 6 month of walking the hills from Brumby to the Library, I lost those 20 lbs and the same girls all of a sudden wanted to be my friend. I was still the same person. I wish things could have been different. It might have been a great experience with the right group.

Becky

August 11th, 2009
10:56 am

motherjanegoose, my niece attended that college that you are talking about..She was part of a soroity and loved it..She now lives in TX and goes back 2-3 times a year to visit and watch the football games..

New Step Mom

August 11th, 2009
11:02 am

I think the argument for students to hold off on pledging until the middle of their freshman year or sophomore year is somewhat valid. However, I was VERY homesick my freshman year for the first month and I am not positive I would have made it that long without my sorority big sister and another sorority sister who took me under their wings and helped me find my place. I can definitely see both sides of that argument due to my own personal experience and I do see some advantages to getting “rush” out of the way prior to classes beginning.

The argument that Greek life is terrbile because you are judged to “get in.” is laughable to me. I am 34 years old and am judged by someone everyday of my life. If you cannot handle that in college you will have a long road to travel in adulthood. The other thing that is funny is that when I was in school at Auburn, the marching band and the Baptist Student Union were far more judgemental and exclusionary in my opinion than any of the Greeks I came across. That was after living with folks from each group in the freshman dorm. Not saying there is anything wrong with these groups, but any group of more than 2 humans has the ability to be judgemental and exclusionary whether they are greek or not. Unfortunately the kids I see today are so sheltered and pampered that the harsh reality of being judged hits them much harder than it did those of us whose parents did not act as our valets and concierges.

nurse&mother

August 11th, 2009
11:06 am

What do the pro Greek folks (sorority girl, Andrea, Just the facts, JATL, etc ) have to say in response to Zach’s mom? This is what I suspected when I attended UGA in 92.

nurse&mother

August 11th, 2009
11:08 am

New Step mom, while I will agree that we are judged every day, this doesn’t mean I want to VOLUNTARILY sign myself up for more. I had my share of this in middle/high school.

DZ

August 11th, 2009
11:20 am

I joined a sorority in college, but then I’ve always been a joiner. I was in a sorority in high school and also in civic organizations. I’m still a joiner, so that’s just who I am. I enjoy the camaraderie and enjoy being a leader. I was VP of my sorority and usually end up in leadership roles in organizations I join. That being said – it’s in my nature to be a joiner. Some people aren’t and that is their personality – you should do what’s comfortable for you.

My son just graduated from college and did not join a fraternity. That was a surprise since he’s extremely social and most people would think he was a typical frat boy. But he’s not a joiner, he likes to be around people, but he’s never been into being part of organized groups – either civic or social. That worked fine for him.

Each person should make the choice that’s right for them – don’t join because everyone says you should and don’t avoid Greek life because of others either.

motherjanegoose

August 11th, 2009
11:22 am

@becky….oh yes, I LOVE the state and the area is beautiful. When UGA got beat in the Sugar Bowl
( a few years back)against them, I told my crew…do NOT underestimate those mountain boys…they are SERIOUS about their football and show it. I have also lived in Texas and love those folks too but the hills in West Virginia are different from the hills in Texas. This is why I have loved traveling….I get to see so many neat places!

New Step Mom

August 11th, 2009
11:31 am

Nurse&Mother, In my opinion if you step foot out of your home, you are volunteering to be judged. I still hold that Greek Life is not for everyone but all groups have the opportunity to be judgemental and exclusionary.

JATL

August 11th, 2009
11:44 am

Well, nurse and mother -you seem to be the most judgemental person on here today -not the Greek folks! I wasn’t saying you were jealous of Greek life, but your incredibly indignant and put-upon attitude about Greek life makes me think thou dost protest too much.

As far as Zachs mom goes -I’m sorry if that was her experience, but there were overweight girls (some QUITE overweight) in almost every sorority I knew at UGA.It sounds like she didn’t even try Rush supposedly due to some other girls telling her she wouldn’t do well -she probably would have been fine especially since she had recs. I will say this -it may not be nice, but as with many other visible things on a person, overweight girls may not get the first looks during Rush (although they are not ignored at every sorority -especially with rec letters) just like girls dressed outlandishly or very oddly possibly wouldn’t be asked back. Guess what -they don’t get the first looks at bars on Saturday night and there’s quite a lot of evidence out there that overweight people in general are often overlooked in interviews as well. That’s how it has always been in society in general -not nice or great, but life itself isn’t very fair. I know what I’m talking about -I’ve ALWAYS struggled with my weight -including when I was active in a sorority. Like every other impediment in life you can use being overweight as an excuse or get over it or lose the weight! Just another FYI -I was in a very popular sorority at UGA in 87 and 88 (I transferred to another college after that). There were several overweight girls in my pledge class and in the sorority.

New Step Mom

August 11th, 2009
11:50 am

JATL, VERY well said.

Becky

August 11th, 2009
12:02 pm

motherjanegoose, I love what I have seen of the state..I’ll never forget my first time there though..They laughed at my accent..They weren’t being mean about it, they just thought I had the real southern twang that people always talk about..

Denise

August 11th, 2009
12:06 pm

I believe Black fraternities and sororities are different so I cannot comment on the responses given so far. (Before you comment on this, there are members of other ethnicities in our organization; they were founded for Black people but do not discriminate.) There is no rush week or bids. We can only apply to ONE sorority, have our qualifications compared to the national requirements (GPA, community service, letters of recommendations), are interviewed, are voted upon, and accepted or rejected (clearly can’t be done in the first semester of school). Of course there is judgment. There is judgment every day in a lot of situations.

I am a proud Lifetime Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.. I never felt that I was buying my friends. I feel that I am a part of a group of women, all over the world, who are committed to scholarship, sisterhood, and service. I have no regrets. I would do it again and again and am going to work my “magic” on my niece when she goes to college (she’s not yet 2) to have her join my sorority so that we can have another bond.