Greek life has rush week VIRTUALLY this year
Donovan Wilson – Reporter
Donovan Wilson — Rush week is a huge part of campus Greek life as it is how fraternities and sororities recruit new members, and as we enter our second in-person semester during COVID-19, rush week hasn’t gone away but it has adapted to the ever changing landscape.
Rush week as a concept is when fraternities and sororities hold events to catch the interest of students and hopefully recruit them on as members. Typically, this would include a wide range of fun in-person events to really engage with the future members of the group. This has shifted a bit as everything moves to an online but the spirit and goal of the events remain the same.
“The online aspect of rush week hasn’t added anything, truthfully it’s only taken away from the usual experience,” said Jedrek Wittenberger, president of Beta Mu Sigma fraternity.
As mentioned before, the major change to rush week is its full shift to online which has caused a plethora of problems for the fraternities, due to the difficulties this sort of witch has caused for almost everybody. Feedback shows that this experience overall has only really had a negative impact on rush week and the fraternities as a whole. This has been evident a much smaller number of students rushing fraternities or sororities.
As previously stated, the decrease in interest can be evident in the new virtual version of Meet the Greeks which is normally huge for the fraternities and sororities. During the event, they’ll usually meet a lot of potential members, but this year, they only saw about four people each and in addition to this, there are much less events being held in general as there are none of the usual in-person events. The only somewhat positive in a way is that there are certain events that work online and are fun that would have never really worked in person, like a trivia night.
“Even though Covid’s been tough for all of us, we’re trying to find new ways to stick together and help both bring and show new prospective brothers about the brotherhood we’ve already established that we’ve all grown to love,” said Michael Formica, a brother of the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity.
Aside from just rush week, fraternities have gone entirely online in essentially every aspect that they can. For instance, every meeting is virtual at all times for all Greek life groups which probably adds to the difficulty in reaching out. However, it also helps the fraternities to get creative with accessible at home events like the virtual gaming event that Alpha Phi Delta is planning to potentially have.
A giant aspect of the online world of Greek life and rush week specifically has been social media. Instagram has become an integral tool in how fraternities present what they’re about to a wide audience as the virtual events see a large decrease in attendance. It also allows a very easy way to just shoot a message to students and gauge their interest without them even having to attend rush week events or to potentially make them aware of and interested in certain rush week events.
For some organizations, the experience has been overall positive and has caused a pretty good turnout. Tau Kappa Epsilons meet the brothers event ended up running an hour longer than expected due to engagement with potential members that were rushing.
“Things are going better than expected honestly,” said Michaeal Anderson, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon. “Everyone is used to all these guidelines now, this is our new normal.”
Photo credit: Sam Tapper