A Comprehensive Overview of Sorority Rush

At the start of the sorority rush process, a friend gave me some helpful advice that she overheard from a current sorority girl.  “Avoid the four Bs: No Boys, No Booze, No Butts, No Boobs.” I laughed. At fraternity late nights and Cantinas, where I likely would have met most of the girls rushing, all four of these categories would have been the only things talked about or seen.  However, everyone seemed to get the “Four Bs” memo because when I showed up to Ross School of Business on the first day of recruitment, 1100 girls were walking around in classy business casual outfits. 

John Nordstrom and Stephen Ross both would have had a field day with the number of girls in sweaters, tailored pants, booties, hair scarves, and upscale jewelry.  There were so many Canada Goose jackets one would think a factory recently opened in the Blau Hall basement. To put it simply, it was a vast display of wealth.  

More rounds came and went. I learned more about the rush process, the philanthropy that each sorority is paired with, and heard some slightly creepy chants. It was fun, confusing, and slightly bemusing. Sitting down with each house changed my opinion of the specific house’s reputation as well as that of sorority girls in general.  

Everyone was on their best behavior as I dragged myself over to Ross at 7:30 AM on a Tuesday morning for the first round of Rush.  We were slated to visit with all seventeen sororities for twenty minutes each, meeting three or four girls in each house. My naivete about the whole process prevented nerves from flowing  I just tried to be myself. 

As the rounds began, I found my voice coming out of my mouth three octaves higher than it naturally does. I crossed my legs, kept my hands in my lap to minimize crazy gestures, and smiled even when I was bored. It was like going through seventeen job interviews back to back, but I honestly enjoyed my time with each one. 

More rounds came and went. I learned more about the rush process, the philanthropy that each sorority is paired with, and heard some slightly creepy chants. It was fun, confusing, and slightly bemusing. Sitting down with each house changed my opinion of the specific house’s reputation as well as that of sorority girls in general.  

On Bid Day 1100 girls walked into Rackham, with 500 wearing white sneakers (myself included, always one for following the trend) and 600 wearing black boots.  Some girls were laughing, some were red-faced from crying, and at least 100 said, “I’m gonna throw up.” I sat with girls whose last names were in alphabetical proximity to mine, received my envelope, and was told to wait while each of the seventeen sororities gave their chant for us.

Going into the rush process, my main concern was fitting in. My engaging conversations really shaped my appreciation for my sorority.

Finally, the Panhellenic Association president counted down from ten for all of us to open the envelope and reveal which sorority we would forever be associated with.  When she came to one, I tore open the letter to find the Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE) seal across the top, formally granting me a bid to their Winter 2020 pledge class. On the walk from Rackham to the DPhiE house I realized that these girls would become my best friends.  The girls in DPhiE know their house best and thought that I would be a perfect fit. I took hundreds of photos with girls I barely knew and met the girls in the years above me. It was the perfect day. 

Going into the rush process, my main concern was fitting in. My engaging conversations really shaped my appreciation for my sorority.  I was lucky enough to end up in a house where I could be myself and be reminded that I was beautiful and that I belong in DPhiE.  

Luckily, I didn’t have to cover that up; I talked to one sorority girl about the benefits of healthcare reform, made plans to call on the University to subsidize Blue Buses to the polls on election day with another sorority girl, and learned that each sorority has diverse political thought. 

Some girls dropped the rush process, and others declined their bid in the end.  Many girls were not the most satisfied with their outcome initially, but are sticking with the sorority that offered them a bid for now.  The rush process is kind of a crapshoot, much like college admissions itself. However, it was absolutely worth the stress, ripped pantyhose, and cold weather exposure.  I met incredible girls, both who were rushing and who rushed me, and I do not regret my investment in greek life in the slightest.  

Some people told me to avoid the Four Bs, while others added “No Bernie,” referencing a dissuasion against talking politics. I’m passionate about politics, electoral literacy, and public opinion research, so I was concerned about sacrificing that part of my personality to appear likeable.  Luckily, I didn’t have to cover that up; I talked to one sorority girl about the benefits of healthcare reform, made plans to call on the University to subsidize Blue Buses to the polls on election day with another sorority girl, and learned that each sorority has diverse political thought.  I mistakenly thought that sorority girls would be less academically inclined and more alcohol inclined before I remembered that this is the University of Michigan. Every girl here is smart, driven, and capable. Some of us were just looking for our sisters. 

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About Lindsay Keiser

Lindsay Keiser is a freshman in LSA, studying political science. When she isn’t writing or copy editing, she enjoys traveling the world and browsing twitter.