Photo by Casey Gomez

Currently at Tech, first-semester freshmen are the prime focus of Greek organizations during recruitment. These students are just beginning college and are experiencing academic and social changes in their transitions. They also have the least information about Greek organizations and their practices, a fact which has been used to the benefit of these organizations.

Appealing to freshmen during rush is not reflective of the time commitment necessary to become an official member of the organization. Only once individuals pledge are they burdened with many jobs and time-consuming responsibilities. These may range from simple chores to memorizing reams of information to other forms of quasi-hazing, which freshmen are not completely aware of. In conjunction with their course loads, this may cause undue psychological stress.

In order to provide freshmen with an adequate period of time to acclimate to college life, first-semester freshmen should not be allowed to rush. This delay will also give them the opportunity to learn more about any fraternities or sororities that interest them, including the time commitments involved.

By providing more time, students will be able to better develop their social scenes and determine if participating in Greek life fits their schedules. As a result, Greek communities will have to make themselves more enticing, likely by reducing their excessive initiation practices. These organizations would also focus more of their efforts on recruiting second- and third-year students, providing these students with more options to be involved on campus.

It is not a complete solution to reducing the stresses of initiation, as the school does not have complete authority over each organization’s operations. However, the delay certainly would help incoming freshmen make more informed choices.

  • PerimeterCenter

    Was any research done at other campuses that have the rule you’re proposing? Did you delve into Tech’s own history with GLOs? The term “quazi-hazing” is just thrown out there as if everyone will go along with the assumption that it’s punishment of some kind to do some up front work to prepare to join an organization and gain access to its benefits (which is a lot like interning for the company you’d like to work for in order to land your first big job, by the way.) I didn’t see any mention that of the 40+ GLOs on campus, many have shortened their pledge periods drastically in the last decade or two and lightened the workloads dramatically. Doesn’t the argument work the other way, too? If GLOs make it their practice to initiate unprepared students, then wouldn’t they also lose a lot of them to burnout and low grades? I see you didn’t mention the minimum GPA requirements to join and remain active in most GLOs. Still, I’m sure the quarter or more of the campus population involved in GLOs would be open to your proposal if you could provide data supporting your claims of increased focus on established students. As it stands, anyone may rush – fall or spring – and plenty of second and third year students do choose to join a Greek Letter Org. You might be right that they go in with clearer eyes, but many of them will also say they wish they’d done it right away. Until a bit more data and support enters the discussion to validate the effectiveness of the rule you propose, this comes off as the complaint of someone who regrets their own first semester choices.

    • Mary Ann Burney Allen

      Very well stated.

  • lledrubnave

    If students are truly concerned about making the best choice then they can wait until spring. Hundreds who have bids wait each Fall until the spring. Spring is always harder to rush as well. If that was the only option for rush then you’ll see the Greek population at Georgia Tech go from 25% to 10% in a few years. It’s much harder to get someone to move away from their established schedules and circles to join an fraternity or sorority. Lets remember that the first fraternity at Georgia Tech was started before the first classes were held. 80% of campus leaders are Greek and the All Greek GPA is above the all students average and most Greek organizations GPA are well above the all Greek average. Greek organizations are recruiting amazing students now. It’s unwise to suggest they change their tactics.

  • haley

    *first years.