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.