Students offer perspectives on “Going Greek”

Photo Courtesy of Delta Chi

Rush week is over at Tech, and fraternities and sororities have started handing out precious bids. The Technique caught up with a few students to ask about their perceptions of the Greek system at Tech.

Eric Maday, a freshman CS major from Chicago, IL, recently accepted a bid from Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“I chose there because when I went around rushing, it was the place I felt most welcomed right off the bat. I actually met two of the brothers during FASET… and I hit it off with them. They are also big on intramurals, They didn’t seem like the typical ‘frat’ where all they want to do is ‘Party, party, party,’ so that was another part of it,” said Maday as he recounted his past week rushing.

Having visited six different fraternities, Maday had many options to weigh in the next few days.

Stepping out of his comfort zone, Maday decided to hang out with the brothers of Sig Ep.

“Friday morning, I got a text inviting me to the SAC field because [the brothers] were playing sports. I played sand volleyball with them during the day, then I went back at night and talked with more brothers, got to know different ones, and they got to know me. On the second day of rush, I meant to go back to three or four houses, went to Sig Ep first, and ended up staying there three hours,” Maday said. “I like how relaxed it is,… you kinda just pick and choose where you want to go, and it just feels very casual when you go in there.”

According to Maday, rushing is a great way to meet new people and become acclimated with Tech. Being from Chicago and only knowing one person coming to Tech, Maday was able to gain many new friends in his first week.

Kylene Barut, a fourth year EE major from Malibu, CA, also enjoyed her rush week last year. She is now a sister at Alpha Xi Delta.

“I joined Alpha Xi because I came to Tech as a third year, and, being EE, I knew I wasn’t going to meet a whole lot of girls in my class. So I wanted to have a group of girls to help acclimate me at campus and get me involved at Tech. Some sororities’ nationals only let them have X amount of third and fourth years, so some sororities I was eliminated from right away, but Alpha Xi was really welcoming,” Barut said. “Alpha Xi is one of the only sororities that has all the new members learn all the older girls: their majors and years, just facts about them. I like that about them. Why would I be in a sorority with 150 other girls when I don’t even know some of their names? It’s nice that they encourage us to learn everyone’s name.”

Barut did include some criticism of rushing, both as a new student and as a returning sister.

“I wish that they didn’t have girl rush so early. To rush when I was not in a sorority yet, I had to get here Wednesday. As an older girl, I had to pay $75 a day, and I wasn’t allowed to move in until Saturday on top of having to pay for rush,” she added. “Being in a sorority, I have to be here a week before the first day of rush…. I’m out of state, so that’s a big deal, coming a week early.”

Both Maday and Barut mentioned that there are negative stereotypes associates with all Greek life, such as hazing, constant partying, and attempting to be Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. However, these perceptions are not always the truth.

“I never had any problems like they say, girls getting hazed. None of that kind of stuff happened,” Barut continued. “I didn’t join a sorority until I was a junior because I had this image of sorority girls like Legally Blonde. Then I realized my best friend [who] goes to Stanford… is in a sorority there, and she’s so not the ‘sorority’ type. I realized it’s just a group of girls that hang out and do philanthropy and have fun events… girls that eat together and hang out and stuff.”

Greek life isn’t for everyone, though. Devin Roach, a fourth year ME major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, chose not to join a fraternity.

“When deciding whether or not to join a fraternity, there’s a few obvious things that I was thinking about when I was rushing: …time and monetary commitments. The whole rushing/pledging process takes time, especially as I was becoming acclimated to a brand new school, a brand new culture coming all the way from the west coast. It was totally different,” said Roach.

“Most frats require some sort of dues… not to mention the fact that you pay for date nights and other frat-organized events. So that’s what people have to decide,… whether or not those are things that you’re interested in. If you can’t make the decision to say, ‘This is most definitely going to enhance my college or postgrad experience,’ then it’s not worth it.”

Without the burden of out-of-state fees, though, Roach probably would have joined ATO or Sig Ep.

“I did rush,… and I enjoyed it. I’m the type of guy who says, ‘What’s the fun thing to do?’ or ‘How can I have the most amount of fun, and what are all my homies doing?’ And the majority of them probably would have joined frats, and I probably would have gone right along with them.”

Rushing is a great experience for incoming students to meet new people and to adjust to life at Tech. However, before pledging, students should weigh all of the potential pros and cons of Greek life.