The Daily Illini

Greek recruitment can be superficial

Sorority+sisters+exit+Foellinger+Auditorium+to+join+their+new+sisters+on+September+12%2C+2016.
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Greek recruitment can be superficial

Sorority sisters exit Foellinger Auditorium to join their new sisters on September 12, 2016.

Sorority sisters exit Foellinger Auditorium to join their new sisters on September 12, 2016.

The Daily Illini File PHoto

Sorority sisters exit Foellinger Auditorium to join their new sisters on September 12, 2016.

The Daily Illini File PHoto

The Daily Illini File PHoto

Sorority sisters exit Foellinger Auditorium to join their new sisters on September 12, 2016.

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

Greek life has its perks. Lifelong friendships, support systems, a social outlet and a home away from home for many participating members.

Greek life began in the mid to late 19th century as a way for college students to find communities with common interests, often talking about current events, politics and literature. They were organizations where students could learn outside the classroom from their peers, and have a space to encourage learning and critical thinking among one another.

As time went on, the bonds between members of these groups grew deep and they began to plan parties and social events in addition to supporting one another’s intellectual growth. They began to offer valuable social and even professional networks for members.

And most of these qualities still exist in Greek life today. Sororities claim to be women who support women, an invaluable resource on a college campus. Fraternities too offer the like to male members.

So why is it then, that Greek recruitment has morphed into a very superficial process?

Somewhere along the way, the organizations that claim to uphold values and support their members have lost sight of what their founding mothers or fathers destined for them. It wasn’t all about who had the cutest outfit or the most perfectly curled hair ladies, and certainly not about who could handle the most alcohol and be “bro” enough to hang with the guys.

It’s understandable that personal presentation is important and can at times reflect self-respect. First impressions are valuable, so of course looking nice or wearing your best outfit are not bad things. It’s something many colleges even advise to students on the internship and job hunt.

We understand each organization wants to find new members who will get along well with current members. However, as the years go on, the rushing process for both fraternities and sororities went from like-minded values to like-minded social status.

It isn’t necessarily the organizations themselves that are at fault. Members do try to have deep and meaningful conversations during rush, and many make real connections through those ever-important talks. However, the well-intentioned events are quickly dominated by glam: the outfits, the decorations and the cool parties.

The rushing process is not much different than the college search. Those Illini tour guides in their bright orange shirts parading high schoolers and their family members around campus with wholly positive facts are no different than fraternity brothers talking up their houses at a rush party.

Both are a game, and each side understandably wants to come away with a win.

However,  it is important to remember that you will not get along well with someone just because you thought they were cool or attractive upon first impression. Stay true to your own values to find people who will actually help you become the best version of yourself, underneath all the glitter, hairspray or champagne shower upon accepting your bid.

As the rushing season comes to a close, don’t forget that the process isn’t over. You’ve been given and accepted your bid, but you aren’t actually initiated for a couple more months. You’re not locked in just yet, as you’re likely to hear soon from your new members. So take this time to actually decide if you like what your house stands for. Now’s the chance to see what your pledge classes and new members are really like.

If it’s not right, don’t force it. The cliche is true. You can always try again next year as a sophomore or junior.

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