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The Daily Illini

To rush or not to rush

These sisters form a triangle with their arms and hands, showing sorority pride during Bid Day on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

These sisters form a triangle with their arms and hands, showing sorority pride during Bid Day on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

Daily Illini File Photo

Daily Illini File Photo

These sisters form a triangle with their arms and hands, showing sorority pride during Bid Day on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

Molly Leahy, Web Manager

It’s not advertised on your acceptance letter, but freshman year of college can be a scary time. Behind all of the fun opportunities and friends, you’ll also find yourself making some major decisions. Besides deciding on classes and activities to join, you also might face a common but important decision for freshmen: Should I rush?

The University of Illinois boasts the largest fraternity and sorority community in the country, with 97 sororities and fraternities. Still, that counts for only about 25% of the undergraduate population. There’s benefits to both joining and not joining, so if you’re headed to college unsure, do not fret, we’re here to help.

To Rush

There are many benefits to being a part of Greek life. With 59 fraternities and 38 sororities, there’s a place for everyone. There are business and service fraternities, cultural and religious affiliated organizations, and social houses. Many of these organizations offer networking opportunities or volunteering. Much of the desire to join a house, however, is to make friends and be a part of a social group. The process of recruitment, for both fraternities and sororities, involves socializing with different groups to see where you fit.

If you’re interested in rushing a fraternity, the process is usually by word of mouth and attending rush events put on by the frat (for social houses). For sororities, you can sign up for formal recruitment online, which is a process over two weekends that involves going from house to house for different “rounds.” While this may seem intimidating, many students are glad they tried it out because it allowed them to see whether a sorority was right for them.

Illinois is a big school, and being a part of the Greek community makes the campus feel smaller. It’s a positive life decision for many students on campus, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.

To Not Rush

Not everyone is part of the Greek community; in fact, the majority of students are not affiliated with the Greek system. Greek life is just one way to get involved, and there are hundreds of student organizations on campus–you’ll have a pile of flyers by the end of Quad Day to prove that.

Other students choose not to rush to focus on academics or sports. Many sororities and fraternities are time-consuming and have many events per week. They’re also expensive to be a part of, especially if you are required to live in the house. Some sororities can cost up to $2,000.

Another reason to avoid Greek life is the social scene. In some cases, much of Greek life is going out to the bars and consuming alcohol. It is possible to be in a house and not participate, but this reason can discourage students from rushing.

Additionally, not being in Greek life doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. With the abundance of bars on campus, concert venues and restaurants, the Illinois campus provides plenty of other ways to have a fun night out. So while joining Greek life has its benefits for some students, there are plenty of students who prefer to do their own thing and get involved in other ways.

Overall this is just one of the decisions you’ll make in college, and there are many factors to consider. Both have their benefits and will provide you with an amazing four years here at Illinois.

Molly is a sophomore in Media.

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