Rushing His Way – Frat Recruitment

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Get Ready for Him to Rush -Frat Recruitment

Rush, Rushing, Recruitment, what is like today? Going back to 1978 with the release of “Animal House”, which became one of the most successful fraternity comedies of all time, to 2014 with the release of “Neighbors,” fraternities have been portrayed as groups of Neanderthals that do nothing but party, drink alcohol and abuse drugs. Fraternities have been called out on national television for purported participation in horrific activities. Certainly, if a fraternity house is engaging in behavior that crosses the line, they should, and will, end up either on suspension or maybe even kicked off-campus. But talk with many of the young men in fraternities at UMD, and they will speak of brotherhood, a lifetime of friendships and access to leadership positions on campus.

The University of Maryland currently has 25 recognized Fraternities within the IFC. Eleven fraternities have houses that are owned by the university, and the rest have privately owned chapter houses. Rush is year-round, with formal recruitment periods at the beginning of each semester.

The Rush Recruitment Process

For parents of incoming freshmen, you have probably started to hear about the fraternity rush. The way rush is handled for fraternities is radically different from sororities, but I am glad to give you the parent perspective on both (check out our blog on sororities here). Either way, you will not find too many who love the process.  But like it or not, Greek life does have its advantages, and kids are probably not going to forgo the rumors about rush if it means not joining. To ease the nerves of every parent, The University does not allow hazing of any kind; in fact, the state of Maryland even prohibits hazing.  Please click for the University’s Hazing Policy. If a hazing incident is reported, the fraternity or sorority will face action from their respective Council’s Judicial Board.

In order to be eligible, students must have at least 12 credits and at least a 2.5 GPA. 2.5 is the minimum GPA required by the IFC Council, but individual chapters might have their own GPA requirements. Be sure to ask the fraternities if they have a chapter-specific GPA that they must uphold. If you meet these requirements, students interested in rushing but create an account on CampusDirector. If you do not meet the deadline for creating an account, students will not be permitted to join any fraternity.

Recruitment begins in the beginning of the semester, usually the second or third week of school. It officially begins with the “Meet the IFC” event that is hosted in the Stamp Colony Ballroom. All recognized Interfraternity Council member organizations on-campus will be present for this event. Following this event, chapters will hold an open house at the chapters’ house or at another location if they do not have an official house. After open house events, chapters will host lunches, table out on the green or in the breezeway to talk to students, and nightly events at the house or other various locations. At that time, boys go from house to house, where they are greeted by brothers who will “interview” them. They can spend practically a whole evening, if they choose, at one house and never get to others.

They can get asked to leave (yes, asked to leave, as in, “We don’t think you will fit in here. You can leave now”) regardless of how much time they have invested getting to know some of the other brothers. Other times, they may just not get invited back to the next event. Try to encourage your son to broaden his horizons and check out all the frats, not just the ones deemed popular. He may be pleasantly surprised by some of the smaller fraternities. Try to stay in touch with your son as his support system; should he need it. The rejection is real. Most boys do find their fraternity; others may not get accepted to the frat of their choice, but there is a second rush opportunity the following semester.

Fraternity Row and the Graham Cracker

Fraternity houses at UMD are either located on Fraternity Row or the Graham Cracker. The university owns the houses located on Fraternity Row, located off of Route 1, and the other houses are located on the “Graham Cracker” down the road in Old Town College Park. Both fraternities and sororities have houses in these areas. The 14 houses on Frat Row are all the same picturesque style houses. In the middle of the houses is Fraternity Row Fields, which is 6-acre field facilities that host activities, club sports, and is just an overall great place to hang out.

New Members

Here is a little about how it works. Let’s say your son gets a bid from the house he wants. A bid is basically an invitation to join their fraternity. They then have three options to either 1.) Accept the bid and rush is over for him or 2.) Sit on the bid, the most common choice during rush week, as it allows him to continue to visit other frats and maybe even collect more bids. In the end, he can only accept one of the bids or 3.) Decline a bid and continue the hunt.  And then the fun really begins; new member period. If a chapter wants to offer an invitation to join their chapter, boys must officially sign their bids and return them by the due date.

Once a bid has been accepted, your student becomes a new member. Fraternities have been in the national spotlight due to the tragic death of several members at various college campuses. Many Universities are taking a very strict approach to suspend any organization for any infraction that falls under their definition of hazing. Talk to your student before he accepts a bid as to how to handle any situation that makes him feel uncomfortable. Try not to let the rumors of hazing worry you because chances are it will never happen. What is more likely is that your son will spend the next few weeks doing insane things like writing love letters to the frat sweetheart in alphabet soup letters, washing brother’s cars or doing their dishes, or texting sorority girls’ pictures of puppies along with the daily weather forecast.

At this point, you may be thinking why would I want my son to subject himself to going through this process? Personally speaking, while fraternity life may not be for everyone, they do offer a lot of benefits including being extremely visible and active on campus, involvement in philanthropies and they make the size of UMD seem a little smaller.  Fraternity brothers partake in rituals that are unique to their letters, nationally and internationally, promoting brotherhood. Frats provide leadership opportunities as they are student-run organizations. Fraternities also teach our young men great interviewing skills as they are often asked off-the-wall questions that promote thinking on their feet. It teaches them a great deal about social interactions and hopefully about being a gentleman as they will always be representing their letters.

Another important element of fraternities to keep in mind is dues. Each specific chapter sets their dies for each semester. These dues pay for all of their programs and materials as well as their obligations to the international office. While there is a financial obligation, chapters do create payment plans for members needing special consideration. There may also be additional fees for retreats, formals, etc.

Learn the facts about the University of Maryland Fraternity recruitment.

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2020-07-29T13:06:15-04:000 Comments

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