Greek at U.Va.

By William Tuttle

   I highly recommend rushing to any and all first-years simply because it is a great way to meet a lot of people and learn more about what the Greek system has to offer. Yes, rush begins very early in the school year and it can take up a great deal of time, but it really can be a great experience. It is quite possible to meet more people in just the few weeks of rush than can be met in an entire year here. For guys, anyway, it's also a great chance to eat good food, get onto guest lists, and have a few drinks with older Wahoos. Here, then, are a few tips for rushing and pledging the fraternity or sorority of choice.

First, rush can be a very superficial experience. Don't be intimidated by this; just act normally. Soda, potato chips, and cheap cigarettes (for guys) and skits and party dresses(for the girls) get old after the first few houses and the talking gets old even faster. Wear borderline dressy-casual clothes that are designer label if possible, and that make you look your best. You are trying to sell yourself and your coolness to the brothers and sisters, so put your best foot forward (i.e. show your best qualities and don't divulge the side of you that enjoys playing the bagpipes with Aunt Elvira . . .). Be honest when answering brothers' and sisters' questions, but feel free to exaggerate whenever possible. If you don't cross the line of putting on airs, you'll be rewarded come bid day. If you cross this line, you'll find out that false impressions can only last for a short time. Remember this, because if you end up at a house where they go to Aspen for the weekend and you can barely afford the Corner, you'll be disappointed with your choice.

On the other side, each house has an idea of the Wahoos they are seeking. There are houses known for being Southern, having large numbers of blondes, and the like. Houses have their reasons for choosing people and a primary goal is not to alienate a particular pledge. Therefore, don't feel offended if a house doesn't offer you an invite. It is nothing personal; the houses simply have their reputations to uphold and the elders have a better idea than you do of what their typical member is like.

Each house has its own personality, so the "best" house is the one where you feel most at ease. Don't worry what others think; after they go to that first party or mixer with you they'll see why you chose that house. You must feel passionate about your decision. Otherwise, it's a waste of your time and money to pledge. If after rushing, however, you find the Greek scene to be horrid, don't worry about it. You will always know that it wasn't your scene and then you can devote your resources and passion to something that fits your niche.