To rush or not to rush

A non-satirical take on joining a fraternity.

Hyatt Sbar

Well, I’m back. It has been six long, hard weeks of not writing sh**ty newspaper articles. (I took a leave of absence for new member education.) In fact, I totally forgot about the Ring-tum Phi until someone recognized me in public and told me she was a reader of my articles. This is an exact recollection of the conversation:

“Are you Hyatt Sbar?”

“No, but what did he do?”

“I recognize you. I read your articles. They made me laugh.”

“You aren’t offended?” 

“No, they really were funny, but you are a lot more boring in person.” 

I will tell my grandchildren about that moment of affirmation. Anyway, she reminded me that there are people who don’t want me burnt at the stake for my jokes, and I still write for the paper, so here I am. 

Speaking of new member education, Greek life is hated by millions. As someone who writes for a newspaper solely to piss people off, I immediately decided I wanted to be in a fraternity, and I have never been happier. What better place to be than at the epicenter of controversy? Trick question, silly reader, there is no better place to be. 

Anyway, the process of rushing a fraternity was concerning to say the least, and being a potential new member deserves its own article, which I will discuss later. That was a lie. I will never discuss that. Why do you think I care about satisfying your ever-present curiosity? You are a figment of my imagination and I have no personal relationship with the abstract idea of you reading this. You may question my abrasive tone with you. Well, I imagine you disliking my writing, and anyone who does that has no sense of humor. I hate people with no sense of humor. I am done speaking to you. Read my damn article. 

Rush started before I got on campus when Pike followed me on Instagram. (I feel like no one talked about that but whatever.) Then orientation week and the first party happened. I remember wondering if the people I was riding to Windfall with would end up being my friends (they didn’t). In order to protect the fraternity depicted in this situation, I shall call it Ligma Yuck. I remember walking into the Ligma Yuck house, which reminded me of documentaries on drug use that showed crack dens in Florida. I remember grabbing a beer out of the trough. (I hate beer, I just wanted to fit in.) I remember cracking that beer, then being side swiped by an obnoxiously drunk 20-year-old woman. It was there, on my face, that I wondered if this was really necessary. Do we really have to play rush tango where I drink your beer and you affirm me? Can I just tell you I want to join; you can keep your disgusting beer and I can retain sobriety? Then when the time comes, I can be a potential new member? It seemed like too much work to explain this to someone with four brain cells, so I played along. Next, the clammy handshakes of drunk Ligma Yucks. It started with something like: 

Frat bro: “Yo, bro, sick shirt. What’s your name?” 

Me with a literal blank white T-shirt: “Hyatt. Am I missing something? It’s a blank white T-shirt…” 

Frat bro: “Where are you from.” 

Me: “Oh, I’m fr-” 

Frat bro: “That is crazy bro, I went there one time. Did you say you were a business major???” 

Me: “No, I didn’t say that. Also, I didn’t even say where I was fr-”

Frat bro: “Put your number in my phone bro, and I can let you know about all the sick functions we have” 

Me: “Do you have a moment to talk about our lord and savior Jesus Chr-”

Frat bro: “Yeah, I love being in Ligma Yuck. It is really like a brotherhood, man. I love it so much.” 

Me: “Are you reading off a script?”

Frat bro: *looks nervously down at his palm* “I really didn’t want to rush Ligma Yuck, but I am so glad I did.”

Me: “Why are you sweating so hard?”

Frat bro: “Yeah, bro it was great to meet you. I’ll see you inside.”

He then sprinted inside without looking back.

I don’t really know what ever happened to that first guy I met. Rumor has it the brothers of Ligma Yuck subjected him to 18 consecutive hours of Chinese water torture for almost admitting he had a rush script written on his hand. I worry about him. 

Anyway, the parties continued, and everything was great. Everyone was so nice to me that it almost seemed like it was too good to be true. Every action was positively affirmed and rewarded no matter the nature. 

I remember just now a very distinct memory of myself in a drunken stupor spilling a cold alcoholic beverage on someone’s mid-term exam and being applauded. The Ligma Yuck member whose exam it was looked at me with tears welling in his eyes and murmured quietly, “It’s ok, I wanted to write it down again to make sure my spelling was correct.” He left and the festivities continued, but I heard clearly-unrelated sobbing and a desk slamming in the next-door room, as well as “I hate these freshmen so much, I can’t do this anymore, please.” 

Someone was clearly having a bad day, but it obviously had nothing to do with me, so no worries! 

There was another time I urinated on some random piece of paper they called “The fraternity charter.” It seemed stupid and inconsequential, so I let nature take its course. 

I learned later that a charter is “the official document drafted by an international fraternity that allows for the creation of a local chapter affiliated with a college.” Apparently, it is revered by the members, but I wasn’t a member, so whatever. When I took a leak on it, every member smiled widely at me with a weird lustful look and gave me more drinks. They told me to “enjoy it while it lasts” and to “get excited for later.” I think they were honestly just happy I wanted to join their fraternity, but I don’t really know.

My advice to next year’s freshman would be to squeeze the life out of rush. It is fleeting. In my next article, I will discuss how much fun it was to be a potential new member. I am still lying. I have no idea why you think I would ever go out of my way to satisfy you, reader. I hope you hated my article, so I can continue to rationalize taking an aggressive tone with you. 

In fact, please go to the comments of this article on the Ring-Tum Phi website to tell me how much you hated it. Maybe even throw insults at me in those comments.  It will encourage me to write more.