Rush week demystified

The quickly approaching rush week will continue with three-night system for sororities


John Tompkins

From Jan. 13-16, women will line up along “Sorority Row” for formal recruitment.

John Tompkins

Scheduled to take place from Jan. 13-16, this school year’s formal rush week is approaching quickly.

Rush week, for both men and women, takes place after months of “informal rush,” during which prospective Greek members are able to meet and form relationships with their fellow students in fraternities and sororities.

The process for women, however, differs slightly. According to Washington and Lee’s website, eighty percent of all female students join Greek organizations.

As Panhellenic Council President, Margaret McClintock ’15 facilitates conversation about sorority life on campus.

According to McClintock, formal rush week for women is broken up into events throughout the course of the first week of Winter Term. Each day brings “rushees” a bit closer to a potential bid.

McClintock said women’s recruitment begins the first Tuesday evening after school resumes in January. The first night is called “Open House Night,” during which everyone who signed up to rush is invited to parties at all six houses.

“The parties are informal—essentially a meet and greet where freshmen can see each of the sororities in their entirety and visit with their upperclassmen friends after break,” said McClintock.

Following this, girls begin to narrow their choices in preparation for the next night’s activities. Wednesday is labeled “Sisterhood and Philanthropy Night” or “Entertainment Night.”

“Freshmen will return to a maximum of four houses and see a variety of skits, videos and songs that show off the sorority’s character,” McClintock said. “Every sorority plans this night a little differently, but they all include information about their philanthropic efforts and donations throughout the year.”

Finally, those rushing determine their top two sororities and return to those houses for “Preference Night,” the final and most formal evening of rush.

“Freshmen will return to a maximum of two houses where they will hear more about why the upperclassmen chose the chapter they did and what has been so rewarding about it since,” said McClintock. “Friday afternoon, sororities extend bid cards to the freshmen in their new pledge class.”

McClintock and her counterparts on the Panhellenic Council oversee all of these formal rush week activities and take part in the process.

“During actual Rush Week, the Panhellenic Executive Council works to make sure everything runs smoothly,” McClintock said. “We do all the little things like cutting up and sorting the schedules for the freshmen every night and preparing the Rho Gam bags of mints, snacks, name tags and tissues. Aside from the minor logistical things, we are pretty much on call for the week in case of an emergency.”

According to Panhellenic Council Vice President Jean Turlington ’16 however, the formal rush week process may be undergoing some calendar changes for the 2015-16 school year.

“We have not met to discuss what will happen with the faculty’s decision about the calendar,” Turlington said. “As of right now I would say that we are looking into changing the timing of rush, but the actual nights won’t change… We will keep open house night, sisterhood night and pref night.”