My Big Fat Greek Rush

Oct 212003
Authors: Chris Kampfe

At the beginning of every school year, the Interfraternal

Council (IFC) and Pan Hellenic Council at CSU organize on the Lory

Student Center Plaza with Centertainment for the first day of Greek


Every year, some students find interest in the Greek community.

Others do not. Some students look for a sense of community that

different chapters can offer. Others may seek integration into a

social circuit or seek opportunities in community leadership and


“I liked the fact that it was an opportunity to meet a lot of

people, ” said Emily Barrell, a senior equine science major and a

former Kappa Delta member. “But, when I joined it was mostly for

the outlets to participate in leadership throughout the


On a campus that holds 10 percent of students as Greek members,

some years can be difficult getting students to rush. This year was


Two hundred eighty men got a bid this year, which was 56 percent

higher than previous years, said Tim Ulrich, vice president of


A bid is a formal invitation to a student to become a new member

of a sorority or fraternity.

“We decided to take a new attitude with recruitment this year,”

Ulrich said. “We felt like if we were more aggressive at seeking

students out, rather than having them seek us, we would be more


This early start was reflected on as a successful approach by at

least one pledge.

“Rush was pretty comfortable for me because I basically knew all

the guys before it started,” said Lee Exton, a sophomore history

major and a Delta Chi pledge. “I started hanging out with (Delta

Chi) early on in the year, so when Rush came around I had basically

made up my mind.”

Ulrich mostly credits the large number of Rush participants to

the early start of recruiting this year.

Ulrich said this year recruiting began while some potential

rushees were still in high school. The process started with letters

to incoming freshmen as well as phone calls to them and their


The primary goal of the early calling was to be as informative

as possible, and for students to visit as many chapters as possible

to see the whole picture.

Ulrich said one reason that students do not follow through with

Rush is the preconceptions some people have about fraternities.

“Many people have this ‘Animal House’ idea about Greek life,”

Ulrich said. “In all reality, this couldn’t happen with the

standards and principles we implement, that’s why we encourage them

to see as many houses as they can.”

While the Greek system is known to have many honorable

characteristics, it does not satisfy some students’


“I felt like it was only a few people in our house that really

cared about the philanthropy aspect of the system,” Barrell said.

“By the time I decided to leave the house, I really felt like I had

put in a lot more than I had gotten out of the experience.”

When active, Barrell served her last year as the president of

the Kappa Delta chapter on CSU.

When she didn’t feel like her house was equally supporting her

service toward the community, she left and joined Habitat for


“When I started the social life was fun and the community

service was going well,” Barrell said. “As I tried to get more

involved in the community, I didn’t feel like (my house) wanted to

be as much of a part of it. I feel like being a part of something

for a strictly charitable cause is more fitting for me.”

Ulrich associates most cynicism toward Greek life to what he

says are misconceptions about the system.

According to approximately 1,500 students do

choose to participate in Greek life at CSU.

“Some people just come and look for faults in the system, rather

than see all the benefits,” Ulrich said. “Also, MTV hasn’t really

shed a very good light on Greeks.”





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