A ladies’ (and gentlemen’s) guide to Rush
As a freshman, I’ve been on campus for less than two weeks. And yet, I’ve already received free steak and shakes, won a 3D printer, and proven that I am Grade A fraternity brother material.
There’s just one little catch in this narrative.
I’m a girl.
But I rushed like a pro. Let me tell you how.
First, girls can definitely go to Rush events. No one is going to throw you out on the curb for your second X chromosome. Plus you probably won’t be the only girl! Not by far. Some events actually have more girls than guys.
Except this year’s poker tournament, which was all men except for me. But they had a 3D printer for the winner. Which was me. So it all worked out!
And you should go to Rush events, regardless of whichever gender you are. The food is amazing, you meet fun people, and it’s a chance to learn to properly time the Saferide.
That being said, the best way to rush? Have at least one dude with you who is at least moderately interested in pledging.
There are a lot of benefits to this, especially if you are a girl.
I went with a friend of mine who was interested in seeing if Greek life was for him. He did a little bit of research and we rushed a few fraternities that intrigued him. The events were great, my favorites being a poker tournament at Beta Theta Pi and getting a free, and much needed, milkshake and hot steak (if you haven’t indulged in this combination you need to immediately) at the horrendously lovely hour of 12:30 a.m. at Phi Kappa Sigma.
You see, if someone is actually interested in finding a fraternity, there will be a semblance of organization to your night. Because they want to explore the fraternity system and will probably have certain ones in mind after glancing at the Rush book or talking to the brothers at the kickoff. Therefore odds are that they’ll be less reckless and just more organized in general.
Hurray for not wandering around Boston in the dark aimlessly! Hurray for knowing what Greek letters you are looking for! Really, there are so many perks to knowing what’s going on and not squinting at your phone on the street or wandering until something strikes your fancy. Everyone always says “Just wing it and have fun!” but in reality, it’s nice to have a rough outline.
This also helps because you know where you’re going! Many of the fraternities are off campus and the Saferide shuttles take you right there. Furthermore, if you do your research, you’ll soon discover that a lot of the fraternities will drive people back and forth if you’re in a group. This was a great resource and made me extremely happy when we were able to drive my printer back to MacGregor.
You see these rides more often as Rush continues to the bigger, off-campus events like sailing and rock climbing and cruises, but they are also around for the smaller events earlier in the Rush week.
While Rush is a blast and the events are amazing and everyone is invited, at the end of the day, the fraternities are looking for new brothers. With the exception of the co-ed ones, of course.
So having someone who is at least possibly interested in pledging makes attending rush events a lot more enjoyable — trust me. You get to talk to the brothers more authentically and it’s less of a rushed motion of going in and out for the free events. People can tell when someone is genuinely interested and not just party hopping, and they appreciate that.
This isn’t to say that you can’t go if you aren’t interested. That’s okay and they also know that. However, do try to ask questions and remember to thank your hosts — these people are feeding you after all.
Like anything at MIT, Rush is an experience that you build. There is simply too much to do, so you have to pick and choose. Some people go to a ton of events, and some people like me go to fewer. You can go in groups or alone. And you can go even if you’re a girl and not interested in pledging.
The most important caveat is to keep an open mind and be safe. I shouldn’t have to tell you that there are cultural issues with fraternities and college social life in general, but every university is different. I’m not addressing those in this article but you should know that there are incidents that do occur, no matter what measures are put into place. So just make sure to have a full phone battery and good people around you as every fraternity and sorority is different and even every year will differ because the people change.
So keep an open mind. Do a bit of research. Find someone who is considering Greek life and talk to them and current members. But most of all, put yourself out there. Go to the events. Eat the food. Talk to new people. And enjoy the last days of summer with a different section of the MIT community and celebrate communities of young and vibrant people.
And win 3D printers. Because 3D printers are great.
Nina Lutz is a member of the Class of 2019.