Rush is the process of recruiting new members to join your college fraternity, one of the most important activities that is engaged in by a fraternal group. This normally takes the form of a series of rush events, after which fraternities extend bids, which are nothing more an invitations to join. If done correctly, every person who is extended a bid will accept it and join. However, in the real world, that doesn’t always happen.

The primary aim of any successful rush is to make friends. Rush events should be designed in such as way as to provide maximize opportunity for the brothers to meet the prospective member, or “rush” as they are called. They should also allow for the prospective member to meet the brothers and decide whether he is interested in becoming one himself. Rush events should be designed to attract the type of new member that will fit in best with the organization.

Popular rush events that I’ve witnessed include:

  • Night on the town- This event normally involves a trip to a food establishment, often one with scantily clad women.
  • Gambling/Cards/Monte Carlo night- Try to get as many games as possible. Craps and Blackjack often work better than Poker because the former allow the player to circulate and meet more people.
  • Sporting event-This can take the form of watching a professional sport on TV (assuming tickets are too expensive), or all going to a university sporting event (normally free or very low cost).
  • Social with Sorority- This is a potentially dangerous one. It’s important that the brothers and rushes are talking to each other, and not just to the girls. If not planned sufficiently, it can be quite awful, especially if you’re doing a dry rush. It can also be amazingly successful, and can improve relations between your group and the sorority.

Rush is the lifeblood of you chapter. One bad rush year will probably spell disaster, or at best severe problems, a few years in the future. On the other hand, a good rush will make your chapter thrive and will make rushing easier in the future. The best rush resources you have in the Spring are the new brothers you got in the Fall.

To someone inside the Greek system, rushing sounds easy. You’re selling a product, brotherhood for life, that has no price. You are clearly the best house on the block, but for some reason, many chapters have a hard time. Rush can be very difficult, especially when the chapter is not organized and does not keep track of the status of every rush. It is also important to convince people to come out to the events, even if they are initially reluctant.

If you’re reading this and are considering joining a fraternity, read my write-up on pledging. Coming out to rush is fun, and there’s no obligation. Worst case scenario, you make a bunch of cool friends and have a place to hang out on the weekends. Best case, you will find brotherhood for life. My feelings are summed up by The Search by Crosby.


I've been in my fraternity for too long. I know this stuff by heart. The information above is the way that most of the National Interfraternity Council conducts rush.

Just in case you were wondering, sorority (PanHel) rush is nothing like this. I'd write about it, but I really can't say I understand what they do.

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