The month-long rush process began Jan. 31, and campus Greek organizations have a wide range of events planned for new recruits — including Sushi and Haiku with Alpha Delta Phi, Under the Sea with Alpha Chi Omega and Hookah and Mediterranean Night with Delta Tau.
Catherine Mardula '12, the rush chair for Zeta Delta Xi, said the events with "sushi and fondue" are the most popular and bring in students who might not have considered joining a fraternity. She also said the open mic nights were very popular, drawing 40 students.
Adam Driesman '12, recruitment chair for Sigma Chi, said people's motivations for rushing "definitely vary," but emphasized the appeal of a "close-knit group of people" similar to the groups of friends students might have had at home.
All students have to do is attend the events, which might be dodgeball or a steak dinner. But the process can become "stressful and competitive" with up to 100 students rushing for 25 to 30 places, Driesman said.
The Greek Council plays an important role in regulating rush. Araceli Mendez '12 is the public relations chair for the Greek Council as well as a member of Zete. She said two houses are not allowed to have events at the same time, minimizing competition.
At the end of the rush process, each Greek organization gives desired students bid cards. The students then turn in bids to their chosen house. The Greek Council stipulates that students must go to a neutral location to hand in these cards, again minimizing pressure.
The Council also publishes the rush booklets that are delivered to students' mailboxes. Mendez highlighted the central location of Wriston Quadrangle as a reason that "all types of people end up rushing." It is easy for students to stop by events, she said, and find out if a particular house appeals.
Avoiding the housing lottery is "absolutely not" a factor in students' decisions to go Greek because of the large time commitment of joining a house, said Richard Bova, senior associate dean of residential and dining services.
He cited the fact that in the past few years only one or two students have changed their minds and moved out of Greek housing during their sophomore years. "Students who go Greek want to be Greek," he said. There are 374 students in Greek housing this year.
But Patrick Lec '12 said avoiding the lottery was "the biggest factor" in rushing Delta Tau two years ago. The uncertainty of the lottery led him to consider joining the house. After getting a "decent" lottery number, he decided against it.