Upper Class Rush: Is it worth it?


Photo Courtesy of Kathryn Wilgus
Photo Courtesy of Kathryn Wilgus

by Rosalin W. Magicks

Staff Writer

For upperclassmen who didn’t join a sorority or fraternity during their embryonic year(s) at Sewanee, Upperclass Rush will allow students another chance to pledge their membership to the Greek Life. While some students ballyhooed on this second chance system, others shook their heads with contempt. But before we rush to judgment about this, let’s consider the major pros and cons:

Cons: You have grown to be (too) independent. As an upperclassman, you are already involved in various organizations and (should) have a sense of who you are and what you want to do at Sewanee. Then is there a need to commit yourself to a “clique”?

Pros: It’s a gateway for new friends and intimate relationships. Having endured through the rough battle-ground of freshman year, you now know who you are and what kind of people you want to be surrounded with. This will help you to successfully decide what Greek organization is best for you. More than likely, most of your friends are in the sorority/fraternity that you want to be in. Being a part of that sister/brotherhood will allow you to create intimate bonding experiences and memories that you will look back and cherish.

Cons: Dues. Tuition is expensive, why add more loans to the table? Oops I meant loads.

Pros: Less Dues. On the other hand, you’ve avoided one or two years of paying dues.

Cons: Time consuming. In short, college is di-vided into academic, social life, Sleep. Unless you’re superman or won-der woman, you can only get 2 of these 3. This ratio is in greater danger when you join Greek life be-cause a sufficient amount of time is spent on doing various things such as community service, projects, formals, and parties, blowing your social life out of proportion.

Pros: Learning to Serve. Most of your time will focus on community engagement and service which will help you boost your curriculum vitae and help you gain valuable leadership skills. You will learn how to balance your schedule and cooperate as well as collaborate with others. Furthermore, being a Greek member may increase self-confidence. A study on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale shows that affiliated men have significantly higher self-esteem than their non-affiliated counterparts.

Cons: Grades may plummet. Going back to that 2/3 ratio, your academics may have to be sacrificed. A 2006 study published in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology found that fraternity and sorority members suffered from 1 to 10 percent lower cumulative GPAs than non-affiliated students.

Pros: Handling aca-demic work is easier as an upperclassmen. As an upperclassmen, you (should) know how to study and do your work effectively. A cognitive study in 2006 showed that negative effects of fraternity/sorority af-filiation were much less pronounced during the second and third year of college than during the first year.

Cons: Dealing with the stereotypes. It’s either you have to deal with girls/guys with their attached stereotypes or you become on of it. Does the movie “Mean Girls” sounds familiar?

Pros: Defying stereo-types. Most Greek organizations here are local meaning they were founded mostly on the idea of embracing individuals while celebrating collectiveness and just being out of the norm. Just to name a few, some sororities describes themselves as “diverse in terms of personalities and interests, “laidback and artsy” (ADT), “independent and diverse” (GTU), “sporty and active in leadership” (Theta Pi) .Without further ado. If you have rushed, congrats and shake what your mama gave you on Shake-day. If you haven’t, re-member resistance is free-dom. As a freshman, you now know you have several options. After all, it’s your Sewanee experience. Carpe Diem, my friend.