By Lucy Rudman and Sonia Gueye
Spring rush is arguably one of the busiest times at Sewanee. With roughly 200 freshman girls and 80 freshman boys participating in the week-long process, the event ultimately boiled down to Shake Day.
On Shake Day, Saturday, January 26, the girls received their single bid, slipped under their doors at some point from 9:30-10:30. The boys, having picked up their bid offers Friday, January 25, shook the hand of the fraternity representative of their choosing, which indicated their choice of fraternity. With 10 sorority options, and 11 fraternity options, there was a fit for everyone on campus.
“I’ve always wanted to rush because I love the idea of sisterhood,” Anna-Hawkins Dulaney, (C’22) said, “I’m really excited to see how my sorority will play a role in my life here.”
The idea of belonging was similarly echoed in the boys’ sentiments.
“Rushing and being a part of a fraternity is a way to find a new group of brothers who will help you grow,” Christian Snead (C’22) said, “both throughout college and throughout life.”
However, this belonging comes only after a week of informational sessions and daunting house visits. Rushers had two three-hour house visit sessions, on the afternoon of January 20, and the other on the night of January 21, where every rusher had to attend every house of their respective gender once.
Additionally, “dirty rushing” and conversations with upperclassmen regarding rush rules, bids, or house preferences, could get a potential sister or brother expelled from their rushing class, a chance that many did not want to even consider.
“I was always super aware of the rules,” Delaney Wood (C’22) said, “I didn’t want to do anything to sacrifice my chance at rushing. It’s just too important to me.”
While it seems like the majority of campus, upperclassmen and first-years alike, is wrapped up in rush, there are people who chose to remain on the outside of the process.
“My answer to the question of whether I’m rushing or not usually merits the same set of reactions; people are surprised when I say no,” Jackson Harwell (C’22) said, “This, of course, is almost always followed by a second, more difficult question, ‘Why?’. The truth is, I didn’t rush because I didn’t want to, and there’s no bitterness in my saying that either.”
Ultimately, however, rushers and non-rushers alike, feel the effects of the week-long process, whether it’s the stress of squeezing in homework, or the acute awareness of lack of a role in the Greek community.
Harwell continued, “This Sewanee, the Sewanee that’s wrapped up in rush, where it feels like everyone except you is participating, it feels foreign to me. It feels like I’m just passing through.”