Rush Week kicked off this past Monday with nearly 800 students seeking to join one of UCSB’s many greek organizations.
The week’s activities included walking and house tours as well as formal events thrown by each fraternity and sorority. The festivities wrap up with Saturday’s “bid day,” when each house officially invites new members to join.
Interfraternity Council Recruitment Officer Blake Thomas, a third-year biology major, said this year’s recruitment was much larger than in previous Fall Quarters.
“We estimate that this year we had 300 to 400 guys rushing fraternities,” Thomas said. “This was a lot more than we had last year.”
UCSB’s sororities had even more potential members than in past rush weeks as well. Lindsay Hill, a Kappa Alpha Theta member and fourth-year communication major, said she estimated a total of over 400 sorority rushees.
Additionally, Kappa Sigma is now holding its first official fall rush this quarter after undergoing a probationary period last year. Kappa Sigma Rush Chairman Eric Fracisco, a third-year psychology and communication double major, said the group worked long hours planning events such as poker and hookah nights to ensure a successful week to draw new members.
“It is going better than expected,” Fracisco, said. “More people are turning out for rush than we had expected.”
Sigma Nu Rush Chairman Gregory Burnett, a third-year philosophy major, said the purpose of the week is to meet prospective brothers in order to find good matches for the house.
“The biggest goal when a potential member comes to the house is for all of our members to get to know that person through multiple conversations,” Burnett, said. “This way we can have many perspectives on whether or not that rushee would fit in this house.”
Hill also said that rush week centers on ensuring that new members are happy with whatever sorority they select.
“The best sorority a girl can choose is one that lets them be themselves and express their own personality without having to act differently,” Hill said. “The point of rush is to make sure that rushees find the sorority that best suits their interests and personality.”
Meanwhile, two fraternities, Sigma Chi and Lambda Phi Epsilon, are currently excluded from this year’s IFC rush week due to a university ruling that stated both fraternities had posed “a danger to the safety of students.” The Office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young also sent a mass university e-mail announcement to UCSB students on Monday, warning prospective greeks of the fraternity sanctions.
The Greek Affairs website states that fraternities and sororities can lose their university recognition through violations such as fires, hazing, sexual abuse and serving alcohol at social events. However, IFC has never officially stated why these particular chapters lost their official status.