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Rush Violations Show Lack of Respect

After reading "Living Groups Fined for Rush Violations" [Nov. 30], I was appalled by how the rush rules created by the Interfraternity Council and the penalties that IFC imposes on rush violations seem to be regarded as a total joke by many members of MIT's Greek community.

As a member of a sorority, it is my understanding that rush rules are created to promote the spirit of rush, and I am very disturbed by the fact that certain fraternities treat these rush rules as a nuisance rather than a necessity. Rush rules should not be looked upon as obstacles that need to be avoided or ignored in order to run a good rush; rather, they are created with the intent to encourage a fair rush so that all members of MIT's Greek community can benefit from rush without giving any unfair advantages to a particular fraternity or sorority.

Before rush, all members of MIT's fraternities and sororities are prepped extensively on the rush rules; every member of MIT's Greek community knows what the rush rules are, and most of the rush rules are common sense anyway. When members of a fraternity or sorority blatantly and purposely ignore the rush rules it shows that those members are either sadly ignorant or so insecure about their house's abilities to run a good rush that they need to resort to cheating not only the incoming freshman class and all other rushees, but also their own house and the entire MIT Greek community. The violation of rush rules also indicates an incredible lack of respect for all members of MIT's fraternities and sororities and makes a mockery out of the Greek system and IFC.

I also think that the penalties for rush violations need to be strengthened. Obviously the fines and other penalties for rush violations aren't effective if some houses are paying the same fines for the same violations year after year. Fines of $1,200 may seem like a lot to pay for rush violations, but in a house of 60 brothers, the fines are easily taken care of. It is also an insignificant amount if through dishonest tactics, the house is able to obtain the pledges that it wants, who will eventually pay back the money and much more in dues.

For those members of MIT's Greek community who have a warped sense of fair competition, there really is no reason for them to follow the rush rules. Penalties for rush violations need to be made more significant and more appropriate; for instance, social probation or having to start rush a day late. The penalties should put the offending fraternity at the disadvantage that it put other fraternities at by cheating during rush.

Although I feel that the penalties for rush violations need to be strengthened, these penalties wouldn't even be necessary if all members of MIT's fraternities and sororities respected the rush rules. It is unfortunate that rush at MIT is criticized by many because of its tendency to resemble a mass meat market rather than a way for freshmen to find their home away from home. Members of MIT's fraternities and sororities should work together during rush to change that kind of negative thinking. The flagrant disregard of rush rules that is often exercised during rush not only contributes to rush's bad reputation, but also detracts from the integrity and friendship that should be the hallmark of MIT's Greek community.

Audrey C. Wu '96