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With Paries and Rush Mailings, Fraternities Get Ready for Rush

By Oleg E. Drozhinin
and David D. Hsu

The success of a fraternity's rush hinges on lengthy and laborious summer preparations. For most fraternities, this entails putting on parties and trips and sending an informational booklet to freshmen, according to members of several fraternities.

A large part of the work is organizational. Each fraternity elects a rush chair to oversee the planning for both summer rush activities and rush week. "They're in charge of coordinating all their house activities during rush," said Alison L. Walters '96. Walters, the Interfraternity Council rush chair, oversees their activities. "Beyond that, it varies from house to house," she said.

The booklets introduce the fraternity to freshmen. "In our book, we talked about our fraternity, and about some of the things we did during the previous year," said Chi Phi Rush Chair Juno Choe '96.

"We mail our rush book to all the freshmen," said Brett S. Kozlowski '97 of Delta Kappa Epsilon. "If there's other interest, we follow up on it."

Fraternities occasionally get responses to the rush booklets. "Sometimes it'll come up that they picked us out of a book," Kozlowski said. "They remember your name and where you're from."

But fraternities also write letters and make phone calls to freshmen. "You pretty much do exploratory calls and see what you get for first impressions," said Shane M. Norton '97, a member of Alpha Tau Omega.

"People you think are coolest are the people you contact as you narrow [down] the list," Norton said.

In addition to the mailing, members often throw summer parties to help freshmen meet fraternity brothers. Parties also are helpful for fraternities to judge freshmen. "You treat them; you take notes on all this," Norton said.

To finalize their rush week plans, the fraternity members return to their houses in early August before the freshmen arrive.

During the last week before rush, fraternities hurry to make their houses more presentable. Each brother helps in an intensive period of construction, painting, cleaning, and remodeling, said Alpha Delta Phi Rush Chair Dari A. Al-Bader '96.

Although summer rush preparations are expensive, such efforts to attract incoming freshmen are effective. "It's usually couple thousand dollars," Norton said, but "it's a good way [for freshmen] to compare. It allows them to narrow the decision down" and therefore makes it easier for fraternities to narrow their decisions down, he said.

Ramy A. Arnaout contributed to the reporting of this story.