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Sororities Present A Structure Rush

By Daniel C. Stevenson and Kai-Yuh Hsiao
Staff Reporters

While male freshmen may feel thrown into the rush of choosing among the different fraternities and living groups, the process of sorority rush is collectively more coherent and follows a carefully structured format.

Sorority rush began with the Women's Rush Convocation held immediately after Killian Kick-Off yesterday evening. At the convocation, freshman women learned about the non-dormitory Interfraternity Council options for women, which consist of the five nationally-affiliated sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Sigma Kappa), Women's Independent Living Group, and coeducational independent living groups.

After the convocation, rushees met for pizza with their "Rho Chis," a group of temporarily disaffiliated sorority members whose purpose is to befriend, advise, and support the freshmen during rush, according to Laura DePaoli '97, president of the Panhellenic Association.

A Rho Chi is the only sorority member who can speak to freshmen outside of specified rush activities and locations; about 27 freshman women are assigned to each Rho Chi at the start of rush.

Perhaps the most difficult part of rushing sororities for freshmen is "having to maintain constant energy through rush, since the rush schedule is very compact," said Shirley Hung '98, Panhel's vice president for rush.

Two sororities - Alpha Phi and Alpha Chi Omega - have houses. Alpha Chi Omega could not be reached for comment on whether they have a policy requiring new members to submit to a lottery to fill empty spaces in the house or face fines. Alpha Phi rush chair Adrienne M. Prahler '97 acknowledged that her sorority has a housing commitment for new members, but it is rarely used; in fact, the house is usually significantly oversubscribed, she said.

Open house begins formal events

After the pizza party, rushees attended brief exploratory tours and skits by each sorority in their Student Center rush rooms. The first of two open houses, which consist of longer skits and activities, immediately followed. The second open house, open to all rushees, will be held this morning. Rushees may attend as many open houses as they wish.

The open houses and all other rush events take place behind closed doors, with no loiterers or non-affiliates allowed, according to Panhel rules.

All sorority rush events following the open houses are by invitation only. Beginning tonight and lasting through tomorrow afternoon, women may be invited to "informals," during which they travel around Boston or visit a sorority's house, said Wanda A. Chin '97, Panhel's rush chair.

At invitation-only theme parties tomorrow night, sororities prepare skits and other activities based on a specific theme. The theme parties are given during four time slots; rushees may attend a maximum of three.

A second set of invitations is sent out for more formal "preference parties" on Monday night. Each freshman can attend two such parties, Chin said.

A mutual selection' process

Throughout the rush process, the sororities select their new members. Although she declined to give specifics about the process, DePaoli said that freshmen "shouldn't be worried. It's a mutual selection process."

Bids are extended to selected freshmen Tuesday morning, and the freshmen who accept these bids become new pledges of the sororities. Based on last year's rush figures, the four larger sororities can expect to bid for about 40 new members, while Alpha Epsilon Phi can expect to bid for about 20 new members, Chin said.