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Sororities and ILGs Enjoy Brisk Rush

By Mike Hall


First-year women considered their social and residential options during the first days of this year’s rush.

Both sororities and independent living groups introduced themselves to freshmen during Saturday’s Women’s Convocation. While co-ed and women’s living groups rush independently, sororities rush jointly through Panhellenic Rush.

Many women visit ILGs

The Women’s Independent Living Group, MIT’s only all-female ILG, was “right on track” to meet its rush goal of 12 freshmen, said Marlene R. Cohen ’01, one of WILG’s rush chairs.

Kate S. Graham ’01, Cohen’s co-chair, said that prospective residents visited WILG in varying numbers throughout the first days, with attendance peaking during large events. Some of WILG’s larger events were scheduled during breaks in sorority rush.

“There are a few [freshmen] around a lot,” Graham said, but many freshmen arrived right before an event.

“A lot of [freshmen] are checking out their options now,” Cohen said. She said that Women’s Convocation helps to educate first-year women about living options beyond the dormitories.

While WILG paid specific attention to rushing women, co-ed ILGs rushed freshmen without regard to gender.

“There’s no girl-boy preference here,” said Roz K. Takata ’01, pika rush chair. “We have no restriction.”

Takata noted, however, that women tend to arrive at the house before the men do. “In the beginning, we get more girls because the guys are at frats,” Takata said. Of pika’s seven overnights on Saturday, five were female and two were male.

Takata added that more women came on the spur of the moment, while men planned specifically to visit pika.

“We don’t aim for a specific mix,” said James K. Alt ’02, co-rush chair for the No. 6 Club (Delta Psi). While slightly more women showed up at No. 6 rush events, Alt said that he expects the pledge class to be evenly balanced.

Student House Rush Chair Michelle E. Peters ’02 said that first-year women “had come in and out” early on, while first-year men had stayed longer at the house.

“We can only accept three members,” Peters said. “We would like at least one to be female.”

Fenway House Rush Chair Catherine E. Howell ’03 said that her house cared more for rushees’ personality than gender. Howell said that Fenway’s open-bid process allows any freshman to choose to live in the house.

Panhel attendance slightly down

In addition to looking at living groups, first-year women also explored sorority life through Panhellenic Rush. Panhel President Roxanne M. Cartwright ’02 said that about 230 women went through each open house session, a number slightly lower than in previous years.

Following Women’s Convocation, interested women meet with their Rho Chi, a deaffiliated sorority sister who serves as a recruitment counselor during rush.

After visiting the houses’ presentations in the Student Center, the rushees had a chance to learn about each sorority and to meet the sisters at an open house. Sororities then extend invitations to selected women for “informals” on Sunday and Monday.

Some interested women, however, will not receive an invitation from any sorority. Panhel Vice President for Recruitment Michelle A. D’Andrea ’01 said that these women will be consoled by their Rho Chi and informed of different options outside sorority life, including special-interest clubs, ILGs, and social dormitories such as Baker.

After a mandatory theme event on Monday night and a preference party on Tuesday afternoon, rushees submit a preference sheet with up to two houses selected. After comparing these with rankings submitted by sororities, bids are extended on Wednesday afternoon. Freshmen have until Friday at 5 p.m. to accept the bid.

Panhel encourages rushees to list two houses on their preference sheets in order to maximize the chance of receiving a bid, D’Andrea said. “Picking two increases chances of getting a bid,” she said, but added that most rushees will receive their first choice.

Jordan Rubin contributed to the reporting of this story.