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“Are you going to rush?”
It is a question asked in the dorms, VG Cafe and running through the minds of many freshmen who are wondering if greek life will be a good fit.
Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life Diego Silva understands greek life is not for everybody, but he encourages those who are unsure to explore their options, he said.
“My advice to any student is if you are wondering or thinking about it, it would be in your best interest to at least go through one recruitment process just to figure out if it is something for you,” Silva said. “Don’t graduate still having that question in the back of your mind.”
When: First week of fall quarter, Sept. 26-30
Requirements: Register online before
Fees: $50 before Sept. 1, $60 after Sept. 1
Students’ first exposure to greek life will be through a volleyball event hosted during Week of Welcome (WOW), but the recruitment process for the Panhellenic Council starts the first Thursday of fall quarter.
Any female student may participate if they register online by the deadline and pay the fee. Panhellenic recruitment is more strenuous than the other councils because there is a strict schedule of events the participants must attend. Anything conflicting with class, however, is excused.
Though the process is strict, the acceptance rate is high. Every woman who participates is guaranteed a bid if they attend two parties on “Preference Night,” which is held on Monday Sept. 30, said Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment and city and regional planning senior Elizabeth Day.
During recruitment, participants are exposed to all of the nine Panhellenic sororities. They meet women from each chapter and are able to visit sorority houses. All events are designed to help participants find the best fit for them, Day said.
Day met most of her friends through her sorority and said joining a sorority was one of the best decisions she has made, second only to attending Cal Poly.
“I always feel like I will have a community backing me up,” she said. “It has helped me strive to do better and I now have a network of connections that I may not have had.”
The experience varies with each chapter, but they all participate in group events with Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council.
Interfraternity Council (IFC)
When: Third week of school, Oct. 7-17
The IFC will see the biggest change in its fall recruitment this year because deferred recruitment (which prohibited freshmen males from rushing their first quarter) has been lifted for the first time in five years. The IFC also has a new fraternity, Nu Kappa Alpha, and now has seventeen chapters at Cal Poly.
Director of Recruitment and agricultural business junior Riker McClaskey said they are looking forward to the size of the incoming freshman class, which is the largest in Cal Poly history.
“Our biggest goal this year is to expand the greek life community and get more kids into greek houses,” he said.
Fall recruitment starts Monday of the third week of school with a barbecue on Dexter Lawn where students will be able to visit different fraternity booths and receive a schedule for the rest of recruitment. The events differ within each chapter, and the participants decide which events and fraternities to attend.
“We encourage all freshmen who have any sort of interest to check it out,” McClaskey said. “There are so many great fraternities out there and everyone has a place to fit in.”
The individual fraternity rush events are held Tuesday through Saturday. Monday is bid day, where participants may receive one or more bids from different fraternities. The next day, Tuesday, is the Day of Silence, and fraternity members are not allowed to contact any students who have received a bid, allowing them time to decide to accept or deny a bid. All students must accept bids by Thursday to become a pledge for a fraternity.
One of the main reasons McClaskey has benefited from greek life is the community of people he has come to be a part of, he said.
“There’s something about being a part of this community that is bigger than yourself that makes it unlike anything else,” McClaskey said. “I have a solid group of brothers who I can go to for anything whether it’s school, career, sports or just to be my best friends.”
United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC)
When: Second week of school, Sept. 30-Oct. 4
The United Sorority and Fraternity Council is a collection of fraternities and sororities who are joined under the common root of being culturally based. The chapters are smaller than the IFC and Panhellenic, and the houses range from approximately 10-30 members.
The recruitment also starts with a kick-off event on campus, during the second week of school. At the initial event, students will receive information about upcoming recruitment events, which are free to attend. At the end of the week, students will receive one or multiple bids, and they have the choice to accept the bid or not.
USFC President and agricultural business junior Edward Yanez said recruitment is a great way to get to know people.
“During the first week students don’t have much school work to worry about,” he said. “It’s completely free, and it’s a great place to get to know people right off the bat. The environment is welcoming and students are not pressured to join, just enjoy themselves.”
The USFC has a different vibe than the Panhellenic and IFC not only because of the multicultural basis, but because the size of the individual chapters allow students to become close with every person in their chapter, making people feel like part of a family, Yanez said.
Though the USFC does not have events with the IFC and Panhellenic councils, members are still united under a larger community by participating in socials and philanthropy-based events with the councils of USFC.
“I didn’t know many people coming to Cal Poly, but I met a lot people during recruitment,” Yanez said. “I have made a lot of professional connections with the organizations I am not a part of and the members in my fraternity have become my closest friends.”
The USFC membership fees are also less expensive than the Panhellenic and IFC chapters, and they differ based on the individual charters. They work with members to make it more affordable, he said.