Samford goes Greek the next two weeks as fraternity and sorority recruitment begins with record numbers of students participating in rush. The number of Greek students on campus grew steadily over the past few years, including last year’s freshman class that had a little over 50 percent of students join a sorority or fraternity. This year’s numbers are expected to be even higher.
Typical recruitment events include visiting chapter houses and speaking with members. There are nights dedicated to philanthropy and learning about social opportunities. Both IFC and Panhellenic Recruitment end with a Pref Night, when the hopeful students visit their final houses one last time. At the end of the week, the new members receive their bids. For sorority recruitment, Bid Day, nicknamed “Squeal Day” because sorority girl screams can be heard from all over campus, has become a spectacle that faculty, students, parents, and friends often attend.
Upperclassmen in sororities and fraternities on campus can tell potential new members that recruitment week is about finding a “home away from home” and new “brothers” or “sisters.” They can proclaim that “Squeal Day” will be the most thrilling day of freshman year. For those who have never experienced the process, though, rushing can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming.
During the 1920’s, Greek students at Howard College knew that freshmen must maintain a measure of decorum during the recruitment process. To avoid unnecessary embarrassment, The Howard Crimson staff presented “Rushing Rules” for 1928:
For the benefit of both upperclassmen and freshmen, who may or may not understand the sorority rushing rules that are in vogue at Howard College, we present here the official rules as formulated by the Girls’ PanHellenic Council.
Sorority Rushing Rules
- Rush season shall be from the opening of school Sept. 11th to Sept. 30th.
- Rush week shall begin Sept. 24th and close at 5:00 PM, Sept. 30th
- $150 shall be allowed for one rush party which may be given by the chapter alone or combined with alumnae. All bills must be submitted at the next Panhellenic meeting. Penalty: Rush money for the next season shall be one half that allowed to any other sorority.
- Silence Period lasts from 5 o’clock Sunday afternoon until 5 o’clock Monday afternoon. Penalty: Rushing deferred two months.
- There shall be no “summer rushing” to be interpreted as talking sororities to the girls in question. Penalty: Rushing deferred two months.
- Pan-Hellenic Council forbids girls asking men to rush for them. Penalty: the sending sorority shall be prohibited from bidding that term.
- A pledge is considered a sorority girl. No freshman may spend the night in the home of a sorority girl.
- There shall be open rushing but no promises are allowed to be asked for or considered binding if made voluntarily.
- Not more than three Dutch parties will be allowed. By Dutch party, more than six girls may be together, but all expenses must be shared equally. Penalty: Pledging deferred one semester.
- No freshman may be invited home to dinner.
Fraternity Rushing Rules
- The first week of school known as “Freshman Week” shall be closed to rushing.
- The following three weeks shall be open to rush, but no freshman can be pledged before 6 PM Monday night, October 1.
- Each fraternity is limited to two socials and a smoker shall be considered as one.
- The following events shall be considered socials: Smokers, dances, theatre parties if more than five freshmen are present; formal open house at which refreshments are served; any other kind of party at which more than five freshmen are present.
- For any violation of these rules of fraternity shall be required to pledge three days later than other fraternities with full silence and shall not publish the names of pledges until one week late.
The Howard Crimson, September 1928.
The Howard Entre Nous, 1927
The Samford Crimson, September 2011.