Sorority Rush Week 2017 sees high participation and strong bonds

Courtesy of Gamma Phi Beta A group of Gamma Phi Beta members poses outside of the Student Union last semester.
Courtesy of Gamma Phi Beta A group of Gamma Phi Beta members poses outside of the Student Union last semester.
Courtesy of Gamma Phi Beta
A group of Gamma Phi Beta members poses outside of the Student Union last semester.

By Claudia Hardy | Staff Writer

Sorority Recruitment Week always seems to fly by. That’s especially appropriate given the other name for the series of festivities: “Rush Week.”

The 2017 Sorority Recruitment Week saw one of the largest number of participants at in Duquesne history, with more than 300 students taking part in the events. During the week, students had the opportunity to impress any of the eight sororities on campus, all in hopes of being officially accepted.

The sororities on offer included Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Kappa and Zeta Tau Alpha.

The hectic week includes seven mandatory events that students must attend when going through the rushing experience. Each event allows students to meet and get to know sorority members. By the end of the week, decisions for acceptance are made by each of the sorority’s Greek council members.

According to Gamma Phi Beta’s chapter president Gabriella Spahr, roughly 45 percent of students are involved in Greek Life on Duquesne’s campus.

Spahr said the involvement in social sororities in the past few years has been on the rise.

“Sorority involvement has increased dramatically from 20 girls in a class to 30 and is still increasing,” Spahr said.

Each sorority must have certain members present during the week to meet with potential recruits, including an exclusive membership chair, the executive board, selected membership, selected committee and a matching committee of girls who have rushed in previous years.

Ellie Ferrara, a sophomore in Alpha Gamma Delta, spoke highly of her experiences in last year’s Rush Week.

“I would recommend everyone to go through recruitment,” ­­Ferrara said. “Everyone finds their home, and it is the best way to meet a whole new group of friends.”

This year, Ferrara was on the other side of Rush Week recruitment. She participated in talking to potential new members.

“Everyone was excited for our new pledge class,” Ferrara explained. “Not only is it a great experience, but it is also a great way to bond with my sisters.”

Marisa Miller, a freshman and newly-recruited member of Alpha Phi, said she enjoyed her first Rush Week experience.

“I decided to participate in Rush Week because I really wanted to become more involved within Duquesne,” Miller said. “After experiencing this sisterhood, I would recommend anyone to rush even if they are in the slightest bit interested. It was one of the most interesting weeks of my life, and I loved every minute of it.”

That said, the week of fun and lighthearted events can also bring stress when juggling the recruitment process with classes and schoolwork.

“The whole week of recruitment is long, making it difficult to stay on top of school work,” Ferrara said. “The process itself can also be a little overwhelming, but it is designed so that every girl can find where she belongs.”

Miller also said she experienced some challenges during Rush Week.

“The part that was most difficult was definitely the stress of just trying to be yourself and not being nervous,” Miller said.

According to Spahr, the planning for 2018’s Rush Week starts immediately after recruitment. One of those tasks is creating a budget. During the week, each sorority spends about $1500 on new member shirts, decorations and more.

With 2017 being one of the biggest Sorority Recruitment Weeks Duquesne has ever seen, those in charge will have to fundraise, plan and prepare even harder to make 2018 bigger and better.