EKT holds second open rush process
By Manav Raj
Published on Thursday, September 13, 2012
After the success of last year’s event, Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority will hold another open rush process this year, according to EKT president Carla Galarza ’13.
In a process similar to men’s rush, members of the Class of 2015 have been invited to EKT’s physical plant on Sept. 14 and have the opportunity to “shake out,” declaring EKT as their first-choice sorority.
“During the event, every girl potentially interested in EKT can talk to many different sisters, tour the house and learn what it means to be a sister in a very low-stress, informal environment,” Galarza said. “It is an ideal opportunity for anyone who knows they are interested in joining EKT, who may be contemplating joining a sorority, but are concerned about the process and time commitment of formal recruitment, and for anyone who would simply like to learn more about EKT before undergoing formal recruitment.”
Galarza said that students interested in participating in the traditional sorority rush process will still have that option. Attending open rush or “shaking out” at the sorority will not preclude a student for registering from formal recruitment unless she accepts an offered bid prior to recruitment.
The decision to continue open rush was influenced by positive feedback from students who took part in the process last year.
“Even women who decided to continue with the formal Panhellenic rush process or remained unaffiliated gave us a lot of positive feedback,” Galarza said. “They appreciated the opportunity to get a feel for Greek life outside of the stress of formal recruitment.”
The process also enabled the sorority to connect with individuals who fit well with EKT, Galarza said. “We had an incredible group of women join, and they were very passionate about the house from the start,” she said. “Formal recruitment requires a lot of time and energy from all parties involved, but our new sisters are well worth the work. We look forward to meeting a great new group of women, and we hope the ’15s feel the same.”
Due to changes to the fall academic calendar, EKT’s open rush event and all other recruitment events will take place earlier this year, according to president of the Panhellenic Council Sarah Wildes ’13. As a result of new policies enacted by Greek Letter Organizations and Societies this term, students interested in participating in open rush must attend one of 12 pre-recruitment education sessions required for all students intending to rush, Wildes said in an email to The Dartmouth.
The formal sorority recruitment process, which national sororities are required to follow, occurs in several stages, according to Panhell’s website. The first stage requires female recruits to attend events at each of the College’s eight Panhellenic sororities. During the second stage, women select up to four sororities to visit, after which they indicate their preferred two houses. After the prospective members attend events at those two houses, sororities issue bids.
Inter-Fraternity Council President Tim Brown ’13 said he would advise all those who are planning to complete the recruitment process in the fall to keep an open mind despite some negative stereotypes of the Greek community.
“I would say that rush is supposed to be a really positive process,” Brown said. “Dartmouth has a really accessible Greek system, and I think that there are many houses that are right for certain people, so don’t get hung up on one particular house.”
The Greek system offers the College a sense of community and constitutes a “powerful force” on campus, he said.
The rush process should also be used as an opportunity to make friends and meet individuals at a range of houses, Brown said. Rather than serving as a cause of stress, recruitment should prove a fun process for those taking part, he said.
“If you decide that rush or Greek life isn’t for you, you can have a tremendous Dartmouth experience without it,” Brown said.
Last year, EKT hosted over 30 women during its open rush event, though it declined to release the number of bids it offered or accepted.
EKT is not the first Greek organization to alter its rush process. The now-defunct Delta Gamma sorority, which suffered from low membership, enabled women to effectively block rush in 1995 by allowing them to commit to joining the sorority during their freshman spring.