Rushing a fraternity at University of Toronto means decisions, decisions, decisions. With the spring semester finally come to a close, fall planning has begun to sneak into the minds all of you overachievers. One thing that the sororities and fraternities have started planning for is recruitment season. So incoming freshmen and interested students may want to know are some pros and cons for rushing a fraternity. I’ve asked several fraternity men what they learned from rushing a fraternity and some advice they’d like to share with guys who are thinking of rushing themselves. The cool thing about the frats at U of T is that no matter what you are interested in or what you value, there will be a brotherhood for every personality type out there. Keep reading for the pros and cons of rushing a fraternity at University of Toronto!
Some background info on rushing…
The rushing process varies between frats, but for the most part there are 2 main ways that a fraternity will recruit new members in the fall.
1st way to rush:
The first way, is during frosh week the fraternity at University of Toronto will host a few parties that are open for anyone to check out. Soon thereafter, they will begin to host weekend parties throughout the first month of the semester in which they’ll start recognizing familiar faces and start talking/ getting to know the potential new members (PNMs). The next rounds are usually the closed events where they invite back the PNMs that they genuinely feel would work well with their brotherhood. Lastly the rushing process would end with the presentation of a bid in which they invite the chosen PNMs to be apart of the new pledge class and fraternity.
“There are the many positive social aspects of joining a fraternity: feeling like a part of a family, making new friends you might otherwise not have, and having people always willing to talk or hangout whenever” – Paul Suk
2nd way to rush:
The second way tends to be a faster rushing process then the first. This process also begins during frosh week the fraternities host several meet and greet events like poker nights or dinners in which they advertise majorly throughout campus and online. Even though these events are more personal they are open to anyone who is interested and those who have been referred to by an active brother. This process of events also takes the span of the first couple of weeks of the semester and similar to the other process of rushing, PNMs will be invited back to more events if there is a mutual connection of interest. Again similar to the other process, a bid will then be offered to all of those PNMs that they feel will make a good addition to the brotherhood.
It’s time for some pros…
Now that you understand the recruitment process, it’s time to talk about if it’s even worth going through with. To aid you in making a decision whether or not to rush. I have compiled some pros and cons about rushing a fraternity from the wise help of some of U of T’s finest brothers. Much thanks to Chris Lane, Jeremy Lawlor and Arvin Reyes from Sigma Chi, Alec Edmonds from Delta Kappa Epsilon, Paul Suk from Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) and a Brother from Beta Theta Pi for all of your informative help, experiences and advice for those thinking of rushing a fraternity at U of T.
“There are social events, it differs between frats … we want people to feel comfortable and feel welcome to our house. We talk to guys that show interest as well as guys we would want in our frat” – Alec Edmonds
Pro: The Brotherhood.
This was one of the more frequently said number one pro from all of the brothers mentioned above. Okay I know what you may be thinking, is brotherhood actually real? The answer is yes! When you join a sorority or fraternity at University of Toronto something that is hard to explain to those not apart of the Greek system is the bond felt with all of your new brothers/ sisters. People like to make jokes saying how when you join a fraternity you get instant friends, the problem with that statement is that it not entirely true. Although you may now have new brothers, like any fraternity brother would tell you, brotherhood is different than friendship. The main difference is that a brother will be by your side through the thick and thin and like an actual blood brother, he isn’t always there to be your friend, but instead will always have your best interests at heart and will do anything in order to see you succeed. The friendship side of brotherhood, is not instant, just like any friendship it takes time to build but having that combination of brother and friend is one of the most un-explainable bonds one can have. Whether you want to go to movie, the library or kick it at home with some pizza, there will always be a brother who wants to join you!!
Pro: Getting a big/sponsor.
One amazing aspect of joining a fraternity at University of Toronto, is getting a big brother/ sponsor. Depending on the Greek organization, this person will be either matched or assigned to you and their goal is to be your biggest support system throughout pledging and moving forward will act as a role model for all things brotherhood. The bond between big and little, again can be one of the best bonds made but it’s also good to remember that your big isn’t there to be your best friend, and more so there to provide you guidance.
Pro: The social aspect.
For those of you who are coming from out of province/country or are just on the shyer side, joining a fraternity at University of Toronto can help you wave your anxiety about making friends. Along with getting your brothers, by joining a frat you are also joining the Greek life. This means somewhere along your way you’ll be introduced to other fraternity men and sorority women. Many frats and sororities hold socials with other Greek organizations multiple time a month and socials allow you to reconnect with people you may have met through rushing, meet new people and make friends outside of just your organization. Socials often include ice-breakers, games, activities and are usually themed so you can get in touch with your creative side. There are lots of other events such as Greek week, formals, philanthropies, workshops, dinners, informal socials, etc. that the Greek community tend to do with each other throughout the year. These are all great opportunities to build lifelong friendships and memories with people may not have met without joining your Greek organization.
Pro: The Networking.
Another great aspect of rushing/ joining a fraternity at University of Toronto is the positive networks you can build. One thing that a lot people don’t realize is that once you join a brotherhood or sisterhood a whole other world of opportunities open up. There are several reasons for this, the first is the fact that almost every year while you are an active member, at least 10 new people will join your fraternity, this alone gives you the opportunity of building connections with people who have similar values and interests as you while both of you are still in chapter. So even well into the future, due to these bonds and friendships made while you were an active, will help you stay connected in many situations such as internships, job placements, personal affairs, etc. The next great networks built within the brotherhood are made through chapter and/or fraternity alumni. Since most fraternities have been established for near or over a century and are either national or internationally recognized, you will find brothers from either your chapter or organizations in many of the experiences you have. Lastly, Greek organization members tend to look out for one another, so even if its not a brother from your fraternity, other fraternity at University of Toronto and/or sorority members can be found within so many organizations.
“My experience is sort of an outlier because I lived in the house even before I was a brother. At Sig we say we recruit 365 days a year, just building individual relationships. My recruitment was a perfect example of that.” – Chris Lane
Pro: The Philanthropic/ Community Service opportunities.
Fraternities are a great way support a cause that you are passionate about. Most frats have a charity or organization that they support by doing awareness and fundraising philanthropic events for. When you are considering joining a fraternity it’s important to research their philanthropy because this is one of the most important things that Greek organizations do, so it’s good to keep in mind what you personally value and support so that you will want to give it your all. These philanthropic opportunities are great for your morale and can truly be some of the most rewarding parts of your university career.
Pro: Your GPA will never drop.
Each fraternity at University of Toronto has a certain GPA requirement. This requirement is usually fairly reasonable but is high enough to be an incentive to keep your grades up. The stigma of dumb frat guys is generally quite false and in fact fraternity men tend to have some of the highest marks on campus and many of us care about our marks just as much and maybe more than any other college student. Its great because if you are struggling with your GPA, most fraternities will help you by making an academic plan/ goals set by you in which other brothers studying/ who studied in your field will study and sometime tutor you in places that you are struggling in.
“What people usually ask me about me joining a frat is about how I keep up with my academics. The answer to that question was the deal maker for me rushing FIJI. The bros made it abundantly clear that scholarship is one of the key values of the house. The brothers understand that school is a time consuming endeavor, but once the schoolwork is done, the brotherhood and the house are still there.” – Paul Suk
OK…time for some cons.
Okay so now you’ve heard some of the amazing aspects of joining a fraternity at University of Toronto, but now it’s time to look at some cons of rushing. There were two cons given to me by the guys, but what can I say we may all be a bit biased since we are all apart of Greek life…
Con: It is a big time commitment.
There are two parts to this con.
a) The rushing process:
The rushing process of a fraternity at University of Toronto can be a bit tiring on both ends (PNMs and actives). Like mentioned in the description earlier, the recruitment season can be a bit strenuous because you may be going to several events a week especially when you are trying to figure out where you may want to join. But it’s important to remember that these multiple long events are just a spec on the dandelion when it comes to the wonderfulness that will come about once you join. So try to keep an open mind about why you are rushing and as long as you are doing it for a good reason, you’ll get something great out of it.
b) Meetings and events:
If/ when you actually join and get initiated, there are a lot of time commitments required of you such as chapter meeting (usually once a week) and the multiple events, may they be philanthropies, socials, etc. But its good to remember that when it comes to Greek life you get out of it what you put in to it. So you may not have to go to all of these events, but from experience you probably will want to because…
“… for the most part, it did not feel as much like an obligation. Rather, the process was flexible (within reason) and understanding of other circumstances” – Paul Suk
Con: It is a bit costly.
This tends to be a big reason many people don’t even think about joining a fraternity at University of Toronto. Depending on the organization fees can get pretty expensive (hundreds-thousands of dollars). And yes we are all college students so we know your struggle don’t worry! But what most people don’t know is that frats and sororities tend to be more understanding on financial situations than what you may think. They often are willing to work out a financial payment plan with you but you have to be upfront and honest about your financial situation because if you don’t tell them they’ll never know. Another thing that people don’t realize is that most frats have organization (and sometimes chapter) scholarships that actives can apply for to help with finances.
My last bit of advice:
Hopefully you have a better understanding of the general rushing/recruitment process for a fraternity at University of Toronto now and with the help of the pros and cons are able to make a more concise decision of whether or not you’d want to rush. If you are still unsure my (heavily biased) opinion is to just go out to some events in the fall and check it out because you’ll never know what you may discover. Many people go into recruitment with a predetermined idea of what to expect but you should honestly wipe all of those negative stereotypes and go in with an open mind and you’ll soon see that for the most part they just aren’t true. Anyways happy rushing my friends and good luck in the fall 🙂