A new semester is about to start at Auburn University and you may be thinking about rushing for a fraternity. There are many to choose from at Auburn, so if you’re dedicated, you are sure to find the one for you. Here are 10 things you should know about rushing an Auburn Fraternity.
1. Welcome to the land of Coors and Natty.
There will be free alcohol, and more than you’re probably used to from high school. Brothers will want to try and get you drunk, and if there was ever a socially acceptable time to be intoxicated during your college career it would be during rush. But remember, nobody will bid the blackout freshman that needs to be babysat every time he comes to the house. Pace yourself, and stay within your limits. And if you know you’re drunk, never accept a bid. Always hold out no matter how interested you are, and sleep on it to make the best decision.
2. Summer rush is always a good idea.
Auburn fraternities participate in summer rush more than most schools. Fraternities are more hesitant to give out bids in the summer, but it’s a great way to ingratiate yourself with smaller groups of brothers and really get to know each other better than the welcome week ragers all Greek men know and love. Summer rush is also great fun because it’s not just taking pulls and shot gunning cans of Kirkland brand nasty in a can. A lot of times fraternities will create events outside of Auburn like going to Brave’s games, river floats, cook outs, and lake house parties.
Tip: If you go to these, show up on time and don’t wear your high school letterman or logo in any way. Remember these guys couldn’t care less if you lettered four years in a row at lacrosse, they just really, genuinely don’t.
3. Don’t be a suck up.
Fraternities aren’t collectively immune to flattery, but there’s a pretty firm line that you cannot cross if you want a bid. As much as it may seem at times that brothers are trying to win YOU over, you have to prove yourself as much as anyone else. Don’t try to impress them by bragging about your GPA or try to get in their good graces by going on and on about how great their house is. Despite what you may think, brothers generally have a pretty realistic sense about the quality of their fraternity. If they have a nice house, it’s perfectly acceptable to comment on it but leave it at that.
Tip: Whatever you do, DO NOT compare their house to another fraternity’s. That’s a sure-fire way to get your bid vetoed. If they ask about where else you’re rushing, be a little vague and gloss over the specifics. It’s okay to name specific fraternities like, “I’m looking at KA and Sig Ep but I still want to rush for a little while before I make my decision,” but do not gush about or bash other fraternities. The brother’s still see you as a fresh faced freshman that’s fresher than a greenwood and will think you’re just trying to be cool.
4. The all important element of any rush: girls.
First, find out which girls are with which brothers and cement it in your memory. I’ve seen many a rushee that got denied a bid because they hit on a brother’s girlfriend or drunkenly propositioned a girl they just met. Second, be a gentleman. The point of rush isn’t to try and see how many girls you can sleep with or how much you can impress the fraternity. Girls are invited to rush to give a good face for the fraternity. It shows that they’re able to maintain relationships with sororities and independents at an individual level. Newton’s Fourth Law states that every action a rushee commits for or against a girl, there is a proportional reaction from the bros.
Tip: If a DZ tells the rush chairs that so and so was funny and polite, it counts for a helluva lot more than telling them that you just took eight shots and blew chunks over the girls she invited. Show the brothers that you can be a gentleman of your own volition rather than try to curry some favor by pouring liquor down a girl’s throat. Treat the girls like you would any fraternity’s house mother; with respect, humor, and basic human decency.
5. So you drank too much…
Whether it’s your first night at the house or the night you accept your bid, there will be at least one night where you drink too much. Maybe it’s because you tried to keep up with some guys who have more experience drinking with purpose than you. Maybe it’s because you never really found out your limit in high school, or maybe it’s because you didn’t listen to Number 4 and you’re two seconds away from throwing up on the cute brunette that may or may not be dating the president. The point is, it’s gonna happen.
When you have 70 some odd guys all with the mission of getting you to drink, you’re bound to lose a battle or two. During my fraternity’s spring rush there was a guy, let’s call him Riley, who pulled hard liquor off and on for the first hour he was at our house. He then vomited all over our bathroom counter and effectively clogged the sinks. I’m not sure if you’re getting the point yet, but suffice it to say he was the first person banned from our house by our house mother in years. There’s a fine line between all fun-and-games and not getting invited back to the house.
Tip: The most important thing to do if you realize you’ve had too much is to admit it to yourself. Don’t try to soldier through it and puke like the not-even freshman you are. If you do puke, outside and the toilet are the acceptable spots to do it. Start drinking something other than alcohol because the ice in your hunch punch and the three Natty Lite’s you just funneled don’t count as water. No respectable Greek man is going to have a bad opinion of you for being drunk. They will, however, despise you for the things you do while drunk.
Another tip: Also, NEVER and I mean truly, NEVER be the rushee who drove back to his dorm/apartment/house drunk. Not only is this dangerous for obvious reasons, but it’s a massive amount of liability you’re putting on the fraternity when you haven’t even gotten a bid yet. You will be denied a bid, and possibly black listed from getting bids anywhere else. Always find a DD and if you can’t, odds are pretty good you can find somewhere to crash at the house.
6. Do not ask about pledge-ship outside of a general sense.
Don’t ask questions like, “Do you haze?” or “How long does pledge-ship last?” because A. You probably won’t get an honest answer and B. It’s just rude. Fraternities, ostensibly, are socially acceptable cults. They have their secrets, rules, and rituals and every initiated brother knows to take them to his grave. You can ask questions like, “Do you have any stories from pledge-ship?” or “What are some day to day things pledges are responsible for?” If you absolutely have to, but I would recommend avoiding the topic all together.
Tip: Usually, the bigger and more party focused fraternities at Auburn will have rougher pledge-ships, and smaller, less established ones will make it a bit easier. This isn’t always the case of course and there are exceptions to the rule. Ultimately, pledge-ship will remain a mystery up until you finish it. Pledge-ship is a trial every brother has to go through, and at any point if you feel uncomfortable you’re allowed to leave. Respect the tradition that it is and both the good and bad that comes with it.
7. It’s okay if you’re a sophomore rushing for an Auburn Fraternity.
This happens more than you’d think and while it may seem odd at first, eventually you’re just another pledge with your pledge brothers. If you’re thinking about rushing but worried about being a sophomore, don’t be. I can’t think of any fraternities at Auburn that actually care if someone is a sophomore when deciding on bids.
8. Formal rush is a vital part of any rush season at Auburn.
This is the last chance you’ll have to receive or accept any bids you’ve been given. You’re expected to wear either a suit and tie, or at least a sports coat and pants. Make sure you didn’t wear them to the bars last night.
Tip: During formal rush behave formally. I’m not saying you have to be stiff and call everyone “sir” but maybe don’t share with everyone that you nearly got arrested outside of Q’s the other night. Have a list of houses you want to visit in your mind before you start. Formal rush is the end of rush so a lot of fraternities will be looking to pick up a few extra pledges before pledgeship actually begins so as long as you don’t show up drunk or act obnoxious you stand a fair chance of getting a bid.
9. Receiving your bid!
You finally did it. After drinking like a fish, staying up all night, and making decisions that would give your parents consecutive heart attacks, you got your bid. There’s a bit of ceremony that goes a long with receiving a bid, some fraternities at Auburn take it more seriously than others and some will have rites of passage directly afterwards. But some of the most important moments during your time in Greek life will be the two second pause between receiving your bid and then choosing what to do with it.
There are three options: accepting, holding, and rejecting.
Accepting: If you choose to accept your bid then congratulations, you’re now the lowest man on the totem pole.
Holding: When you choose to neither accept or reject your bid. If you have any doubts at all, always hold your bid. You can always come back the next night and accept it but if you drop after accepting a bid, it can make it a lot harder to get a bid at other fraternities.
Rejecting: It sounds harsher than it is. Sometimes a fraternity just isn’t a good fit for you. Think of it in terms of the girl you met the other night. Would you rather be strung along and unsure of where things will be going or would you rather just have a definite answer one way or another? Fraternities feel the same way if not even more so. For example, some fraternities may be limited in their social events depending on how many pledges they have. Rush chairs and AMC’s would much rather have a solid no then a possible maybe so they can plan accordingly.
10. Know the difference between a bid and pledgeship.
Something that most people don’t know is that once you accept a bid, pledgeship hasn’t technically started. You are still a pledge, but Auburn’s IFC has very strict rules on when pledgeship actually begins. That being said, you are now an associate member of the fraternity and should act like it. Don’t represent yourself as a member of the fraternity because you aren’t. You’ll discover in the next couple months, there is a significant difference between a brother and a pledge. Take the time to get to know your fraternity in this state of Greek Limbo and enjoy it. Talk to the brothers, have fun at parties and most importantly recruit people for your pledge class. Your primary duty as a member of any fraternity is to help it grow.