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UA frat recruitment: 899 rush, 571 place

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Jesus Barrera and Jesus Barrera | The Daily Wildcat Engineering sophomores and PIKE fraternity members Jared Dolby, Scooter Bankofier,and Christian Pappas walk to their classes on Monday, August 29.

In the days leading up to the start of classes, over 900 men braved the August heat and went through the recruitment process in the hopes of eventually joining a fraternity.

The rush process, which ran from Aug. 16-21, ended with bid day at the end of the first day of classes, where those who rushed could receive invitations of membership.

Not every person who rushes is guaranteed to receive a bid.

Of the 899 men who began recruitment, 571 were placed with a chapter on bid day, according to Lauren Leif, assitant director of UA fraternity and sorority programs.

Leif, who provided the numbers via email, said the placement rate of those who began the process was 63.5 percent, which is up from last year's 46.4 percent.

Adam Davidson, a political science freshman, was one of many this year who received a bid from a house this year but did not accept.

“I decided to not accept the bid I was given because I thought that, while the guys in the fraternity were great and nice guys, it simply was not the fraternity I had hoped for,” Davidson said.

Davidson said he rushed for the brotherhood and bond, the potential for connections on and off campus and the social aspect.

Jacob Van Patten, a psychology sophomore, said he felt like he had a lot of free time his freshman year and wanted to join Greek Life to be part of the events done around the community and school. Van Patten is now a member of Zeta Psi.

“I got along with the guys well and it didn’t seem forced,” Van Patten said about his choice. “The experience has been a lot of fun.”

Every house is different, but most are set up in the same way: The new members pay their dues to belong to, and go through, the pledging process. Pledging is the new member education process until initiation when they become full-fledged members.

Up until then, the chapter can still drop members or members can choose to drop out. In the spring, fraternities can participate in informal recruitment.

For some potential new members, rushing a fraternity was a long time coming. Pablo Gomez, a pre-business sophomore, said he has wanted to rush since high school, ever since he saw his brother go through the process.

Despite the long, exhausting days, Gomez said he feels like he made the right decision.

“It’s long, it’s hot. It’s really hot rushing in 90-degree weather in August," Gomez said, who ended up joining Theta Delta Chi. "But I promise it’s worth it at the end of the day."

Now that the semester is underway, those who rushed face one of two realities: readjusting expectations after not joining a fraternity or setting out on the path to becoming a full member of the house they have chosen. Either way, the fraternity recruitment process gives those who participate the chance to shape the path of their college experience.

“I’m a sophomore, but if you’re a freshman, you come here and you don’t really know anyone so it’s a great way to meet people and expand your horizons,” Gomez said. “So now I know people who aren’t just in my fraternity but in all of the other ones too. It’s a really cool process.”


Follow Leah Merrall on  Twitter.

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