This week at Cal Poly the fraternities are getting ready for Rush and beginning to recruit members for the remainder of the Winter Quarter and beyond. Rush is an annual tradition for sororities and fraternities in which they display their organizations to the people of Cal Poly, aiming to recruit Freshman and lower classmen as they will be able to stay with the sorority or frat for longer.
This tradition, as well as frats and sororities, has been going on at Cal Poly since 1949. Each organization is different from the next and try to recruit students of different backgrounds, but that still have some similarity. Some of the groups include:
- Delta Sigma Phi
- Sigma Pi
- Kappa Alpha Theta
- Gamma Phi Beta
- Kappa Kappa Gamma (the newest addition)
- and Phi Kappa Psi
These are just a few of the sororities and fraternities on campus. There are many others that are both open to all students as well as ones that aim to recruit that have similar religious backgrounds such as the two Jewish groups: Alpha Epsilon Pi (male) and Alpha Epsilon Phi (female).
However, after the tragic death of a freshman student by the name of Carson Starkey, fraternities were forced to change their rush policies from the ability to rush during Fall quarter to having to rush during Winter quarter, hence their large rush week happening now. Since the incident, Starkey's parents and Cal Poly have commemorated him through a program called Aware, Awake, Alive that holds an annual marathon fundraiser in his honor.
Nevertheless, the three big councils that oversee Fraternities and Sororities, large issues as such have been lessened and will hopefully one day be demolished from Greek Life. These councils are Interfraternity Council (IFC), United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC), and Panhellenic Council (PHA). ASI's website regarding all of the Fraternity and Sorority information also has a FAQ page that allows students to find out any information they may not have known or had been previously misguided about.
During the Rush Week frats are able to set up Lemon-Stand-Esque booths at Dexter Lawn that have Brothers stationed to answer questions about the fraternity. The groups also do silly things to get their frats known such as painting and adding to "The P"-- the large white P at the top of the mountain located directly behind the dorms standing for none other than Poly. This year (as in many years past) the fraternity ZBT (Zeta Beta Tau) changed it to say "Rush ZBT".
When this week is all over fraternities will be full once again--replacing leaving or already gone Seniors--and all the hype will be over in a couple weeks. But, for the time being, students have a chance to get excited about joining Brotherhoods that are said to last a lifetime.