How to Survive Rush Week

If youre planning on participating in Rush Week, here are some tips to help you stay sane:

Dont take Rush Week too seriously.
Please dont worry about what other people say about you. Your sense of self cant be determined by anybody but you.

Dont commit to anything your first year.
If youre a freshman, try to stay away from joining. Youll make plenty of friends in the dorms and youll need any extra time to focus on the books. If you feel like Greek life can benefit you, then consider joining next year. Besides, you can spend this year making friends with people at other houses to see which group you get along with best.

Dont pledge blind.
Dont join a fraternity or sorority until you really know something about the group. This means doing your homework. Ask friends and other people on campus about opinions of that particular house. Find out everything you can.

Dont pledge a certain fraternity or sorority because your mom or dad once belonged.
Greek houses undergo massive personality changes from one year to the next. Theres no way your dads old lodge you heard so much about can be the same one it is today.

Beware of rushing alumni.
Sometimes if a chapter is having a difficult time, they might invite alumni or active members at other campuses to help out during Rush. If youre being rushed by a house of thirty people, and there are only twelve people on the framed yearbook composite picture, get suspicious.

Here is a list of terms you should be aware of:

Active – a member of a sorority or fraternity who has been fully initiated into the group (as opposed to a pledge, who is not a full-fledged member).

Bid – an invitation to join a sorority or fraternity.

Chapter – the individual franchise of a national Greek-letter organization on a campus.

Depledge – to bow out of a sorority or fraternity before initiation

Fraternity – a group of men united in brotherhood, ideally for life

Hazing – a moronic practice of subjecting potential members of a group to various tests of endurance or humiliation. Thankfully, this is becoming obsolete on many campuses.

Invitational parties – these are longer and somewhat more elaborate than the open-house parties. The objective here is to provide smaller groups of rushees with a more intimate impression of the personalities of the individual house.

Legacies – close relatives of current and former sorority or fraternity members, whom that members chapter is basically obliged to accept.

Open-house parties – short receptions of about 30 minutes each, designed to bring every rushee into every sorority house on campus. From these brief encounters, the rushees are supposed to begin narrowing their choices a bit for the next round of parties, the invitationals.

Open Rush – a series of relaxed, informal parties after the main rush is over. The advantage here is that rushees have much more time, and much less pressure to make a decision.

Panhellenic Council – the group that regulates Rush (and all Greek) procedures.

Pledge – to join a sorority or fraternity. A pledge is new, but not yet permanent.

Preferential or Pref Parties – the final rounds of formal rush.

Rushee – someone going through Rush, whos considering joining a sorority or fraternity.

Rush Week – a limited, high-pressure period when people in Greek letter fraternities and sororities recruit, or rush, new students in hopes of nabbing a good crop of pledges to keep their organizations alive and kicking for another four years.

Sorority – a group of women united in sisterhood, ideally for life.

Suicide – an all-or-nothing decision where some desperate person says, If I cant get into Fraternity A, then Im not interested in anything else.

Top 2011 College Commencement Speakers Videos

Its college graduation time, so Im compiling a list of my favorite 2011 college commencement videos.

Please leave a comment to let me know what great speeches Ive missed or email [email protected]

Harvard College Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler delivers a hilarious speech at Harvards College 2011 graduation.

Spelman College Michelle Obama
Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, gives an inspiring speech to the 2011 graduating class of female students at Spelman.

Miami Dade College President Obama
President Obama delivers this commencement address to the graduating students at Miami Dade College, Miami, FL. April 29, 2011.

Yale College Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks, Academy Award-winning actor, writer and director speaks to Yale Colleges Class of 2011 graduating students.

Harvey Mudd College Marissa Mayer (Googles Vice President)
Marissa Mayer, Googles first female engineer and vice president, gives her speech to graduates at Harvey Mudd College.

West Point College Michelle Obama
First Lady Michelle Obama makes her first visit to West Point as the banquet speaker for the U.S. Military Academy Class of 2011. Held in the historic Cadet Mess this is an address to over 3,000 graduating cadets, their families and guests. This marks the final social event the cadets will take part in as a class prior to commencement and commissioning. This is also the first time a First Lady has spoken for the Cadets at West Point.

And here are some upcoming graduation speeches Ill be adding next . . .

Dartmouth College Conan OBrien
Eric Tanner 11, Dartmouth Student Body President, announces the Commencement speaker for 2011. Watch the live broadcast of the ceremony on June 12, 2011, beginning at 9:30 am EDT on dartmouth.edu.