What to do about rush

Saige Heyer

There are many different ways for students to get involved at Iowa State and give back to their community. One of those ways is joining the Greek Community, which is done through a recruitment process. The recruitment process, however, differs between fraternities and sororities and from house to house.


The recruitment process for fraternities was explained by Matt Nelson, the recruitment chair for FarmHouse.

Although there are a few methods of recruitment for fraternities at Iowa State, the main one is Summer Recruitment. At this time, a recruitment team or a few recruitment chairs are chosen by the other members to recruit during the summer and school year.

Summer Recruitment is done differently by each fraternity. Some offer various events such as going to a baseball game or spending a day at the lake. During these events, recruiters will get to know potential members on a more personal level by asking about their future goals, what they hope to get out of college and why they want to join the fraternity.

Students interested in joining the Greek Community also have the chance to tour fraternities during Orientation.

A fraternity usually cannot start recruiting high school seniors until the end of Greek Week, which occurs in April. Greek Getaway gives high school students the chance to stay at chapter facilities over the weekend. Since school is still in session at this time, the students get a feel of what it is like to be a part of the Greek Community.

“Bids of membership can be given out at nearly any time during the school year to current students at Iowa State,” Nelson said.

Fall Fraternity Rush is the only formal recruitment Iowa State fraternities do. It gives current students the chance to visit the different fraternities, but they are welcome to visit fraternities any time during the year. They can stop by for dinner, go to a sporting event, or study with some of the members at the house.

Fraternities, including FarmHouse, have sets of principles on which they base their recruitment process. They want to make sure the candidates are people they want joining the organization. FarmHouse, for example, uses its Four Fold – Spiritual, Intellectual, Social and Physical – to help choose their future members.

Sometimes alumni of the fraternities will pass along names of prospective members. Legacies, or students whose family members were in that particular fraternity, are another part of recruiting. However, being a legacy does not guarantee someone will receive a bid of membership to that fraternity.

“The Greek Community at Iowa State is having good success with recruitment because of what it offers,” Nelson said. “From involvement on campus to community service, the Greek Community gives students not only another living option, but a chance to gain a different experience.”


Caitlin Higgins, a member of Delta Zeta, explained their recruitment process.

The week before the new members come, the current members clean, decorate and review the guidelines for recruitment. This week is called Work Week or Spirit Week.

Rho Gammas are members that are disaffiliated at the end of Work Week and are the recruitment counselors. There are usually one to five Rho Gammas per chapter.

The first day of recruitment can be rather draining. The day gets longer each year because the number of women wanting to join is steadily increasing.

“The second day, Sisterhood Showcase, is my favorite day, personally,” Higgins said. On this day, Delta Zeta showcases what Greek life has to offer and the standards and personality of their chapter by performing a skit.

House tours and Philanthropy Day is held on the third day. Potential members tour the chapters on their agenda in order to see the different amenities and styles of living the chapters have to offer. They also get to see the efforts the chapter puts forth through philanthropy on local and national levels.

“This day is especially important because it’s also our chance to showcase our different philanthropies,” Higgins said.

Preference Night is on the last day and is the most personal and intimate. A special ceremony is put on by each chapter that gives a look into the pledging and initiation ceremonies, which are also more intimate. Higgins said the overall night is pretty emotional.

On Bid Day, the groups of recruitment members will meet with their Rho Gammas and find out with which chapters they will be members. Bid Day is Higgins’ second favorite part of the week because they see how the long days of hard work paid off and seeing the girls so excited.

“I can’t even put into words how thankful I am to have all the opportunities and experiences I have from being Greek at Iowa State,” Higgins said. “Regardless of the chapter you join here, the Greek Community is just that – a community. And it’s one that I will forever be proud to be a part of.”

For more information on Greek recruitment including dates, forms and contact information, visit greek.iastate.edu.