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Rush week kicks off on the Hill, attracting many attendees

Rush week kicks off on the Hill, attracting many attendees

Greek organizations hold a variety of events throughout rush week. | COURTESY OF THETA DELTA PHI

It’s only the second week back on the Hill, but the campus is already buzzing with events. Rush week kicked off on Sunday with a “Meet The Greeks’’ event in Gund Commons. During rush week, Greek organizations host various events where prospective members can schmooze with existing members of the organization they hope to join. The week will culminate with organizations offering bids to the students they wish to invite, beginning a monthslong initiation process. Approximately 25% of the student body is involved in Greek Life, according to Kenyon’s website, including four fraternities, four sororities and one coeducational service society. 

Each organization’s rush week schedule differs slightly. Some organizations host events at the same time, forcing students to choose if they had hoped to rush both, while others host events at separate times that don’t overlap. Other organizations have opted for themed weeks, such as Epsilon Delta Mu (EDM)’s Garden-Party-themed rush. The sorority’s rush week will feature events like flower arranging, high tea and cookie decorating, according to an email to the Collegian from EDM president Lily Buchanan ’25.

These weeks are known to be jam-packed, which can be a nerve-wracking process as students try to mingle with as many new people as possible during a single week, on top of their normal schoolwork and classes. This year, attendance to Greek events is high, with Zeta Alpha Pi (Zeta) president Chloe Goldstein ’25 writing in an email to the Collegian, “Kenyon Greek life has grown and has had a larger presence on campus since I joined. It is so amazing to see how many people are interested in joining this year.” 

Buchanan agreed, writing, “EDM’s events have gone really well so far, and we’ve seen great turnout!” 

Students have a variety of reasons for rushing. “I’m on the soccer team and there’s only four [first-years], so I want to be a part of a bigger class, even though I love my small class [in] soccer,” Ariel Kite ’27 said. Other students chose to rush as part of their team culture. “I’m part of the football team and Beta [Theta Pi] is basically an all-football frat, so they influenced me,” James Bernier ’27 said. 

Some students, like Lottie Mathew ’27, were motivated to rush by friends or roommates. “My roommate was a big factor in [my decision to rush],” she said. “But I wanted to meet new people, I wanted to be part of a sisterhood-like group, ’cause you always see it in TV and movies and especially, as an international [student], if I came to America and didn’t join a sorority, did I even come?” 

Getting to know people was a common theme in students’ interest in rushing. In an interview with the Collegian, Juliette Leclerc ’27 said, “I’ve never been like the sorority type of person, but Kenyon rush felt more chill, and I heard it was a good opportunity to meet people. And I don’t even know if I will pledge, but the rush process is fun.” 

For those who aren’t rushing, the excitement around the week may feel strange. “Rush is a way for people to feel even more involved in the Kenyon community,” said David Bonnen ’27. “[But] I don’t care about rush as long as I don’t see like, y’know, like, frat boys, pledges, in their underwear in like 20-degree weather running around doing scavenger hunts.”

Some presidents offered their guidance on managing the hecticness of rush week. Buchanan advised people to “try to find the group they feel most comfortable with, though that can be hard with the fast-paced nature of rush. It’s important to be able to step back and take time for yourself during the process, and remember that the people you’re meeting are just as nervous as you likely are.” 

Goldstein added, “[Don’t] stress or worry about the week. It is meant and designed to be a relaxing and enjoyable way to meet new people. Be yourself and be open to different groups and people.” 

The events of rush week offer Greek organizations a chance to showcase what they value most about Greek life at Kenyon. “I really appreciate how the Greek system members really take this week as a chance to talk about what Greek life is, and what it is not,” Vice President of Student Affairs Celestino Limas said in an interview with the Collegian. “I think there are preconceptions that some people may have. And I think [Greek organizations] do a great job of articulating what the experience is and how much it actually means to them and gives them purpose.” 

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