Sister Act 3: the Rush
da island coconut
If someone told me two weeks ago I would be joining a sorority,
I probably would have laughed, maybe even snickered a little
and I definitely would have forgotten about it 15 seconds later.
When I did end up rushing, I was in for something I definitely
wasn't expecting - sisterhood.
My rush experience began in a cramped lecture room surrounded
by over 100 well-groomed, very anxious women. It was an eye-opener
to see so many young women so motivated to be a part of something
I had never even considered.
The rush period is organized by a committee of women from the
six different sororities on campus called Panhel. During the
rush period, they don't reveal which sorority they belong to
and organize all the house visits.
At the end of each session, one is expected to "drop" a house
and with each subsequent day you visit one less house. The last
day, you have narrowed it down to three houses from which you
make your final bid and hope the sorority chooses you. Each
girl is guaranteed a spot in one of the houses at the end of
I had conjured up ideas for what these "parties" would entail,
most of which included obscene amounts of alcohol, the worst
truth or dare possible and maybe even someone dangling me from
University College tower. In reality, rush was none of these.
Parties ranged in theme from Madonna medleys to a stint in a
jungle with Alpha Gamma Delta.
In every house, there were performances, cheering, lots of
laughter and great food. No alcohol is consumed during sorority
rush, which really forces the houses to be creative. Each sorority
takes immense pride in their beliefs and how they conduct themselves,
something quite evident through their respective elaborate productions.
Between each of the six sororities, there are many differences
- which I found to be the most shocking. Some sororities fit
the typical stereotype - where you can feel daddy's money oozing
out of the blond hair - while others are more low key and emphasize
sisterhood and keeping good grades for inter-sorority scholarships.
You notice the difference between the sororities that are always
looking for a good time and those that actually take their in-house
philanthropy very seriously.
Even for me, the skeptic of all skeptics, I could see how belonging
to a sorority could be appealing to many. Although the option
of instant friends and crazy parties sounds tempting, there
were moments when I found it all so artificial and out of place
in a university setting.
After all, when it comes down to it, we're here at Western
to get an education. Yes, university is about experiencing being
away from home for the first time and developing a sense of
self. I could see a as being a way to meet people and live life
to its fullest, but I find it a narrow way to expand one's approach
to life. At Western you have the ability to access a diversity
most small universities cannot offer. In one week, you could
learn to salsa, develop your own photos in a darkroom and go
camping in Algonquin Park for a weekend.
Sorority life consumes you, whether it pushes you to do better
in school, meet people you never would have dreamed meeting
or turn yourself into a raging alcoholic. Whatever course it
takes, be prepared for it to swallow you whole.