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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: You definitely shouldn’t rush

Photo by Meredith Seaver

Texas A&M sorority and fraternity houses are located off campus.

Ah, sororities.

With promises of pretty Greek letters decorating your social media, hundreds of new people to meet and endless opportunities for fun that will continue for a lifetime, who wouldn’t want to join?

Though many scoff at the mere mention of these non-related blonde sisters, many Aggie girls chose to take their chance at it this year alone. Including me.

Aug. 26 marked bid day here at Texas A&M, the final day of sorority recruitment. The process consisted of four grueling rounds, utilizing a system in which the girls rank the houses and the houses rank the girls.

Despite the obscene heat that resulted in multiple ambulances and dresses so drenched in sweat they ended up a different color, it was all worth it to finally run to their humble million-dollar home-away-from-home.

They now get to call themselves sisters, but do these girls have what it really takes to be a family?

Though I dropped out of the process for financial reasons, I physically went through the majority of the process. It was during these 38 horrendously painful hours that two notable observations were made:

A reasonable system. Unreasonable mindsets.

Upon completing registration, every single potential new member, or PNM, is informed of the rules and expectations regarding the process several weeks in advance.

We are reminded both during orientation and at the beginning of each round that every girl is guaranteed a bid — so long as she “maximizes” her options.

The seven days of recruitment are divided into individual rounds, where the PNMs will visit individual houses and meet recruiters. At the end of each round both the PNMs and recruiters rank each other in order of preference, so by the start of the next round the PNMs will visit less and less houses. By the end of the process you will be required to choose from only two houses, and on bid day you find out which house chose you.

In order to maximize her options, a PNM must go back to every house she is invited to regardless of how she thinks she feels about them. The problem usually lies in the last round, where girls must rank their final two houses.

While one may think it’s intuitive to just choose one of the two freaking houses, a myriad of girls actually end up only choosing one. This single preference method of voting, aka “suiciding,” is resorted to when girls aren’t satisfied with the options they were left with. In doing so they risk dropping the only house that was willing to extend them a bid, and therefore they do not maximize their options.

The majority of PNMs aren’t rushing for the right reasons.  

The fundamental goal is for each girl to be matched with the house they fit best, but unfortunately, the majority of girls want the house they think fits them best and turn it into a competition.

How do I know this?

Before rush even starts, families spend thousands of dollars on Hunger Games-style “coaches” to teach their daughters how to dress and impress sorority recruiters.

From your very first walk down the tent line, hundreds of girls will meticulously scrutinize each and every part of your outfit and measure it against their own. There will definitely be girls who tell you they totally love your bow (not in the Mean Girls way), but some don’t even bother trying to hide their thinly veiled contempt. It’s not that you don’t look pretty — you probably look gorgeous. But it’s a competition, so why would they be happy about a potential threat?

On the first ride to Sorority Row, a girl threw up, and instead of trying to help her, the immediate response was “Oh god, please don’t get it on my outfit.”

This extreme competitiveness has devolved to the point of forcing the Texas A&M Collegiate Panhellenic Council to implement ridiculous rules.

For instance, all PNMs have access to a small paper folded within our name tags that we’re vehemently told not to look at. Spoiler, I took a peek — it was literally just my schedule. Apparently, seeing it runs the risk of talk among girls and therefore encourages comparisons and upset emotions.

Furthermore, PNMs aren’t even allowed to talk about which house they are going to or coming from, heavens forbid it makes other girls jealous that they didn’t have those houses on their own schedule.

Yeah, it’s all very dramatic.

To top it all off, the conversations I was privy to with other PNMs up until bid day shared the same consensus: if they did not get the house they wanted, they would drop.

Why PNMs put this much money and passive aggressiveness into rushing just to drop from the process entirely because they don’t get the most popular house is beyond me. After all, it’s not supposed to be an “all-or-nothing” competition, but rather a journey to find your place amongst the girls who will help you thrive most.

The reality is that the types of girls hyper-fixated on rushing are the same girls who have spent months, if not years, stalking the coolest sororities’ Instagram feeds and don’t care about ending up in their true home.

Rampant consternation with notions of the “best” house on the row only leads to forgetting about what’s actually best for the authentic you.

For four years you’ll get to live with the house, but you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.

You only choose once, so choose right.

Isabella Garcia is an economics sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Garcia
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer
Isabella Garcia is an Economics sophomore from San Antonio, Texas and has been an opinion writer for The Battalion since June 2023. After graduation, Isabella intends to earn a J.D. and pursue a career in corporate law.
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