Getting involved in the Greek program at Mizzou might seem somewhat intimidating considering the large number of students who participate in rush each year, but some students think the process has long-term positive effects on college careers.
Junior Susan Linneman, recording secretary of MU's Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter, said she believes the recruitment experience itself can help students to adjust quickly.
To learn more about formal recruitment and registering, go to students.missouri.edu/~greeklife/recruitment.php.
"Even if you decide not to join a house, going through the stress and anxiety of rushing brings you very close to the girls you go through the process with," she said, "You spend the entire week with the same group of girls and become very close, whether or not you end up in the same house."
The formal recruitment process requires incoming female freshmen to move into the dorms a week early. This year it will be August 16-17.
There is no formal rush period for fraternities at MU.
Some upperclassmen are chosen to disaffiliate from their sorority for the duration of recruitment. Pi Chis are available to all potential members so that they are well informed throughout the recruitment process. Pi Chis are responsible for distributing schedules, answering questions and being a confidante while a potential member is participating in panhellenic recruitment.
Usually the first day of rush consists of the girls having a "13 party day," which means they visit all 13 houses on campus. Because of the increasingly large number of freshmen choosing to rush, Aug. 18 and 19 will both be "13 party days" this year. On the morning of Aug. 20, the women must make a listing of the 13 houses in order of their preference.
Each house also makes a list, in order of preference, of the rush participants they want to return. The lists are put into a computer system and each woman's list is narrowed to nine houses. Some students might not have nine houses that request them back if the numbers are too low. The students then visit the remaining nine houses to get a better idea of where they might fit in.
On Aug. 21, the listing process is repeated with only nine houses and remaining women that the houses had not yet cut, forcing the list to be narrowed to five houses.
The women visit their five remaining houses and then cut the list to three, using the same computerized listing system. On Aug. 22, the girls will visit their final three houses for a last impression. Lists are again made and computerized. Aug. 23 is called "Bid Day." Each woman stands on the Quad and receives an envelope with the name of the house that she has chosen and been chosen by. The women then run to their house with the envelope to celebrate and find their new "sisters."
Linneman said it's important to keep a few things in mind to help the process go smoothly: "Be open-minded. Being from Columbia, I had heard things and stereotypes of certain houses and thought I knew my favorite and least favorite," she said. "But when I went to the houses, I realized my preconceived opinions were completely wrong - each house has smart girls, sporty girls and pretty girls, so be sure to not based your decision on stereotyping."
After formal recruitment is over, some sorority houses might not have reached their quota for new recruits, so continuous open bidding occurs. Women can still join houses if they didn't find a sorority they liked or missed out on the recruitment process.