UCI Greek Life was widely publicized this year, with social media outreach and booths all around Ring Road during Welcome Week.
Many students participated in Rush Week, a week where those who are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority go to events to find the perfect fit for them.
“Rush Week was a lot of fun,” second year psychology student Brendan Bergen said. “It was nice that, for a few days, I didn’t have to think about school and [I could] focus on making friends and having a good time.”
Many different events were happening that week as sororities and fraternities welcomed new students.
There were bonfires and beach days hosted by different chapters, who shuttled students from the flagpoles to different events to make sure transportation wasn’t an issue.
Those who participated met new people and built connections with them, even if they ended up in different chapters.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming into [Rush Week] and I thought that once I picked a sorority, I wouldn’t talk to the other girls in the chapters anymore, but that wasn’t true because now I see the other girls around everywhere and we are still close,” first year biology student and Alpha Phi pledge Carissa Song said.
Preparation was needed in order to have a successful Rush Week for each of the fraternities and sororities.
“I started preparing for Rush Week in May by looking through the UCI Class of 2025 Instagram page and gauging who I thought would be a good fit [for Sigma Chi] based on interests,” Sigma Chi President and fourth year exercise sciences student David Flores said.
Social media played a huge role in rushing. Many of the students were contacted via social media by members of different chapters who informed them about how rushing worked before getting to campus.
“Some of the boys from Sigma Pi, my fraternity now, reached out to me before the first rush event and told me that I should come out and talk to some of the members and see how I feel about joining a fraternity,” first year biomedical engineering student Owen Collins said.
During Rush Week, students and chapters focused on finding the best fit for themselves and for the houses.
“I joined Sigma Chi because I really vibed with everyone I talked with, then after hearing more about their deep seeded values that everyone seemed to share, as well as their philanthropy, I felt comfortable saying I wanted to be a Sig,” Bergen said.
Making connections that felt right played a role in where students pledged.
“I didn’t know much about the different chapters going into [rushing] so I genuinely decided from talking to all the girls and seeing where I vibed,” Song said. “It was a difficult decision because all of the chapters seemed equally inviting but there were certain people that I connected with more and could feel natural in front of.”
Once Rush Week was over, students went through the pledging process and were able to deepen their connections with the existing members of the chapters.
“Since pledging, there have been a lot of new member meetings and social hangouts,” first year education sciences student Sophie Gedney said. “Some of the members have asked me to go on coffee dates and dinner and there have just been a bunch of different bonding experiences that have helped me get closer to the existing members.”
Sabrina Contreras is a Campus News Intern for the fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.