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Students discuss rushing process for fraternities, sororities at UCLA

By Sydney Scher

Oct. 17, 2023 7:55 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article’s graphic misidentified the location of Gamma Phi Beta.

This post was updated Oct. 18 at 11:44 p.m.

One of Caleb Wallis’ most significant moments in UCLA Greek life was spent smashing IKEA chairs while chanting with and hugging his fraternity brothers.

The third-year business economics student said the ritual was his fraternity’s way of celebrating the acceptance of potential new members as pledges. Throughout week zero, UCLA undergraduate students participated in events like the one Wallis described as part of the fall quarter Greek life rush cycle.

Each fall quarter, fraternities and sororities conduct a formal recruitment process in which potential new members can learn more about each chapter. After hosting events scheduled throughout week zero, chapters offered bids to select candidates Oct. 2.

Marcel Sekesan, a third-year sociology student, said he decided to rush to meet new people and make friends.

Sekesan also said he was looking for fraternities whose members he shared similar interests with. He added that the best part of rushing was having conversations with current members about topics he was passionate about.

“One of those similar interests was music, because I want to minor in music industry,” Sekesan said. “Some of the members in (Theta Chi) have a band called the Bedbugs. … This similar interest definitely is what drew me to Theta Chi.”

Sekesan said Theta Chi was his top choice, as he felt like he fit in best there.

“Even though I’ve only met these guys a week ago, I feel very close to them already,” Sekesan said. “I feel like everyone is committed to making a fun, safe place for everyone to hang out.”

Wallis, the rush chair for the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, said he relies on rush committee members to get insights on the different potential new members.

Wallis said he tells his committee to look for those who have demonstrated consistency in leadership opportunities in which they have been involved. Wallis also said it is important that potential new members are involved in organizations outside of Greek life.

“It’s important to not let that (the fraternity) consume your social life or your full experience of college,” Wallis said. “We want to make sure that we’re getting a lot of well-rounded people.”

Wallis said there are many indications that could result in a candidate not being invited to join the fraternity. He added that he wants his fraternity to look for candidates who are interested in fostering a community rather than just attending parties.

“It’s important that people go in with the idea that you’re fostering a community in the house that you join,” Wallis said. “The things that stand out to me about my experience in Greek life has been the close friendships and bonds that I’ve been able to make, not any specific parties.”

Jane Bricklin, a second-year linguistics and psychology student who participated in the fall sorority rush process, said she was motivated to find a sorority with members she could form personal connections with.

Bricklin’s most vivid memory from the rush process was of preference day, the day before bid day. On preference day, the sorority girls gave the potential new members flowers and sang songs about the meaning of sisterhood.

“That’s when they really try to make you feel like you’re already a part of the sorority,” Bricklin said. “They show you a glimpse into how the sisters have found their home there.”

At the end of the rush cycle, Bricklin received a bid from Chi Omega, which was one of her top choices.

Going forward, Bricklin said she looks forward to Chi Omega’s philanthropy projects and fundraisers with the Make-A-Wish foundation.

“I’m also looking forward to the in-house sisterhood events like movie nights, studying for finals, game nights,” Bricklin said. “I think it’s a great way to form a close-knit community.”

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