On Rush Week and Being Greek at Kenyon
Gray: So it’s that time of the year again. That fun week after break when our first years (and some upperclassmen) put on their winter coats and trek toward South Campus for Greek rushing. You might think to yourself: Greek life? What? At Kenyon? That. Is. Stupid. Well, a lot of our Brothers might have said the same thing when they were in your shoes. We’d reckon that a vast majority of Kenyon students have no semblance of interest in Greek life when they tour, commit, or arrive on the Hill. Ben and I thought it best to walk you through our experiences with rush to encourage all those first years out there to come out to rush events and, perhaps most importantly, to shed some light on the incredible system that is Kenyon Greek life.
Ben: Like Gray said, a lot of first years arrive with absolutely no intention of going Greek. Initially, I was a part of this crowd. Everything I knew about Greek life was the product of movies, and pop culture in general. I had a very skewed perception of Greeks. Because of this, I had no interest in participating in an “Animal House”-style organization. Then second semester rolled around, and my head was in a little bit of a different place. At home, I had a very tight-knit group of friends that had been through thick and thin with me. At Kenyon, as of the end of the first semester, I had not found a comparable group. I began to have discussions with my best friend, who felt very similarly, about whether Greek life was a way to gain such a group of friends. Little did I know it would provide so much more.
Flash forward to the first day of rush week. I had just gotten out late of a difficult lab and wanted to do nothing more than lie down and sleep until dinner. By some stroke of luck, my best friend was waiting outside my dorm and I struck up a conversation with him. He told me he was going down to the dodgeball DKE rush event and I should come along. If it weren’t for this chance interaction, I never would have had the willpower to get up, get changed, and go down to the KAC alone. We made our way to the KAC with three guys I had never met before, but just weeks later they were some of my best friends. At the event I had so much fun. We got pizza afterwards and I knew I wanted to continue attending these rush events. Some sound advice that I had been given was to attend anything that seemed interesting to you — don’t limit yourself to just one group during rush week, because it really is a time to explore anything and everything. After attending a few more events, I became increasingly more aware that DKE was the group for me. I submitted my interest form and anxiously waited to hear back.
Gray: Unlike Ben, I knew I wanted to be involved in Greek life upon my arrival at Kenyon. Being from the Deep South, I grew up hearing all about the different Greek organizations at different schools. Having both of my parents and grandparents involved in Greek life definitely added to my desire to be involved in a fraternity. I got to know a few of the Brothers of Delta Kappa Epsilon my fall semester through classes and different activities I was involved in, and when it came time to rush I was super pumped. My first rush event was on a cold January day playing football. As any of my friends or Brothers will tell you, I am not the most athletically gifted person on the planet. The moment I realized that I was with the right group of people was when I slipped on a patch of ice, and instead of laughing at my lack of athletic skill or me eating it, they all ran over to check in on me. The rest of rush week was just great food and even better conversation. I knew when I put in my bid, I had made the right decision.
Ben: If you get anything out of this post, it should be that rush is not some scary, intimidating week that your friends or parents have told you about. In fact, by signing up for rush, and attending any events, you are committing yourself to absolutely nothing. Even better, at Kenyon, Rush Week consists mostly of free food, good conversation, and fun events. Being Greek now, we are obviously a little biased, but many non-members will still tell you that rush week is a great opportunity to meet people and test your compatibility with different organizations. At the end of the day, if you find yourself really gelling with a group of people, submit an interest form. If not, then you have hopefully learned more about yourself and know for sure that Greek life is not for you. Get out and met some Greeks! We promise you won’t regret it.