Ole Miss Sees Increased Rush Despite Economy

Casey Neale

For one full week every year, the entire Ole Miss Greek community, and a bulk of the freshman class, take part in an event known as Formal Rush: the process by which new students get into fraternities and sororities on campus.

The Greek system has been a part of Ole Miss student life for more than 100 years.  But with the failing economy, in combination with an average price tag of $3,000 per year to go Greek, you might think fewer students would participate in Formal Rush this year.

Instead, the number of students rushing has increased.

“Our national president recently told us that statistically more people join fraternities when the economy gets bad,” says Alpha Tau Omega fraternity president Andrew Forsdick.  “I think that’s because people are seeking an outlet from the hard times, and I think that’s definitely being shown here at Ole Miss.”

Forsdick explained that more than 800 students went through Formal Rush this year, which is more than ever before.

Students could be using the Greek community as an outlet, or it might be something more.

Tyler Napier, a Recruitment Counselor who leads students from house to house during Formal Rush, has spent a lot of time with the students going through Rush.

“Now the economy has made them more aware of what they’re spending, but they still want to do it because they think it’s worth it,” said Napier.  “The parents think it’s worth it, and the families are going to find a way around it if they want they’re kids to do it.”

Rush Chairman Jake Chandler says fraternities and sororities are also compensating, by reducing their own costs as well.

“I think the word has gotten out that fraternities are willing to work with kids that aren’t maybe as financially able to pay the full amount,” says Chandler.  “There’s things called reduced dues, which allow kids to pay a set amount each month that’s within their budget or limit of their families; and that’s helped out a great deal.

Whether students are using Greek life as an outlet from tough times; or joining despite financial difficulties because they feel it is worth it; or even if it’s because they realize that fraternities and sororities are willing to work within their budgets, the fact remains that more students are participating in Formal Rush this year at Ole Miss.

For additional information concerning Formal Rush, click here.


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~ by cdneale on October 14, 2009.

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