When I was a freshman, an upperclassman friend of mine described MIT like this: “You can tell what we care about by the way we introduce ourselves. Invariably, we give our name, then our class year, then our major, and finally, where we live. Four simple things – that’s what we care about most.”
As the freshmen arrive on campus, I find myself thinking more and more about my own freshman year – in particular, the choices I made that year, and how they continue to affect my life today. Without a doubt, the most important and most significant decision I made as a freshman was choosing to join a fraternity. It was, in retrospect, also one of the easiest.
MIT’s 27 fraternities stand alongside the dorms as a major living and social option for close to a thousand men. Like most other Greek men, I have a great deal of pride in not only my own fraternity, but also in the Greek system as a whole. We are, in many ways, not that different from other MIT students: we are leaders and scholars, athletic captains and student body presidents. But we are also brothers living in the same house, under the same roof, sharing the same struggles and the same triumphs – both of which can be found in abundance at MIT. We have rituals and traditions that go back as many as a hundred years or more, ranging from as simple as who sits at the head of the dinner table each night to as complex as our Initiation rites. Yet we also welcome new ideas and suggestions, which may themselves become tradition.
At MIT, fraternity recruitment – “Rush” – begins early. It begins today, in fact. Over the next week or so, each of MIT’s fraternity houses will open their doors to any and every interested freshman. Much like CPW is a supersaturated version of MIT, so too is Rush a supersaturated version of fraternity life. It is not a false version of Greek life: if anything, fraternity brothers will go out of their way to insure that interested freshmen know exactly what MIT’s fraternities are like.
Although there’s much more I want to say, I unfortunately have to run – to Rush! Despite its incompleteness, I hope t his entry gives you something more of an overview of what MIT fraternities are like – and rest assured I’ll be editing and updating this later tonight.
In the meantime, I would love to hear questions any of you, prospective students or current students alike, may have.