One week may sound like a very short amount of time to you, but to an eighteen year old girl rushing a sorority, a week is a lifetime. And that’s why when the first snowstorm of 2019 forcefully extended recruitment an extra week, the only reasonable response was to panic. Going to classes all week and “not thinking about it” or “pausing” was too unrealistic. Naturally, it was going to dwindle in the minds of the women on both sides of the rush process until preference round.
Now that the bids are handed out and the outfit guides are gone, I am beginning to think that this extra week was beneficial to the Panhellenic community. While it likely caused prolonged stress and anxiety, I believe that it gave the Greek women on our campus a moment to reflect. Given an extra seven days, we were able to consider each house’s values and come to choose a house for the “right reasons.” When there is no break between the rounds, it is easier to get caught up in the appearances instead of thinking about the houses holistically.
Another positive aspect of the delay was its ability to diminish the importance that people going through rush place on Greek life. Instead of being all consuming for five days, our first week of school bursted the bubble. Attending classes and starting homework assignments in between the Philanthropy and Preference Rounds not only served as a distraction, but also demonstrated that there is more to the Cornell experience than membership in a Greek chapter. Again, this break gave women the opportunity to reevaluate and reinforce the values and ideals that they are looking for in a new community.
I think that this experience gave the new member classes of 2019 a unique and valuable start to their involvement in Greek Life. Now, they can appreciate all the good in the community, with the understanding to keep a reality check from the bubble that can sometimes retract from what’s truly important. While being a member of the Greek community is greatly important to me, there is so much more to my Cornell experience. I am excited that the new members already see this, well before I did, due to the unexpected delayed start. If anything, this delayed start may have actually been a headstart in figuring it out earlier.
So I want to give a shout out to the snowstorm for giving us all a little bit of perspective. And, welcome to Greek Life new members! I can’t wait to see you all making positive contributions to the Cornell community at large.