Rush/Recruitment Week: The Life Blood of Sigma Chi

The 2nd most important week for any Sigma Chi Chapter is quickly approaching and may have already started for some chapters. The week that follows months of hard work and preparation can become a huge boost or major let down to your chapter morale…. Recruitment Week. I say it is the 2nd most important because it is hard to argue against Initiation Week.

The events, schedule and actions during recruitment week are different for every chapter. Some may only have 3 days of campus sanctioned recruitment, your chapter may only be allowed to “rush” potential members during certain hours of the day and night, and some chapters may have a full week “free for all”. No matter how your recruitment week is setup it is crucial for every chapter to be as productive as possible.  This doesn’t mean that you have to give out the most bids or get the most pledges either.

Quality Over Quantity
I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity mostly because I’ve seen what happens when your main priority is the # of pledges you get. Sure its great at first going around campus telling everyone how Sigma Chi got the most pledges because most people on campus use that to measure how well you did during rush. The problem with worrying about your numbers and getting all these guys, is that you have “all” these guys. If you don’t do your due diligence and make sure you are getting quality guys, then you end up with a fraternity that has a lot of guys who don’t make your chapter better. This only makes things harder for your quality members to make your chapter successful.

The Standard

Every Sigma Chi knows what I mean when I say “The Standard”. The following are the minimum requirements to pledge Sigma Chi as stated in the Jordan Standard.

  • A Man of Good Character…….
  • A Student of Fair Ability…….
  • With Ambitious Purposes…….
  • A Congenial Disposition…….
  • Possessed of Good Morals…….
  • Having a High Sense of Honor and
  • A Deep Sense of Personal Responsibility.

So make sure during recruitment week that you use “The Standard” while getting to know potential members. That’s what it’s there for.

Sharing Ideas
I wrote this post hoping it could serve as a central hub for Sigs to share their recruitment ideas, thoughts, events and questions. I encourage all Sigs to post comments with ideas for rush events or ask any questions you have about rush week.

Remember that recruitment week can take your chapter to a new high or if not given the proper attention can bring a chapter down. So I encourage all Sigs to participate in their recruitment week, do the best that you can and let’s add some more quality guys to the 200,000+ that we already have.

Jacob Cook


12 Responses to Rush/Recruitment Week: The Life Blood of Sigma Chi

  1. Jacob says:

    There has been some good discussions this morning on Twitter. Some good points were: Sigma Chi “Recruits”, we don’t “Rush”.
    @TRDonahue We don’t rush because its a broken and ineffective model. Is that how you’d run a business? I think not. Go FIND recruits…

    It also seems that it’s normal for chapters to help Freshman move into their dorms as a recruitment tool

  2. Adrian says:

    We begin recruitment in the summer. The school provides us a list of incoming students that expressed interest in the Greek system. We invite them to the house, float trips, baseball games, and other functions. We try to get to know the potential pledges as much as possible before Rush.
    “Formal Rush” is only a week long and very structured. They go from house to house and spend about an hour at each house over a couple of days. They can’t be out past 11:00 or midnight. By the time Rush starts, we have a good idea about who 75% of our pledge class will be.

  3. Jacob says:

    @duditz “Adrian”
    Don’t forget about the volleyball games.

  4. Alex says:

    One of the big events that my chapter has done in the past was we have a pig roast. We have 3 specific weeks for recruitment but we’re allowed to recruit all you, we don’t really have any sort of formal recruitment.

  5. Chris says:

    Our school has a 3 week, rather informal rush period. We kick-off rush after the second day of class at the school’s activities fair, then we have events every night of the week, such as a BBQ or bonfire with a sorority, volleyball, dodgeball, chicken wing eating contest, or movie night at the house, to name some ideas.

  6. Brandon says:

    Yeah Jacob I agree that recruitment is 2nd most important week of the year. It can really make or break the morale of the chapter for the rest of the year.

    When I try to think of good recruitment tools, I try to remember what worked best on me. I didn’t know anything about fraternities until I came to college so the first interaction I had with fraternity guys was when they helped me move into the dorms. It’s a good way to not only make a good first impression on the potential rushees but also on their parents. Good luck with rush everyone!

  7. Scarlett says:

    As a chapter sweetheart, Rush is a big deal for me because I can participate in it (and obviously not I-Week) and take a step back to see how the brothers effectively recruit. Our campus follows a structured 1 week rush and is extremely strict about rush infractions. So brothers make sure they attend any kind of freshman event put on by the campus, like the welcome week dance and informative fair. One chapter brother also works as a Monster energy drink representative, so it is really easy to have brothers attend big functions and pass out the drinks and meet the incoming guys. Freshman love it.

    One thing that has been very helpful has been to host a huge cookout for the freshman just before classes begin. Meal plans aren’t valid until the 1st day of lecture, and freshman have to be there the week before, so Sigma Chi worked with the school to use part of the campus for a free barbecue. It’s always very well attended.

    • Jacob says:

      What rush events are you allowed to attend during rush week? Our sweetheart was only allowed to attend one event (our smoker).
      My chapter hosted a pre-rush week cookout this weekend also. I was hoping they would help move freshman into the dorms, but I don’t think they did.

      What chapter are you a sweetheart at?

      • kayla says:

        I am also a sweetheart, and rush is my favorite time of year. you can get a female prespective what it means to be sigma chi, and guys tend to want to listen to what respected women have to say as well!!!

        every semseter i get together all the “sigma chi girls” in all the other sororities on my campus, and we make signs and posters and decorate the sig house on the boys bid day.. thats always a spirit poster, and gives the men, after they recieve thier bids.. a chance to see how loved the boys are by some amazing women!
        vinces ❤ kayla

      • Kayla,
        Would you mind emailing me at

        I’m curious to know what you and your friends do to help Sigma Chi. I think it would be interesting and helpful for all chapters.


  8. Danny Lamas says:

    Sometimes I think chapters, mine in particular, don’t do a good enough job of convincing close friends of brothers who are being actively recruited that the Sigma Chi experience would be worthwhile to them. We’ve run into a lot of cases at GW where guys come to all our events, spend time with the brothers, but just don’t want to join a fraternity because they don’t see the value in it. It’s tough missing out on guys like these because, if they are close friends of good brothers, they probably share our values and meet the Jordan Standard.

    Just some food for thought – how do your chapters deal with these situations?

    • Jacob says:

      We would see the same thing at my undergrad chapter. Guys will come to the house and hang out or come to parties, but end up never pledging.
      Some may think – “Why should I pledge when I can just hang out and come to all the fun stuff. This way I don’t have to pay dues or go through pledging.”

      I guess it’s hard to explain to potential members that as an alumnus I don’t stay active because I had so much in college. I stay active because being Sigma Chi actually means something to me.