Dartmouth Greek Life: Rush Folklore


The process of joining Greek Life at Dartmouth, known as rush or recruitment, is one that is prevalent on campus, with 60% of students being affiliated with a Greek organization (US News). There are currently 27 Greek chapters on campus, including sororities, fraternities, and gender-inclusive organizations. These chapters constitute five different councils: the Inter-Sorority Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Gender-Inclusive Greek Council, the Multicultural Greek Council Organizations, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. These councils take distinct steps to recruit new members (https://students.dartmouth.edu/greek-life/organizations/greek-chapters-undergraduate-societies-and-senior-societies/greek-chapters).

We sought to collect some of the verbal, customary, and material folklore relating to Dartmouth rush specifically, so as to elucidate the significance of the process and how it may affect students who choose to participate.

To collect folklore, we interviewed Dartmouth students. They did not necessarily have to be affiliated with Greek Life, and we wanted to collect a variety of items.

We ultimately found that the Dartmouth rush process can involve various sayings, customs, and material aspects that may both indicate a potential new member’s intent to join a specific organization, as well as reflect qualities of the organization itself. There is extensive coordination between the Greek organizations and potential new members throughout the rush process. Additionally, there seem to be distinct differences and similarities between the steps that potential new members must take in Inter-Sorority Council and Interfraternity Council rush.

Presentation: Dartmouth Greek Life: Rush Folklore Presentation


  1. Sorority Pref Night Clothing
  2. Fraternity Shake Out Clothing
  3. Fraternity Shake Out
  4. House Gear
  5. Sorority Rho Gamma
  6. Letter/Card Invitation
  7. Rush Round Themes
  8. Rush Lunches
  9. Sorority Bid Night Glitter
  10. Fraternity Rush “Dry” Events
  11. Sorority Saying 1
  12. Sorority Saying 2
  13. Rho Gamma at Collis
  14. Rush Chair
  15. Signing the Book
  16. Rush Crush
  17. Bump Groups
  18. Shaking Out
  19. Fraternity House Song
  20. House Families
  21. Joint Celebrations 
  22. Rush Theme Parties


  • Meredith Srour
  • Gia Kim
  • Shadi Ali Ahmad
  • Sanjit Deepalam
  • Charlie Wade


Verbal folklore; material folklore; customary folklore; Dartmouth Greek Life; rush; sayings; clothing; customs; events