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Why Middle-Tier Fraternities Love Syllabus Week

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middle-tier fraternities syllabus week

Summer is winding down, and a golden age quickly approaches. In just a few short weeks, low tolerances and questionable decisions will replace the 9-5 internship grind to which your parents forced you to succumb. Before you know it, you’ll be forced to make small talk about what you did this past summer with every past classmate and ex-hookup you run into at the bar. It’s almost the only time of the year that you’ll see a line out the door of the PIKE house. Syllabus week is nigh, and, as a proud member of a middle-tier house, I could not be more excited.

Syllabus week is a boon for middle-tier houses for two reasons: incoming freshman guys, and incoming freshman girls. Once orientation-mandated sensitivity training is over (my preferred pronoun is “ze,” btw) and the parents have left, it will be the first time most of these kids have ever lived on their own. These freshmen don’t know how to do their own laundry let alone know which parties they should be going to at night. Reputations and house rankings mean nothing to these new students, which makes syllabus week middle-tier houses’ time to shine.

For the guys, the idea is simple: have a bunch of events to meet as many potential rushees as possible. We get a clean slate with the incoming class. These kids don’t know that our president ruined our only-ever mixer with Tri Delt by vomiting on their social chair’s shoes. They don’t know that most of the brothers in our chapter are unfortunately from Long Island and New York City. They don’t know that we only really mix with the one sorority willing to mix with us. All they know is that they’ve never been to a college party before, and the house will have everything their impressionable minds desire… and that we were the only place on the row that let them in. Apparently the Sig Chi party was invite-only.

For the girls, the idea is even simpler: have a bunch of events to get them in the house. Freshman girls are a lot smarter than freshman guys. For them, it’s only a matter of time before they join sororities and only go to whichever houses their big’s boyfriend is in. The beginning of the school year is the only time 80% of the girls coming to our parties will ever set foot in our house (I had our stats pledge run the numbers). We’ll get some unreal talent through these doors during syllabus week — talent you just can’t find in the one sorority willing to mix with us — then POOF! They’re never to be seen in our less-than-hallowed halls again. When they are around, though, it not only makes us look good for kids who want to rush our house but is also great for brotherhood morale. You can only send so many Facebook messages to the Theta social chair asking to set up a mixer before you get the campus police called on you. Gotta keep the brothers happy.

While syllabus week is a great time to be a middle-tier house, it’s really about reuniting with your boys, making reckless decisions, and going out to make up for 3 months of lost fun while on the corporate grind. There’s a light at the end of summer, and it’s only a few weeks away.

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