week to kick off fraternity Rush may not have known what was in for them
this semester at a university where some of their classes will be as large
as their entire high school.

But one thing was for certain in the rushees' minds-- fraternities
could offer them a great chance to get involved and make the huge campus
seem much smaller.

"I wanted to come out and meet people and get the full college
experience," said Tyler Meece, a rushee. "I need to see if a
fraternity is the way to go for me."

Fraternity Rush, which began Monday afternoon, will continue through
Friday when the four-day adventure will come to an end with Bid Day, a
greatly anticipated day for rushees throughout campus.

Spending Monday and Tuesday nights in suit and tie, the rushees rummaged
throughout each chapter's house in prospect of finding a suited home.

Tonight and Thursday night, rushees will participate in Closed Rush,
an informal meeting with preferred houses throughout campus.

"This is the most qualified group of new members we've ever had
coming in this year," said Brent Keally, rush director of the Interfraternity
Council. "We expect great things from this class, and hope to see
a future SGA leader as well as member who will better the university in
all aspects."

Throughout the summer, fraternities have sent out brochures and held
Rush parties in different cities around the state, introducing new students
to their fraternities, and preparing them for this week. The rush process,
much different than Panhellenic Rush, is a four-day informal process that
has attracted nearly 800 young men to fraternity row.

The chapters are expecting no less than they have received with former
recruits in the past, a group of qualified individuals willing to serve
their community and university in any capacity.

"We have a group of good guys, asking a lot of questions. Hopefully,
a high percentage of these guys will accept bids and find a home they like,"
said Brad Milsaps of Pi Kappa Phi.

"We want a good pledge class and we want to teach them what we
have to offer in the organization," said Chad Russell of Beta Theta
Pi. "Fraternities have been under fire at UT and we want to rebuild
this reputation."

This reputation is one where fraternities are often recognized more
for their social role on campus rather than the philanthropic role they
were established for.

In sponsoring new programs on campus while managing a home with outstanding
budgets, fraternities are also involved in raising money for various charities,
as well as frequently helping the Love Kitchen throughout the year.

"We have a tremendous tradition at the university, and Rush offers
a great chance to join an organization rich in tradition. In fraternities,
besides offering social functions, we offer a chance to be part of organized
athletics, as well as offering a way to increase the personal development
of an individual, said Jay Dennis, president of the IFC.

Rush will conclude Friday afternoon when bids are extended from the
chapters to the rushees.

--> Students take part in Rush at the Phi Delta House on Monday
night. John Jackson