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UA News
Bid Night draws aspiring greeks

By Kristina Dunham
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 16, 2002

Hundreds of prospective fraternity members traveled around campus last week, introducing themselves to members of the greek community, collecting stamps on their pledge cards and hoping to fulfill what was for many the first step in a long-time dream to get into the fraternity of their choice ¸ a dream that boiled down to one night: Bid Night.

Just before 7 p.m., dozens of men got out of their cars on North Cherry Avenue, crowding the streets. A group of pledges gathered outside the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house.

A cloud of excitement, anticipation and relief hung in the air over the group.

Most of the pledges had to go through a week-long rush process to be here, traveling around campus to all the fraternities, meeting and talking with current members and participating in activity nights and preference dinners.

"I was excited to rush," said Jay Colloton, a sociology freshman who's father and mother were both in the greek system in college.

"I've been wanting to do it for years. My friends at home would be asking each other if you wanted to be in a fraternity and I was always the guy that said ╬Yes, because my parents had such a good time,' and I was like, ╬Well, I'll just go try it.'" Another member of the house backs up Berne: "Fraternities are good for food."

For those who decide to rush and join a fraternity, however, the fraternities are good for more than just food.

Fraternities act as a "family away from your family at home," said Ken Tierney, president of the Interfraternity Council, which oversees most of the UA's fraternities. Tierney said fraternities serve a valuable purpose, giving students an academic and emotional support system.

It's now about 8:30 p.m., and just south of campus on 7th Street, the men of Chi Phi are getting ready for their Bid Night party.

As he stands amid bottles of Purex fabric softeners and long strands of paper ¸ party decorations ¸ spread out all over the porch, Dan Glad, a pre-business freshman, explained why he decided to go greek.

"What made me go greek is I was looking for a bunch of guys I can hang out with," he said. "I come from the Bay area, and I don't have a lot of friends coming down here, so I was just looking for a group of guys I was comfortable around and basically not exactly not party all the time but go bowling or have fun just hanging out."

Glad thinks that the reputation the fraternities have gotten recently is unjustified. "Fraternities do other things besides party; I mean, I think all greek systems do party, but there's some that do more than that."

Glad said that Chi Phi will run a haunted house for disadvantaged children, and he is looking forward to taking part in that, as well as doing other philanthropies and participating in intramurals with the house.

Meanwhile, members of Alpha Gamma Rho on West University Boulevard have set up a table outside on the porch and are also preparing, with members of Kappa Alpha and Phi Alpha Theta, for their Bid Night celebration.

Clint Walls, a physics freshman, says he was extremely excited about rushing and receiving his bids Friday afternoon.

"I didn't sleep all (Thursday) night because I wanted to get into this one so bad. I was like, ╬I hope I get the bid, I hope I get the bid!' I went and picked it up today and it was like, ╬Whew!' I went and called all my friends, called my parents and told them I got it."

About 350 students participated in formal rush this year, and about 95 percent of the men who rush get a bid from a fraternity.

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