By MEREDITH CAVE
What if we changed the way we go about things?
What I am about to suggest just might turn our lovely little Georgetown world upside-down, but take a moment to consider the alternatives that I am proposing. I believe the world would be a better place if Georgetown College practiced a fall rush and switched Songfest to after Christmas break at the beginning of spring semester. Now, before you flip your lid over this preposterous notion, give it a little thought.
Some may argue that this does not give the incoming freshman a chance to meet the different organizations they are keen on joining. This is fair to assume. This predicament may actually turn rush into more of an orientation process where you get to know a lot of people in a rather short period of time, which I do not see as an altogether bad thing. This type of recruitment is practiced at most surrounding colleges with much success. Having an immediate group of supportive friends and accountability partners may even help Georgetown’s freshman retention rates after first semester passes.
This scheduling shift would allow incoming freshman and other rushees to have an immediate shot at joining Greek life if they so choose. This will eliminate the “fake” friends that a second semester rush inevitably creates. As much as we would like to keep it a secret, would you not agree that it is completely obvious how Greeks are exceptionally friendly to potential rushees and are slow to even acknowledge an independent upperclassman? This is not an altogether bad thing; it is simply the nature of the system. However, these recruitment tactics leave the freshman and other rushers at the beginning of second semester where all their “friends” went. This would be eliminated by an early fall rush.
If we made this dramatic switch, the songfest theme could be announced after first semester finals are over at some sort of campus wide event like the hypnotist (where songfest has been announced in the past). This would create an incentive for students to stay on campus a little longer after their finals are over. Organizations would have the entirety of Christmas break to prepare and then songfest could be one to two weeks into the semester thus conflicting much less with academics and other activities.
This would mean that Songfest would no longer be a part of homecoming week, but I see this as an opportunity to refocus homecoming altogether. The emphasis should be on school spirit and alumni and the football game. Songfest has so little to actually do with homecoming or Georgetown spirit. It actually tends to poke fun at the college more often than not.
Greeks already come back earlier from break to start on recruitment and I’m sure they would want to do the same if Songfest were immediately following break and this wouldn’t be too cumbersome to accommodate. We could also model other schools like UK and Transy and allow students to come back early for fall semester for a week of recruitment before classes start thus completely avoiding any academic conflicts.
The way I see it, once this idea has a little spit and polish put on it, it could easily be a win/win situation for both the school and students. I believe faculty would be in favor of this transition, it would be a lesser burden on students trying to balance activities, and would ultimately benefit Georgetown College as a whole by promoting school spirit and rearranging our priorities a little bit.