The Old Main Pit at Sam Houston State University was filled with hundreds of excited and restless fraternity brothers last Saturday as they awaited the unveiling of their new pledges on Bid Day.
In the weeks prior to this festivity, the potential new members signed up online and went through a formal recruitment process in which they were introduced to all 11 of SHSU’s Interfraternity Council Executive Board (IFC) chapters. During the four-day “rushing” process, hosted by the IFC and the office of Greek Life, the potential new members are given the opportunity to gain a personal insight, ask questions of each chapter, and mingle with current members in a structured environment.
“Bid Day is the celebration of each IFC chapter gaining their new pledge class of who they’ve extended bids to,” IFC President Leo Meshell said. “The four days prior to Bid Day can be information-overload and sometimes stressful, so everyone typically uses Bid Day to both celebrate the future of Greek Life at Sam as well as [a way to begin] the semester on a high note.”
Bid Day begins with the decades old tradition of the “Jump” celebration in Old Main Pit.
“This is when the chapters get the first glimpse of their pledge class while being joined by hundreds of other students and staff,” Meshell said. “After Jump, each chapter celebrates in their own unique way. My hopes for the pledges is that they will become initiated brothers of their respective chapters and continue to be leaders at Sam Houston. I’m very aware of the stigma that can sometimes be attached to being in a fraternity, but you can’t deny the fact that the most involved students on our campus are Greek.”
Several programs on and off campus are successful from the contributions made by the Greek community. Bearkat Orientation Team, Orange Keys, Bearkat Camp Counselors, as well as student workers in all departments and the faculty and staff at SHSU are filled with Greeks.
“It’s always tremendous working with Associate Dean of Students Jerrell Sherman, Greek Life Coordinator Abby Hurt, and Graduate Assistant Stella Vay in looking for ways to further build our small area of the university,” Meshell said. “I hope that in the near future Vice President Parker really lets the reigns off and allows Greek Life to branch out to become its own department. The connections that are built are unreal. It amazes me that less than 3 percent of Americans are Greek, yet 47 of the 50 largest corporations in North America are led by Greeks, 63 percent of U.S. cabinet members since 1900 have been Greek, as well as 40 of the 47 Supreme Court Justices.”
Greek life is not just for college days alone.
“As an alumnus I love coming back for Bid Day,” SHSU Phi Delta Theta Alum Jonathan Pollard said. “It’s great to see all the new guys, and I hope that they get to have the same kind of memorable experiences that I did.”
The brotherhoods and sisterhoods of Greek Life are built to last a lifetime.