There are very few things in this world more fragile than the male ego. Eggshells? Maybe. Tissue paper? Closer. But nothing can quite surpass the ease of shattering this counterfeit armor teenage boys wear. Said ego is pushed to the brink during the most anticipated days of the year for the student body elite: Fraternity Rush Week.
This week-long saga of trials and tribulations is truly unique to anything else most people can relate to, as some of the ongoing traditions are grueling to say the least. Each chapter is required to have a particular way of crushing the self-esteem of pledges; and making sure they don’t scare off the recruits so badly that they refuse to join. This exclusive balancing act has led to some creative rituals over the years.
5.) Shower symphony:
The brothers must showcase their talents in the most natural human state. Singing in the shower leaves you more vulnerable than you can imagine, being completely naked physically and spiritually. These tone-deaf tunes are the kind of things you wouldn’t perform in front of your dog, let alone 15 guys you’re trying to impress. This shows the brothers that you trust them and can be yourself around them—while being humiliated tremendously in the process.
“Yeah, one house had me strip down to my underwear and sing, ‘We Are the Boys’ in a shower rewired to release Fireball in order to see if I would be a good fit,” freshman Buddy Light said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut.”
4.) ‘Til death do us part:
The ultimate way to pledge your allegiance to a brotherhood is to permanently devote yourself—primarily through tattooing. Here at UF, we take pride in having seven tattoo parlors within a five-mile radius that are trained to tattoo Steve Spurrier’s face onto your body.
“A bunch of the brothers took us all out to get matching tattoos of Steve Spurrier on our asses, so I was sure I was getting a bid,” freshman Gully Bell said. “I was so excited when I got the honor of going first, but when I came back out I was greeted by a camera flash and the sound of running.”
3.) Where the boys are squarest…:
The heart and soul of UF lies within Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. In order to prove yourself loyal to our sacred grounds, you gotta go all or nothing…in the most literal way.
“We got this one kid to streak during the Florida vs. Georgia game wearing nothing but the Albert costume head,” senior Paul Skol laughed. “He got expelled, but we told him we’d supply his beer for the rest of the year.”
2.) Super supplement:
In this kind of environment, you have to be able to carry yourself. And two coolers of ice. And a twenty-four pack. Basically, you’re going to be doing a lot of manual labor, so you have to be fit. Steroids aren’t a “must,” but they are a “should.” The harder it is for you to keep your arms by your side, the better.
“I walked into the house and had a hundred pound weight instantly thrown at me to test my reflexes and strength,” freshman Stu Roid said. “I failed both tests and am still in the hospital.”
1.) Sink or swim:
Go big or go home. It’s college—you’re supposed to do stupid shit. So when an older brother hands you a hose connected to a vat of Budweiser and tells you to put it in the Broward Pool, you do it. When the same brother tells you to dive head first into the pool, you use your best technique and pray you don’t drown.
“I got some up my nose when I jumped in—which hurt like a bitch—but ultimately it wasn’t too bad,” freshman Cory Ona said. “It should only take a few showers to get the smell out of my pores.”
Rush week takes a serious mental and physical toll on these guys, and leaves the GDIs and presidents (who didn’t get to pledge their rush crush) in tears at the edge of Frat Row crying out, “WHY BRO, WHY?” But don’t worry…hazing season is just around the corner.