Greek Life at Dartmouth
Before coming to Dartmouth, Greek life was nothing but an afterthought as I researched colleges. I'd only heard that fraternities were big in most schools, and thought they would be like those we see in movies—like Animal House and Monsters University. Coming to Dartmouth, I learned first-hand that the stereotypes are not always true.
At Dartmouth, you are allowed to join a Greek house (aka rush) your sophomore fall. Moreover, first-year students are limited from entering houses for the greater part of their first fall quarter by the frat ban—during this time, there are only a handful of events that the new students can attend. Afterwards, they're free to enter any house.
Personally, I thought the frat ban was the best thing ever. Because of the ban, first-years make friends with others in their class independently of Greek life, and it takes a little chaos out of your first few months on campus. After the ban was lifted, I slowly started to get to know some houses through upper class students I'd met, and decided that Greek life was for me.
I rushed Sigma Nu my sophomore year. Because of COVID-19, the process was held largely on Zoom, consisting of 1-on-1 calls with brothers and a few larger events with games and activities to get to know each other. I was hesitant to rush virtually, but it was really fun! Talking to the brothers directly let me get a feel for the house, their values, and social atmosphere.
Since rushing, I have made new friends that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. A full year into it, I have no regrets and think Greek life changed my time at Dartmouth for the better. I spent my sophomore summer living at Sig Nu, and that has thus far been my favorite term on campus. So, I recommend that every Dartmouth student gives Greek life a shot. It's not for everyone, but you will only know if it's a good fit if you try.