Up and down Main Drive, Pensacola Christian College students donning bright colors spilled onto the sidewalks and the Varsity Terrace for Greek Rush 2019. At each of the 48 collegian booths, officers greeted new students, answering questions and telling their ever-changing audience what they’ve enjoyed most about their collegian. Each booth gave students carefully prepared snacks, from chicken kabobs to deconstructed s’mores or the chance to try their hand at a variety of games, from spike ball to Nintendo Switch multiplayer. Amid the crowds, mascots from the Sharks, Bears, Stingrays, and Barracudas ran back and forth between groups of freshmen, pausing for photos along the way.
Leading up to Greek Rush, collegian officers planned themes to focus on for the semester and sought to incorporate those themes into their booths and parade floats. “The Aztecs’s vision for the upcoming semester is the theme gold. We want to strive to be our absolute best individually and collectively,” said Taylor DiPaola (Jr., VA), vice president of the Omega Zeta Aztecs. “I hope to influence new students after the event by introducing them to a group of students who are supportive of them and desirous to become friends and teammates with them.”
New students learned more about each collegian by asking questions and talking to members at the booths. Lily Sciabarrasi (Sr., RI), president of the Alpha Kappa Wolves, worked with her members to best prepare for great student interaction at their booth. “I plan to stress the importance of friendship and unity by having students who are manning the booth get freshman excited about being part of our ‘pack,’” she said. “I hope to leave the impression that our collegian likes to have fun, while growing our friendships as well as our relationship with Christ.”
After sunset, the Collegian Parade began! What turned out to be a great show of collegian pride and well-prepared parade floats all started with the Chick-fil-A cow mascot leading the charge atop a convertible, followed by the current Student Body officers. Floats depicted crashing waterfalls, a beached pirate ship, and a giant scorpion among others. Special effects, choreographed chants of Greek letters and slogans, and excited collegian members that tossed candy to the crowds kept the crowd engaged throughout the event.
For their parade entry, members of the Sigma Delta Mustangs rode atop a pink Mustang convertible with flashing headlights. ClaRissa Hess (Sr., PA), vice president of the Mustangs, appreciated how it fit with their racing theme for the semester. “In a racing team, it takes more than just the driver to win a race. It takes the whole team,” she said. “The same goes for a collegian. It takes more than the president and her team to run the collegian, [and] we need the feedback from our crew to see how we can improve to win the race.”
Greek Rush showcased each collegian and allowed freshmen to understand each group better. “I really liked the atmosphere and the energy,” said Lauren Farley (Fr., FL). “Every different booth has their own unique personality, and what each collegian is about shines through. It really helps me to get to know them.”
“I really like all the personalities. If you’re really interested [in a collegian], they’ll get your attention, but if you’re not interested, they’ll respect your space, which I find really comforting,” said Sarah Blackwell (Fr., AL). “You can tell they put a lot of thought into everything they did.”
New students chose their collegian shortly after the event, and met their fellow members at Collegian Kick-Off meetings the following night. Emily Ragle (Sr., OH), president of the Zeta Alpha Leopards, has enjoyed spending time with fellow members over her time at PCC. “I love that we encourage one another,” she said. “During the beginning of the semester there are so many things happening. But being around their constant encouragement has taken the ‘stress’ or ‘pressure’ off and reminds you to enjoy the time where you are.”
After enjoying a successful Greek Rush, collegian life has now begun for these new students. New members bring more opportunities for collegians to develop lasting friendships and create great memories while promoting unity, academic excellence, leadership experience, and spiritual growth in each member.