On the morning of Sept. 11, fraternity row at The University of Southern Mississippi was quiet.
The flags flew at half-mast, and the respective Greek letters were proudly on display in front of the houses. The day the fraternity men of Southern Miss had been anticipating for weeks was finally here— Bid Day.
At 3 p.m., pledges began cresting the top of the hill, sprinting with their brothers from the Payne Center to fraternity row. Ryan Worsham, a freshman pledging Sigma Alpha Epsilon, dubbed that moment his favorite part of the day.
“The rush you get when you get to the top of the hill, look down and see the whole yard of your house filled with people going crazy was unforgettable,” Worsham said.
The pledges were welcomed by the active members as well as sorority women who came out to show their support. The “sweethearts” of each fraternity were also heavily involved in the day.
Sigma Chi’s sweetheart Betsy Mercier shared why boys’ Bid Day is so important for these men. “Boys’ Bid Day is a time to celebrate a lot of hard work,” Mercier said. “Every fraternity in our IFC works hard planning and hosting several events in the summer showing rushees what Greek Life is like.
Bid Day is the chapters’ chance to finally let go of the stress and welcome their new brothers with pride.” Bid Day is a day to celebrate the brotherhood that is prominent in Greek Life. For the new pledges, it is their fi rst real taste of what they will experience throughout their time as fraternity members at USM.
Worsham said the bonds between the members were what encouraged him to rush.
“The brotherhood that a fraternity brings really appealed to me. The relationships and connections that I have and will make will last me a lifetime, and I love that.” – Worsham
For the active members welcoming their new pledges, the day is one filled with pride as they pass the torch to the future of their organization. Sophomore member of Kappa Sigma, Parker Andrews, said, “Bid Day is the best day on earth. I love our new pledge class—they’re the best on the row.”
All upper-class members of the Greek system know the importance of recruiting quality pledges. All organizations look for potential members who will move their chapter in a positive direction, as well as uphold tradition and reputation.
“I think the new pledge class will bring support and leadership to the Theta Delta chapter,” Mercier said. “They are all so enthusiastic about joining the Greek system and have shown that throughout the recruiting process. These new members have definitely joined the best of the best.”
According to the USM Office of Greek Life, over 130 men accepted fraternity bids this semester. These pledges have joined a community within their university that will greatly impact their time as students here at USM.