Every fall, Georgetown sees a wave of new students who possess a potent combination of ambition, enthusiasm and almost total ignorance of the various clubs at Georgetown. This leads them to join, enroll and enlist in any and every organization that solicits their participation. Without a doubt, this influx of new members provides the very lifeblood of these organizations; unfortunately, the desire for advancement and inclusion that pushes a new student to pursue these opportunities may lead them to make ill-informed decisions that have lasting consequences.

Some of these incentives are innocuous enough – freshmen supporters of Barack suddenly have College Democrat T-shirts on their backs, and THE HOYA lures in aspiring journalists with free pizza. Some groups, however, including certain fraternities, are a bit more aggressive in their recruitment. Some even have freshmen performing certain initiation tasks by the second week of school or coerce them into running for leadership positions within their first month.

It is all well and fine for clubs to entice freshmen to their cause – increased membership and campus participation are always goals for any group – but the newness of his surroundings, the desire for true friendship and a need to fit in shouldn’t be used to pressure a new student into joining a club.

Eventually, freshmen will find their own niches, but this takes time, and they should not be forced to prematurely decide.

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