Sorority Sickness

2000 girls, 2000 sundresses and wedges, and 2000 moving voices and flying spit as sorority recruitment girls cram into rooms sitting inches from each others faces. As this extensive

process is fun and rewarding to some, this two week girl flirting comes with a few catches…..of a cold; or shall I say the infamous “rushing plague.” As I found myself losing my voice and coughing constantly during my process of rushing, and watching other girls alongside me share the same symptoms, I thought to myself, the myth must be true. We all joke that this sickness is inevitable to those hoping to gain out lifetime “sisters,” but I have decided to dig deeper as I pop a few cough drops in the process.

As most people reference this close proximal sickness to a classroom or a ballgame, it can just as well be relevant in the instance of hundreds girls in the journey to sisterhood as well. Regardless, cramped or crowded areas increase the chance of that one sneeze landing on another individual, spreading the sickness right down the line; it only takes one to pass it to a village. In an article called How Not to Get Sick in a Crowd, author Jaimie Dalessio explains that when germs flow through a rather compacted space, there is almost always an increased chance of sickness within the area, even starting with one individual



l. Some of the most common of the symptoms could be sore throat, colds, coughs, or stuffy noses….similar to the symptoms i have witnessed hundreds of sisters have shown. However, the article also mentioned that the sickness involved could be affected from the where the gathering takes place, or the numbers who gather in the particular area. For me, each about 15×15 room had at least 30 existing members of the sorority participating in rounds, and another 40 recruitment girls alongside them, all practically screaming to be heard in such a cluster of a

Sickness in small areas, like during rush, a cough or sneeze can easily land on another’s cheek in seconds. Once one girl lets out a sneeze, it travels, and as more girls walk in and out of the busy and cramped rooms, then does it become a spread chain, becoming inevitably contagious. This also goes for the objects and surrounding areas of the room. Touching water glasses, shaking every single hand that walks through your door before the crs_560x415-150116103951-560-usc-sorority-jl-011615hats begin, germs on germs on germs, possibly handing it off to the next girl greeting you (no pun intended).  

Another study given by Lynda Moore, speaks about a sickness outbreak at Butler University, as this group of sorority sisters in their close living proximity spread it to additionally dormitories nearby. Dr. Jones, looking into the issue, speaks about how it resembles the types of sicknesses of other areas of large number gatherings like cruises or classrooms. (paragraph 5). The stress for increase of cleanliness and washing hands is crucial. However, does it really make a difference when these girls are in such a shared space constantly? The rushing plague just doesn’t end it seems, as the proximity to hundreds of girls in shared spaces continues to be a routine. It seems that the end of day, we can only hope the “sisterhood” is worth a few shared coughs and sneezes.






2 thoughts on “Sorority Sickness

  1. Kateryna Okhrimchuk

    As someone who just came back from post office with a sore throat and a runny nose, I feel your pain. I’ve seriously felt myself get sicker and sicker as we wind down to bid day and the entire time I’ve been so scared to cough on the girls that I’ve been talking to. It’s definitely been happening to a lot of people, too. Almost all of my friends have gotten somewhat sick throughout this process. According to this article, (, factors that increase your risk of getting sick are the size of the venue and the amount of people, both working against us since were cramped in tiny rooms with so many girls. The article also says not to be around people who are sick, but again, we can’t really avoid them since we had to talk to them all the time for the last week and a half. Like you said, hopefully the sisterhood will be worth it but for now I’ll be taking my NyQuill and Mucinex until Bid Day.

  2. Daniel J Lehecka

    I don’t call this one the Sorority Sickness, to me it’s the Frat Flu. But I agree with the sentiment, being tightly packed in a dark party room with hundreds of people in close proximity just leads to more sickness. If one person in that room is sick, that disease is going to spread at a considerably faster rate through that room then it would in a not packed area. Also, these buildings tend to be very sweaty and humid, so the virus has an easier time traveling in a warm and wet environment. Also, a lot of people are touching and making out, so that’s the ultimate way to spread the germs.

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