With the kick off of Panhellenic Formal Recruitment on Friday evening, it is worthwhile to see how the event has evolved over the years at the University of Illinois. A notable difference is the term used to describe the process, the transition from “rush” to “recruitment.” Walking around campus, you are likely to hear both terms used interchangeably, but officially the term is now recruitment. In addition, the term “rushee” has been abandoned and the phrase “potential new member” has taken its place to describe a woman wishing to join a sorority. This is in part due to negative connotations associated with the term “rush.”
For over four decades, students have spent the day before classes begin on the quad. Today, Quad Day serves as an information fair where student groups, academic departments, and community organizations promote their services and introduce themselves to students at the beginning of the year. There are over 1,400 registered student organizations on campus and a wide variety of these groups will be recruiting new members this Sunday on the quad. 
But Quad Day didn’t originate to promote student groups. The first Quad Day occurred in the fall of 1971 as a way of encouraging a sense of community when protests and unrest permeated college campuses. “The war kept getting worse. Tensions escalated…So the lack of people getting together as a community to have a sense of community was a problem. I mean it was just a bunch of people who were angry either at the situation or at each other,” Class of 1972 alumnus Willard Broom said in an oral history from 2010, “But this is a learning community and we should all be learning together.”Continue reading “The First Quad Day”→
The Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity celebrated its sesquicentennial August 6th-8th in Indianapolis. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of ATO’s partnership with the Student Life and Culture Archives. Bill Krahling, former editor of the ATO Palm, played an integral role in obtaining and preserving the fraternity’s historical materials. This year, this unique collaboration was awarded the Laurel Wreath by the North-American Interfraternity Conference.
The Alpha Tau Omega Archives consists of over 600 cubic feet of administrative and personal correspondence, minutes, reports, photographs, films, video, and publications detailing the 150 year history of the fraternity. These materials illustrate ATO’s impact on campuses by showing how the organization has contributed to student life through mentoring and leadership programs, housing opportunities, philanthropy, and alumni development. The Archives collects material relating to congresses, administrative staff and services, the ATO Foundation, and ATO founders. Extensive chapter records and photograph files are preserved to demonstrate the rich history of the ATO brotherhood. Continue reading “Alpha Tau Omega Celebrates 150 Years”→
Now that we’re getting ready to go back to classes, it’s a good time to make sure your schedule is finalized and ready to go. We may think that using U of I’s Banner system is a bit of a hassle, but it’s much simpler than the system students of the past had to use!
Registering for classes used to be a lengthy process condensed into a few hectic days, with one main Registration Day. Registration was the kickoff to the semester and to the school year ahead. As the editors of the 1925 Illio put it, “Throughout the year, big days loom up ahead, come and are gone. Registration starts the year” 
Early in the University’s history, students would register in different places based on their standing in the University. Most students registered in the Chapel and surrounding rooms of University Hall, the old Illini Union.Students had to obtain permission from the dean beforehand and fill out semester study cards using a printed class catalog. Registering was a machine with many moving parts; there were many set guidelines and required classes, but also many exceptions to the many rules. Payment for the semester and all student fees were due at the time of registration and members of the University’s business office were helpfully on hand to collect fees, much to the students’ chagrin . Continue reading “Registration Day”→