Sorority Rush Though the Years

Years ago there was one sorority rush in Potsdam, for one school.  Then in 1972 Clarkson girls were allowed to rush State sororities, so there was still one rush but for two schools.  Even after the first Clarkson sorority (Phi Sigma Sigma) was founded in 1977 there was still one rush, and Phi Sig even took a State pledge in 1978 "in recognition of the tradition which has always integrated the women of both schools."

In 1984 Clarkson had 2 sororities and started their own rush, separate from the SUNY Potsdam sororities.  Here are some highlights of how sorority rush has changed over the years.
Spring '88 rush party at Omega
(that's me at the bottom middle of the photo, staring straight into the camera)

Smokers Though The Years

How has fraternity rush changed over the years?  A lot.  Here are some tidbits I've found online:

1920s
Professors and local clergy were invited to smokers and attended.  Students listened to music (including performances from the Clarkson Melody Boys), sang songs (including college songs) around pianos, ate sandwiches, cider, donuts and coffee and played cards.  They also stayed up "way past bedtime."

Theta Chi Fraternity

ΘΧ
1949-1997

Clarkson's fifth fraternity, Kappa Kappa Tau, was founded on April 19, 1949. On May 24, 1952 the brothers became the Delta Sigma chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity, becoming the first Clarkson fraternity to affiliate with a national organization. They move into a building on Fall Island. In 1957 the brothers purchased the house at 18 Elm Street.

In the 1960s three sophomore members of Theta Chi write and produce a horror film (as a school project) with help from a Humanities professor named Wesley Craven.  The film is about strange occurrences at their fraternity house, which used to be a funeral parlor. They name their film "The Searchers."  In 1984 Mr. Craven writes and directs "A Nightmare on Elm Street." He answered some questions about his time in Potsdam on his website but the content has been removed.  You can now read it on this news article.

On February 10, 1997, Binaya Oja, a 17-year-old freshman at Clarkson, dies on bid night at Theta Chi Fraternity. The fraternity dissolves and 18 Elm Street is purchased by Sigma Pi Fraternity later that year.  In 2010 the house is purchased by the town and demolished.

Kappa Kappa Tau in the 1950 Clarkson yearbook
Facebook alumni page | LinkedIn group