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Thread: Fraternities?

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    Senior Member Rocky Mountain's Avatar
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    Fraternities?

    I got a letter inviting me to learn more about the fraternity, Sigma Chi. I donít know anything about fraternities, other then what Hollywood has portrayed them to be, which is mainly big drinking parties. I don't drink, so I am definitely not interested if that is what they really are.

    I was hoping some of you "brothers" could tell me what its like to be part of a fraternity. They claim itís a great opportunity to grow as leader and a person. What type of activities do they take part in? What is usually required of members?

    Thanks!

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    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    I never got into one.....looked like social clubs to me. Probably a lot of drinking and partying in the background.
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    Found this on the Sigma Chi web site. All I know about fraternities I learned from my college friends who were date raped at frat parties, and by the frat house that was across the street from my housing co-op. About once a month, they'd put an old couch on our driveway and set it on fire, and they vandalized our bikes so often, we had to start keeping them in our basement. I can't remember anymore which fraternity it was, but neither the campus greek council nor the frat's national organization would do anything about them. Being the maintenance manager in my house for a year, I did not develop positive feelings about fraternities.

    It would probably be advantageous for your future career or something if you joined.
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    Dude wheres my guads? skinnyone's Avatar
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    I have never been part of a frat.. What I have seen and heard makes me think of them as stupid, obnoxious and elitist..

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    ^^^ 'Twas my experience, also. That can't possibly be true of all frat types, so I'm hoping to hear some good things about them from somebody. Anybody? Anybody? Buehler?
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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    I joined a fraternity my freshman year and served as president of the organization my junior and senior years. I now regret ever having been a part of such an organization. skinnyone said, "What I have seen and heard makes me think of them as stupid, obnoxious and elitist.." That pretty much sums it up.

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    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    fraternities, freemasons... same thing. Clubs for the sake of being part of a club, providing avenues for cheating your way up the ladder of life in future "old boys' clubs". I'm so glad my university didn't indulge in this childish pursuit.

    If you want to indulge in herd-think, by all means join. If you want to learn how to think independently, spend your university years being on the sidelines where you can observe and evaluate their ridiculous behaviour objectively.
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    I pledged a frat the fall of my last year in school. Two of my good friends from high school were in the frat and we hung out a lot, and I knew most of the brothers before hand, and most were good guys. Some were definitely *****holes and some complete dorks who thought they were cool cause they were in a frat and otherwise would be friendless. I would have never thought about joining a frat unless my two friends had joined.

    They do drink, but people most people drink college. It basically was a social club; always someone to hang out with, go eat with, help you out if you need a favor, and possible networking later in life. For the most part there was no elitism, parties were common every or everyother weekend, and both girls and guys from outside the frat were invited, like I was before I pledged.

    Butttt the pledge process was insanely stupid; we did do a lot of team work and some fun stuff, but most of it was stupid, ********, and complete waste of my time, especially since I was a senior. Maybe some of the stupid stuff was to build solidarity between the pledges, but whatever, we already spend half our free time together. I made it about 3/4's the way through the process and decided the stuff they wanted us to do just wasn't worth it, so I dropped.
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    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Nothing that I have seen of fraternities has ever given a positive impression. If you feel that you are incapable of making friends without paying money, they may be an option for you though.

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    Senior Member mrsgloab's Avatar
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    Fraternities aren't all like what you see on the news and from house to house and campus to campus the personalities change. I knew some really great houses with some really great guys. Yes there was a lot of social drinking going on but I also knew guys who pledged and didn't drink. Look around at your campus at different houses before deciding. My sorority did a lot of partying but we also had to keep our grades up, participate in community projects/charities, they forced me to attend some events that I may not have gone to on my own (eg: Brownbag lunch on the Fall of Russia), can you believe it they wanted me to learn during lunch? It also gave the leadership opportunities. Each house is run with a small government (President, Secretary, Treasurer,...) and each project has chairs and committees so the opportunity to gain leadership skills are there but you have to step forward. Not all houses on my campus were like that though so getting to know the people in the houses will give you a better idea. That being said yes the stories on the news come from somewhere but you don 't sound like the type of person that would be attracted to that type of house.

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    Senior Member Rocky Mountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyone View Post
    I have never been part of a frat.. What I have seen and heard makes me think of them as stupid, obnoxious and elitist..
    That's what I was worried about!

    I may look into Alpha Kappa Psi since its a business fraternity.
    Last edited by Rocky Mountain; 07-22-07 at 10:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalMonger View Post
    Dude, the pledges were wussing out. Just suck it up. Here's how it's done.

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    Seriously, though, there were a few frats on campus that were just like the "Delta" house. Most of the frat guys stick together and only socialize with other Greeks. I noticed the same with a lot of the sorority girls - they would only date the frat guys. Although I did have a few friends in one fraternity that was down-to-earth. It all depends on the leadership of the house. The president was a nice guy and so were most of his brothers.

    Since you said you are not a drinker, I would stay away from joining a fraternity. You will get hazed harder for not "being one of the guys" and they will make you get drunk at every opportunity. On the other hand, you might want to consider "social drinking." In the business world, (male) social drinkers get higher pay than non-drinkers. The reason is the "social" part. When you go out to a business dinner, etc. with your boss, other executives, clients, etc., they will all be socially drinking and you can "bond" and talk about things other than work. And when it comes time for your annual salary review, your boss will remember the times you were out on business dinners, talking, drinking, and wooing the clients instead of the quiet guy who didn't say much.

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    Frats as fine, nothing wrong, but there are better ways to spend your college years. They are more important at some colleges and universities then others. I went the frat route, but in retrospect, I would have looked more toward; overseas internships, clubs, fewer closer friends, etc... that said I had very good experiences, just also missed some of opportunities available in college.
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    It seems that the frat experience depends HEAVILY on the campus in question. At my undergrad campus and the one where my wife works, the frats are home to some of the most disgusting behaviors you can think of.

    There are plenty of other ways to be a leader on campus without going Greek. Might not win you the cool points in the moment, but it's worth it.
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    Until recently one of the frats at UGA held an annual "black face" party.

    At Georgia "Greek society" may have had some benefit to the student body in the past, but have long since degraded into drunk houses, and celebrate behavior that should end in prison sentences.
    Last edited by Allen; 07-22-07 at 04:17 PM.

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    At least at UMaine, the fraternities are primarily rural kids who had no idea how to be social without some sort of structure. Or they are Beta Theta Chi and all metrosexual. Or TKE and all fat geeks (but some pretty cool guys).

    Personally I never saw the point in joining a frat and I lived at one for two semesters (cant argue with $275/month for a room).
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    I was a founding member of a frat on my college campus in 1970. It was so important in my life, I do not even remember the name. A bunch of us dope smokin loose dogs figured if the juice heads could have one, so could we. So we sent letters to some National frats and one allowed us, for a small sum, to open a chapter. I think we had maybe 3 meetings. It all got shut down when the RA wouldn't let us spark em up at the meetings.
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    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Dude, the pledges were wussing out. Just suck it up. Here's how it's done.

    "Thank you sir, may I have another?"

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    Seriously, though, there were a few frats on campus that were just like the "Delta" house. Most of the frat guys stick together and only socialize with other Greeks. I noticed the same with a lot of the sorority girls - they would only date the frat guys. Although I did have a few friends in one fraternity that was down-to-earth. It all depends on the leadership of the house. The president was a nice guy and so were most of his brothers.

    Since you said you are not a drinker, I would stay away from joining a fraternity. You will get hazed harder for not "being one of the guys" and they will make you get drunk at every opportunity. On the other hand, you might want to consider "social drinking." In the business world, (male) social drinkers get higher pay than non-drinkers. The reason is the "social" part. When you go out to a business dinner, etc. with your boss, other executives, clients, etc., they will all be socially drinking and you can "bond" and talk about things other than work. And when it comes time for your annual salary review, your boss will remember the times you were out on business dinners, talking, drinking, and wooing the clients instead of the quiet guy who didn't say much.
    Thats a hilarious movie. Belushi was one of the all time greats.

    I agree that joining a frat can have some value, for social networking and whatnot. But of course its possible to make it in the world without having joined a frat, as have millions of people.

    As far as the drinking thing at business related social events, I don't think its an all or nothing proposition of either drink and socialize, or be silent bob. If somebody doesn't like alcohol (can't stand the taste, or gets drunk too easily, etc.), and the group they are with are just having a couple-few social drinks, one can just order a soda water with Roses lime or some other non-alcoholic drink, and still converse with them. And if anybody questions this, and you don't mind telling white lies to avoid getting cajoled into having one, just say something like "I take Tylenol for joint pain and my doctor said not to drink on it (one really shouldn't drink while taking Tylenol)". Of course this strategy wouldn't work if the point of the event is to get trashed, but then nobody would remember anyway if somebody wasn't drinking , let alone who attended.
    Last edited by pedalMonger; 07-22-07 at 09:32 PM.
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    1/2 man,1/2 bear,1/2 pig ManBearPig's Avatar
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    If I had it to do all over again, I would have joined Chi Psi:

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    Last edited by ManBearPig; 07-22-07 at 09:35 PM.
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    I joined a frat. No ridiculous rushing practices or hazing, no one was ostracized for not drinking, no one was date raped and there was the peer pressure to maintain decent grades and not do anything that would get us shut down, put on probation, arrested or make our insurance rates rise.

    While we hung out together partying and studying, we also organized the neighborhood food and clothing drives, volunteered at the school across the street to help watch the kids in the after school program, volunteered at the March of Dimes, manned phone banks begging for money during the school's annual beg for money from the alumni event, etc. We were a diverse group culturally, ethnically, religiously and racially, reflecting our school's population.

    I won't say that our fraternity was like that nationally, just the chapter I belonged too. Other chapters were nerdier, more liberal, more conservative, more jock oriented, and at least one ran a drug dealing operation from their house that was subsequently closed down and the members arrested and charged.

    Obviously, not all frats are alike, so if you're considering rushing, make sure you're not joining a gang of booze fueled *******. Frats like that need to be shut down and all involved put on trial.
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    Not ALL fraternities are the same. Sure, the bad apples gives 98% of the rest a bad name. Go check out as many of them as you can. See what their purpose and mission is. What kind of projects they've been involved in the past. One of them may end up being in perfect alignment with what you want to do in life.

    There are also other non-Greek groups you can join. I belonged to a lot of ethnic groups as well, APASU and the Scandanavian club. We also started the Young Republicans. Nothing more than a drinking and party group. But the name alone had people sending up donations galore!!!

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    I'm currently on the executive board of my co-ed fraternity on my campus. My fraternity isn't social though rather it's a community service based fraternity. When I found this fraternity I knew it was for me because I really enjoy doing community service.

    Back to the topic on hand, Greek organizations tend to get a bad reputation due to movies like Animal House and some chapters of social fraternities that do pretty stupid stuff like hazing, "date raping", etc. Things like that are frowned upon by the national office of their organization which can put the chapter at risk of losing their charter or going "inactive".

    Greek organizations usually make their "pledges" go through a pledging process where they have to "prove" to the active members that they want to be in the organization. Sometimes they have to do philanthropy (community service), learn the organizations history, learn the Greek alphabet, and maybe even have an interview with the executive board.
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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain View Post
    I got a letter inviting me to learn more about the fraternity, Sigma Chi. I donít know anything about fraternities, other then what Hollywood has portrayed them to be, which is mainly big drinking parties. I don't drink, so I am definitely not interested if that is what they really are.

    I was hoping some of you "brothers" could tell me what its like to be part of a fraternity. They claim itís a great opportunity to grow as leader and a person. What type of activities do they take part in? What is usually required of members?

    Thanks!
    Before any details my conclusion. Talk to those already in the Frat. Are they the kind of guys you want to hang out with? Do you have common interests. Think of it as making a whole bunch of friends. They are the kind of guys you would like to be friends with procede. Otherwise forget it.

    OK first my Fraternity background:

    Going way back, my father went to a Major University just after WW II. He did not join a Fraternity. While he was there a pledge choked to death on raw liver in a hazing incident. Neeedless to say he did not have a positive image of fraternities. I joined a house when I went off to a small liberal arts college (also a top level school). My father first met some of the members on spring break when the Frat had a trip to the Lake Mojave on the Colorado River. We had a ski boat and were taking it on the trip. We did not meet the group at the river, we met some of them on the road where they had overheated and we stopped to help (not knowing who they were until we stopped). My dad hit it off with them right away. Why? Because they were 'regular guys'.

    What frats do vary by school and often even by house. The house I joined would never be involved it "date ****". (Though some of the guys might injure someone who tried). Drinking was a fair part. However in the years after my time a couple of the guys developed a drinking problem and as far as I found out were supported by the brothers when they decided to quit.

    Where I went to school a Frat house was often the cheapest way to live. Some places it is they only reasonable economical way to live. But beware, where there are severe housing promlems the chances of fraternity abuses also seem to run high.

    Ask around at your school. Ask the Frat guys, ask those who are not in a Frat and also try to find out how the administration feels about Fraternities. Do not rely on rules to figure things out.

    I'll finish by relating something that happened every year during rush while I was in school and for years afterwards. Some guy would come to one of the houses and start talking to the Brothers and eventually be told he should check out one of the other houses. Not told he was not good enough, just that he would likely fit in better there. But often at nearly the same time someone who was checking out that house would be told the same thing, just the other way around. This was guys honestly trying to get other guys to the house where they would fit and be happy. It almost always worked out right.

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    I'm a female in the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. It's a service fraternity so we do all types of volunteer work. Everyone is so nice and friendly and this fraternity isn't just about partying and getting drunk. We have banquets with parties after but nothing to serious or wild and crazy. I transferred and I found out about this fraternity and i love it. I've met great people and will continue to keep meeting great people. The pledge process had no hazing and the brothers made us all feel welcomed. If you want to join one but don't want to because of all the "party" stereotypes, then Alpha Phi Omega is for you.

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