People hear horror stories on the news about “frat boys” drinking each other into comas, throwing their new members off of roofs, or even deaths that result from alcohol or violent hazing, but is this what really happens around the United States? If so, why are thousands of young men placing them in this situation each and every year, and how can the universities and national organizations overseeing these companies possibly allow it to continue? The question itself may lead one to believe that all is not what it sees when it comes to fraternities and the Greek systems that are a large part of campus life all over the country. In fact, these organizations are those battling years of bad reputation and slander, all the while trying to build development programs and events that can help their members excel in academies, on campus initiative, and in the work (both while in school and post -graduction).
So just how are differentities accomplishing these things, and is there any truth behind the “frat boy” image that so many people seem to fear. Well to start, there will always be bad eggs in any group you look at in depth, and the Greek system has no immunity to that. Most of the chapters (local divisions of a fraternity) that appear on the nightly news for alcohol abuse or extreme violence are ones with a well-known reputation for doing so, and often are not supported by their university, national fraternity, or both . Students interested in joining the Greek system that fear they will become the next victim should not worry, because the “bad egg” fraternities reputations almost always preceded them and a prospective new member would know what they were getting into. As far as the typical fraternity goes, though, there are secret rituals and traditions as in almost any old private organization, but they are more based on learning and bonding and are something that should be cherished by the group (as opposed as something that should deter new members). The real day-to-day activities of fraternal life are in their retreats, on-campus involvement, and philanthropy. Retreats are taken often by students in Greek life and are used to connect with brothers, discuss rituals and their meaning, and to network with chapters in other parts of the country. On campus activities can consist of anything that a “normal” group would do, such as Intramural Sports, Leadership and Academic Workshops, Professor Speeches hosted by the fraternity, or just general entertainment such as a grill-out or concert. Philanthropy events are often required by national chapters as well, and serve as a way for chapters and their brothers to give back to the community that supports them throughout the year. These can be almost any event (from hosted dinners to sporting events) that are used to raise money for a specific charity. Oftentimes fraternity philosophies are something an entire school looks forward to, and becomes a tradition around the university campus.
So is there no truth to the myth that fraternities throw parties and celebrations? Of course not, just as in any organization on campus fraternities love to celebrate or socialize. Being a part of a fraternity is a great way to host larger events and have a ready-to-go venue (oftentimes the chapter house on or near campus) when you want to throw a private or public party. Celebrating is a big part of fraternal life, but almost all fraternities do it as a way to cheer on and motivate past and future accomplishments. With such a large group of men (or women in the case of sororities), Greek life can do so much on and off campus in almost every aspect of college life. The goal is to allow brothers to make the most of their college experience, and to prepare them thoroughly for the world that waits before them when they graduate.