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Tarte Gogo
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So I used to have an account on fratmen.com and I got interested in this concept of “fraternities” that seems to be so common in US colleges.

However I never quite understood how it actually works. I mean I get that it is a residence, with many rooms where the guys live together and are selected by existing members.

 

So, for those who went to college in the US, I have so many questions!

 

- How do you know which fraternity you would like to become a member of? Is it just that you ask to the fraternity which your father belonged? For those whose father was not in college, it is just word of mouth, or do you get in by making friends with those who are already in?

 

- What if you start college and you are not connected, but somehow you manage to get into a fraternity, You just move in the frat house and abandon your previous residence?

 

- If you are going to live in the fraternity house, you have to pay rent?

 

- Once you leave college, are you still a member for life? If yes, does it come with perks or obligations? Do you keep having a say on who joins?

 

- I read that some fraternities require a minimum of academic achievement to enter or stay in the fraternity, so if you go below the minimum, you have to leave the residence and find another place to live?

 

- Do you get your own room in the residence? Your own bathroom? How luxurious living is it?

Edited by Tarte Gogo
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I'm not trying to stifle conversation or imply that you should just go look it up but there is an excellent primer on Wikipedia.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternities_and_sororities?wprov=sfla1

 

I have never been a fan of the Greek system, but I have met plenty of good people who were members of fraternities -- and one totally hot escort that I am particularly fond of. ;)

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I'm not trying to stifle conversation or imply that you should just go look it up but there is an excellent primer on Wikipedia.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraternities_and_sororities?wprov=sfla1

 

I have never been a fan of the Greek system, but I have met plenty of good people who were members of fraternities -- and one totally hot escort that I am particularly fond of. ;)

Agree

 

And I’m not sure any of the questions can be answered with anything other than “sometimes” or “it depends”.

it's coming.

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Then what was your experience?

I wasn’t a member of a frat (too expensive) but I lived in a frat house for a while (it’s complicated but basically I’d been sleeping in my car).

I think there are some really good things about Greek life and some not so good. It can be a great way to meet people and make lifelong friends. I also think they can be super-cliquish and amplify some of the worst in people.

Looking back on it I wish that I’d been able to experience a little bit of the frat experience.

it's coming.

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- How do you know which fraternity you would like to become a member of? Is it just that you ask to the fraternity which your father belonged? For those whose father was not in college, it is just word of mouth, or do you get in by making friends with those who are already in?

 

Family plays a huge role with many guys and their choice of frat. Mine did. All of the guys in my family have belonged to the same fraternity.

 

- What if you start college and you are not connected, but somehow you manage to get into a fraternity, You just move in the frat house and abandon your previous residence?

 

Depends on the campus, their housing rules, etc. Some campuses have social frats, but no actual frat houses. Many times in these situations, the frat simply lives in the same area, same apartment complex.

 

- If you are going to live in the fraternity house, you have to pay rent?

 

Chapter houses have rent, as well as national/local dues. It's like belonging to a country club in some ways: You just never stop shelling out money. Even if you don't live at the chapter house, you still have to pay frat dues (but not rent).

 

- Once you leave college, are you still a member for life? If yes, does it come with perks or obligations? Do you keep having a say on who joins?

 

Yes, you are a member for life. Much like getting a call from your alma mater for donations, you can expect the national frat to call periodically for money. You're not obligated.

 

- I read that some fraternities require a minimum of academic achievement to enter or stay in the fraternity, so if you go below the minimum, you have to leave the residence and find another place to live?

 

Yes... And that's tightening up even more so with social frats being put under a microscope lately

 

- Do you get your own room in the residence? Your own bathroom? How luxurious living is it?

 

It all depends on the house and its layout. New members will likely share a bathroom (jack & jill style or communal). Expect a roommate as well. Some houses can be quite nice, depending on how much work their boosters do. Some of the nicest sorority houses I've seen are on the UT Austin campus.

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At my college, we had 30+ fraternities for an undergraduate body of 4,000. About one-third of the student body lived in them. Compared to other schools, it was more of an "Independent Living Group" than what most people would think is a fraternity.

 

There's a process called "rush", where you go around and meet brothers at various fraternities. Before school started in the fall, there was summer rush, where admitted freshmen would be contacted by various members of fraternities.

 

Room and board at our house was in the lowest 1/3 of the "Greek System."

 

Mechanics: The Chapter has been around since 1902, and have owned the house since 1932. The building next door was purchased in 1982. The Alumni Association owns the house, and the Chapter pays rent (which is part of the Housing cost).

 

Academics are applicable to the House not to specific members. It was a very supportive environment. I was able to stay during first term of my Junior year, when I dropped out when I had mononucleosis.

 

Active members have a say in who joins and who doesn't. There used to be a system where each member would get a set of balls, mostly white but a few black ones. When a candidate's name was brought up, each member would put a ball into a box to signify "yea" or "nay." Thus the phrase "Blackball."

 

You are a member for life, at least, after you're initiated. Generally, you may join only one fraternity for life. I was originally in one fraternity but de-pledged so as not to join. I lived in the Dorms for a year, then pledged another.

 

But mine is a special circumstance, and not typical of other Greek systems. Parties were all but non-existent.

Do not try to the patience of Dragons, for you are Crunchy and good with Ketchup.

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- How do you know which fraternity you would like to become a member of? Is it just that you ask to the fraternity which your father belonged? For those whose father was not in college, it is just word of mouth, or do you get in by making friends with those who are already in?

 

Family plays a huge role with many guys and their choice of frat. Mine did. All of the guys in my family have belonged to the same fraternity.

 

- What if you start college and you are not connected, but somehow you manage to get into a fraternity, You just move in the frat house and abandon your previous residence?

 

Depends on the campus, their housing rules, etc. Some campuses have social frats, but no actual frat houses. Many times in these situations, the frat simply lives in the same area, same apartment complex.

 

- If you are going to live in the fraternity house, you have to pay rent?

 

Chapter houses have rent, as well as national/local dues. It's like belonging to a country club in some ways: You just never stop shelling out money. Even if you don't live at the chapter house, you still have to pay frat dues (but not rent).

 

- Once you leave college, are you still a member for life? If yes, does it come with perks or obligations? Do you keep having a say on who joins?

 

Yes, you are a member for life. Much like getting a call from your alma mater for donations, you can expect the national frat to call periodically for money. You're not obligated.

 

- I read that some fraternities require a minimum of academic achievement to enter or stay in the fraternity, so if you go below the minimum, you have to leave the residence and find another place to live?

 

Yes... And that's tightening up even more so with social frats being put under a microscope lately

 

- Do you get your own room in the residence? Your own bathroom? How luxurious living is it?

 

It all depends on the house and its layout. New members will likely share a bathroom (jack & jill style or communal). Expect a roommate as well. Some houses can be quite nice, depending on how much work their boosters do. Some of the nicest sorority houses I've seen are on the UT Austin campus.

Thank you, that is really specific!

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I never joined a frat, and really never thought about it. My financial resources were limited, so I worked throughout college. Some of the guys I worked with later on, who were then into their late 40's, and early 50's, and were in frats, were still very close with their frat brothers, and a big part of their social circle. I also get the feeling, some business connections are easier for having been in a fraternity.

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At my college, we had 30+ fraternities for an undergraduate body of 4,000. About one-third of the student body lived in them. Compared to other schools, it was more of an "Independent Living Group" than what most people would think is a fraternity.

 

There's a process called "rush", where you go around and meet brothers at various fraternities. Before school started in the fall, there was summer rush, where admitted freshmen would be contacted by various members of fraternities.

 

Room and board at our house was in the lowest 1/3 of the "Greek System."

 

Mechanics: The Chapter has been around since 1902, and have owned the house since 1932. The building next door was purchased in 1982. The Alumni Association owns the house, and the Chapter pays rent (which is part of the Housing cost).

 

Academics are applicable to the House not to specific members. It was a very supportive environment. I was able to stay during first term of my Junior year, when I dropped out when I had mononucleosis.

 

Active members have a say in who joins and who doesn't. There used to be a system where each member would get a set of balls, mostly white but a few black ones. When a candidate's name was brought up, each member would put a ball into a box to signify "yea" or "nay." Thus the phrase "Blackball."

 

You are a member for life, at least, after you're initiated. Generally, you may join only one fraternity for life. I was originally in one fraternity but de-pledged so as not to join. I lived in the Dorms for a year, then pledged another.

 

But mine is a special circumstance, and not typical of other Greek systems. Parties were all but non-existent.

Very specific answers again, thank you!

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Depending on the university, fraternity life differs.

 

At the smaller university my father attended, the fraternities were simply social with no residential accommodations with guys living in the dorms on campus. My understanding is that although there was a 'frat house,' its main functions were for dinner and recreation - billiards, darts, ping pong, cards, yard for football or volleyball, etc. There was a monthly social fee.

 

At the Big Ten university I attended, the Greek Life was somewhat different. Most members lived in the house. Typically, the guys had rooms, mostly with a roommate or two. Most frats had a reputation as being either a jock frat, party frat, or academic frat. Each frat usually had teams in all of the intramural rec sports leagues (flag football, basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, swimming, team handball, etc.) that also included teams form the dorms and off campus residences such as an apartment complex. Most fraternities also participated in various philanthropic causes, often having a causes specific to their chapter, but also participating in campus-events such as a blood drive or a dance marathon supporting to local food pantry. Fraternity membership did include fees.

 

Alumni were able to choose to remain involved in some activities. For example, there were usually alumni events during Homecoming. A friend remains active with his frat by serving on the housing committee which oversees the real estate's upkeep (plumbing, HVAC, roofing, etc) and solicits funds from other alums when major repairs are needed. The alumni also frequently have a scholarship fund they support and many often serve a mentors to current members as they are making post-college career choices.

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to quickly answer your specific questions above:

 

1. most prospective members must go through a process called "rush" at the beginning of a semester (usually your first freshman semester)....potential members go through each house, meet as many people as they can, try to give a good impression, and move on to the next.....this goes on for a couple or three days, then the houses will give "bids" to guys they like....eventually, decisions are made and you "pledge" one house.....then begins a semester-long "probation" period as a pledge....some will drop out for any of various reasons.....ultimately, those who stay are initiated in a sometimes-elaborate ritual......the most prestigious houses can get the best guys and the good-or-bad reputation of houses is very strong on campus and can last for decades.....a "legacy" is a dude whose ancestors were in the house and they may get an automatic bid.....

 

2. most houses have room for many of the guys, but not all.....those who don't live in the house may room together in an off-campus rental.....if you pledge a house and are asked to move into the house, you'd have to negotiate with your existing housing or dorm for a contract break....some guys want to live in the house for social reasons, but, by senior year, many need to get more serious and need the quiet and privacy of a private residence

 

3. yes, there is a fee (rent) for living in the frat house, in addition to social dues, food fee, what-have-you

 

4. after college, you can be as active or inactive as you want....many guys volunteer for the fraternity in some way, others may pay annual dues or support scholarships......most frats have a magazine sent to all alum.....many guys will visit for homecoming

 

5. there's usually a requirement to maintain your grades in some way, though this is probably somewhat lenient......you certainly need to be a bona-fide student and pass your classes......

 

6. living conditions vary greatly.....you'll probably share a room and have a bathroom down the hall.....seniors and/or those with some honor may get "that room" that has its own bathroom and no roommate.....houses vary from the classic Tudor mansions you see in the movies to converted apartments.......a typical Greek house will have a large living room, large dining room, activity room, outdoor area, maybe a pool in warm climates, institutional kitchen, and all the bedrooms upstairs or down the hall

 

 

the history of fraternities and sororities is long and controversial......originally, they were "secret societies" created so groups could associate only with people of their "own kind".....many were formed in the south after the Civil War (read between the lines here!).......discrimination/bias/exclusivity was normal until very recently and there is still tremendous snob appeal in the Greek system......houses are still known for being Jewish/Black/WASPy/etc.....when I was in college, each house had a well-known rep (dumb blondes/pretty girls but smart/jocks/partiers/ugly girls/rich kids....)

 

for many, the entire system can create great networking, social skills, lifelong benefits......

.

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Pronouns: me, me, me

 

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At my university, at the time I attended, many were bemoaning and many were cheering the end of the fraternity society on this campus and at universities in general. Soon after, Animal House, the movie, initiated a revival of the Greek System, I guess food fights looked like great fun. Fraternities now thrive on campus there and across the country.

 

In any case, at my school, there was only one fraternity left at the time and there were only 4 members of the chapter. They lived in the upper apartment of a two family house and I lived in the lower apartment. They were really nice guys. Drinkers when most of the intoxication was drug related. They partied frequently. They did reasonably well in school. They asked me to join several times and I went so far as the initial initiation test which was to drink a six pack of beer in 5 minutes. It did not sound too hard, so I thought I would try it. I later learned that if you were going to make an attempt to drink that much beer in that short a time, shaking it up or stirring it and getting the air out made it a lot easier, although not as tasty. Five and 1/2 beers in four minutes was done and I was full. Every time I went to down that last 1/2 beer, I felt as though I would vomit. Part of the test was you could not vomit. Finally with 10 seconds to go, I just emptied the can, the porcelain receptacle gods be damned. I got the can empty but struggled to swallow that last mouthful. That was the first time, but not the last time, I heard a chorus of men yelling "Swallow it. Swallow it. Swallow it." And just like the times that followed, I swallowed hard and had a bit of white foam ease out of the side of my mouth as the rest went down.

 

Those guys cheered as though I had won an Olympic medal or picked up their bar tab. I really felt a sense of community and kinship, a real sense of fraternity. They began to drink and after receiving the accolades, I stumbled down to my apartment, tripped on the stairs and took a header into the wall. Their cheers for that bit of foolishness, dwarfed the previous ovation. The next morning, whether the headache was from the beer or the fall, it convinced me that fraternity life was not for me.

Edited by purplekow

I have never seen a purplekow :)

I hope I never see one ;)

But I can tell you this and how I would rather see than be one :D

 

Help there is a purplekow in my mirror :eek:

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to quickly answer your specific questions above:

 

1. most prospective members must go through a process called "rush" at the beginning of a semester (usually your first freshman semester)....potential members go through each house, meet as many people as they can, try to give a good impression, and move on to the next.....this goes on for a couple or three days, then the houses will give "bids" to guys they like....eventually, decisions are made and you "pledge" one house.....then begins a semester-long "probation" period as a pledge....some will drop out for any of various reasons.....ultimately, those who stay are initiated in a sometimes-elaborate ritual......the most prestigious houses can get the best guys and the good-or-bad reputation of houses is very strong on campus and can last for decades.....a "legacy" is a dude whose ancestors were in the house and they may get an automatic bid.....

 

2. most houses have room for many of the guys, but not all.....those who don't live in the house may room together in an off-campus rental.....if you pledge a house and are asked to move into the house, you'd have to negotiate with your existing housing or dorm for a contract break....some guys want to live in the house for social reasons, but, by senior year, many need to get more serious and need the quiet and privacy of a private residence

 

3. yes, there is a fee (rent) for living in the frat house, in addition to social dues, food fee, what-have-you

 

4. after college, you can be as active or inactive as you want....many guys volunteer for the fraternity in some way, others may pay annual dues or support scholarships......most frats have a magazine sent to all alum.....many guys will visit for homecoming

 

5. there's usually a requirement to maintain your grades in some way, though this is probably somewhat lenient......you certainly need to be a bona-fide student and pass your classes......

 

6. living conditions vary greatly.....you'll probably share a room and have a bathroom down the hall.....seniors and/or those with some honor may get "that room" that has its own bathroom and no roommate.....houses vary from the classic Tudor mansions you see in the movies to converted apartments.......a typical Greek house will have a large living room, large dining room, activity room, outdoor area, maybe a pool in warm climates, institutional kitchen, and all the bedrooms upstairs or down the hall

 

 

the history of fraternities and sororities is long and controversial......originally, they were "secret societies" created so groups could associate only with people of their "own kind".....many were formed in the south after the Civil War (read between the lines here!).......discrimination/bias/exclusivity was normal until very recently and there is still tremendous snob appeal in the Greek system......houses are still known for being Jewish/Black/WASPy/etc.....when I was in college, each house had a well-known rep (dumb blondes/pretty girls but smart/jocks/partiers/ugly girls/rich kids....)

 

for many, the entire system can create great networking, social skills, lifelong benefits......

Amazing, thanks.

 

I can’t imagine what it can be in a chapter house for a gay fraternity that is “party” oriented.

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Amazing, thanks.

 

I can’t imagine what it can be in a chapter house for a gay fraternity that is “party” oriented.

 

Frot house.

I have never seen a purplekow :)

I hope I never see one ;)

But I can tell you this and how I would rather see than be one :D

 

Help there is a purplekow in my mirror :eek:

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