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  #1  
Old 01-15-2019, 09:41 AM
ladbroke ladbroke is offline
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Ohio State Fraternity Rush - On or Off Campus

Hello all - a newbie here.

I am an OSU grad, where I was a member of a fraternity. I had a fantastic experience, tons of fun and made lifelong friends.

I am now the father of an 18 year old who has decided to go through recruitment. And it is interesting how much the OSU Greek system has changed. When I went through rush was formal (like sorority rush) - we all visited each house and got narrowed down on successive days. (I was even a Rho Chi). Now it seems much more free form and the guys just drop in and out to various events at will.

The other big change of course has been the crackdown on alcohol and hazing. In my day it was pretty much anything goes (and looking back I cringe at some of the stuff that went on) so now as a parent I feel better about my son going Greek knowing there is more control and sense around what the fraternities get up to.

But there is also now the phenomenon of "official" fraternities and "underground" ones. My son is torn - he has made some friends at a couple of the big underground houses and expects a bid and likes the fact that there are fewer rules - but is worried that they might fall apart a few years down the line and he won't have a great fraternity experience like I did. For my part, I would hugely prefer that he goes official - for my own peace of mind for his safety but also for the guarantee it brings around stability and post-grad benefits. (My chapter is still official, but recolonised a few years back after some extreme goings-on and seems like a really different place from when I was there).

Does anyone have any thoughts, advice or anecdotes around on- or off campus fraternities? Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2019, 10:11 AM
LaneSig LaneSig is offline
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Here's what your son needs to understand about the "underground" fraternity: if he is initiated into the group, he is not a member of that inter/national organization.

He can walk around saying "I'm a member of Omega Chi Delta" all he wants; but he is not a member. Their national organization does not and will not recognize him as being a member. In fact, depending on the organization, if they have enough evidence the organization can bring a lawsuit against him and the other "members" for misrepresenting themselves as members, using their symbols, etc.

The above might sound harsh or that I'm exaggerating, but I have seen this happen in my own organization and with others. Tell him to avoid the underground groups like the plague.

He also needs to know that the underground groups can not participate in Homecoming, any Greek week events, and mixers/pairs with sororities (I believe). Having less rules and (probably) paying less dues sounds fun, but it comes with restrictions.

Good luck to him. Let us know how it works out.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2019, 10:21 AM
IrishLake IrishLake is offline
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As a central Ohio resident, and close friend of several sorority advisors at OSU (I advise a different Theta chapter...). Keep in mind this is coming from a sorority perspective.

This is a no brainer. He has to go to a legit house. "Underground" houses aren't recognized by their Nationals. They rarely survive more than a couple of years, especially once the legit members have graduated. He will not EVER be able to participate as an alum. He won't ever be able to list his membership on a resume. He won't ever be able to meet a true member from a different chapter and say "Oh hey brother, I was unofficially initiated at the underground chapter of XYZ at Ohio State" without sounding like a fool. He won't ever be able to go to a national convention. And if/when his chapter is recolonized in 4-5 years? He won't be a member and won't be involved in any way, shape, or form. He will not be welcome in that new, legit, brotherhood on homecoming weekends, reunions, etc.

Plus, if you're footing the bill for his fraternity membership, there is no accountability for anything, including dues. I would NOT be ok with not knowing how the money I'm sending for my child is being spent. Especially since more than one of those off campus frats is well known for their drug use and other criminal activity. He's really ok with being put in that situation where HE could take the fall for his "brother's" illegal actions? Where HE could be the one put in a horrible situation where he has to chose between protecting a "brother" or doing what's right?


I'm a parent of a teenager. If he paid for his own membership, I wouldn't have a say. But if I'm paying... bet your ass I have a say. And I would NOT be paying for an underground group.

Legitimate members still have that normal fraternity experience. There's still parties and blocks. They still have a good time and a good brotherhood and enjoy a lifetime of membership. There is zero benefit of being a member of an off campus/underground frat.
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2019, 11:07 AM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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^^^The above posters know of what they speak. As a 20+ year advisor to a fraternity chapter in Indiana, PLEASE discourage him from going to an “off-campus” house. He will NOT ever be a member of the National they allegedly represent. He will not ever be able to be a part of campus-sanctioned events: homecoming, charity events, campus Greek awards.
They advertise NO RULES and NOBODY to sanction or oversee our parties. What they also DON’T have is any insurance or back-up from National Hdqtrs. What they think unencumbers them also put them in peril for criminal charges and lawsuits.

They’ve obviously flattered him...perhaps you can get him to see reality. Do you perhaps have a chapter brother your age who might appeal to him on a different level? Sometimes kids will listen to a non-parent adult.

Good luck!!
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2019, 11:30 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishLake View Post
"Underground" houses aren't recognized by their Nationals. They rarely survive more than a couple of years, especially once the legit members have graduated.
This is not always the case. In some instances, recently at UM, for example, fraternities have chosen to disaffiliate with the school because of what they perceive are unreasonable policies towards Greek Life. These organizations are still recognized by their respective HQs, they have for the most part not shown any tendency to be high risk or to haze. They just, very reasonably, in my opinion, think school administrators have gone over the top in their attempts to control Greek Life. So your kid is going to have to look into these things. It should be readily ascertainable from the national organization's website whether a given chapter is in good standing.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:04 PM
IrishLake IrishLake is offline
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I think Michigan is a different breed. They didn't have their chapters revoked by their Nationals or the college. Considering they still are considered active, legit chapters in good standing by their nationals and are therefore not "underground." This is not at all like what's going on at OSU.

Michigan now has GLOs like Georgetown and Santa Clara do, and previously Harvard.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:07 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I'll defer to you on tOSU. Folks use this Board for reference material, so I think it's important that when you say underground fraternities at tOSU are not recognized, that some UM student doesn't take a good look at off-campus IFC groups because he thinks that is universally true.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:17 PM
IrishLake IrishLake is offline
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Gotcha. I can respect that.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2019, 01:37 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Because I am nebby, I looked at the 4 fraternities that are not recognized by OSU and checked out their websites.

TKE - not an active chapter per their national website
SAM - not an active chapter per their national website
AEPi - their national website lists a “City of Columbus” active collegiate chapter with the ETA designation, which tells me the chapter is recognized by the international fraternity HQ but not by the school
Phi Kappa Psi - their website chapter locator doesn’t work correctly so I couldn’t tell what their National situation is.

Hope that is helpful.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:28 PM
Rod D Rod D is offline
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I'm with Kevin. It's important to define the terms these days.

Underground -- secret and unrecognized by anyone.
Off campus -- recognized by the university, just not big enough to the point that they have a house on "greek row."
Unaffiliated -- this is the Michigan situation. They are not recognized by the university but have their own IFC and are part of the national chapter.

To me, you want to find the most stable situation you can. Underground would be a no -- unless I formed my own "underground frat" with my buds. ITK
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:54 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGD-GRAD View Post
They’ve obviously flattered him...perhaps you can get him to see reality. Do you perhaps have a chapter brother your age who might appeal to him on a different level? Sometimes kids will listen to a non-parent adult.
Or simply have him read this thread
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2019, 07:42 AM
ladbroke ladbroke is offline
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Everyone - thank you so much for all the sound advice. Really appreciated. My son has read all this. He is a sensible person and is planning to go "official". He is pretty sure where he wants to go - not my chapter, which he did give a chance to, but one that is a better fit for him and where he has some friends already. His sister, also in a GLO, has been advising too. (Her chapter is on social probation for mixing with the undergrounds) Huge sigh of relief. I hope other kids who might be tempted by the rock and roll idea of an underground fraternity read this thread. Thanks again.
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