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  #1  
Old 05-08-2005, 02:21 PM
vinz vinz is offline
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What are exactly fraternities?

Hello,
My name is Vincent Lambert. I’m 20. I'm French. I study in Paris.
I'm currently doing some research about fraternities and sororities. But this whole system seems to be really particular to the US, so I've got some questions... Would be nice if you took a few minutes to answer.
- How exactly are fraternities organised ? Do fraternities(chapters) from different colleges have any relationship? What about the different fraternities at the same college?
- Are fratenities (and sororities) the only associations you've got ? In France we've got a great variety of associations : in fact there's almost one association for each project! But ours seem to be much less developed than yours (I mean that we can belong to many of them, because we don't have to spend a lot of time for each one). You seem to be spending all your time and energy either working or having fun within your fraternity... So my guess is that fraternities are like super-associations, which have many different activities. Is that right?
- Are there houses where all members of a fraternity meet? sleep ? have parties ?
- Are some/all/any fraternity mixed ?
- Are fraternities only for undergraduate?

And to finish with I have a question which is not particularly linked with fraternities : parties at college... Are they like movies show? I mean lots of people getting drunk (it is the case in France), even girls (not the case here), having sex in the rooms above (not so much the case here...)? Which movie would be the closest to reality according to you? Do fraternities often organise parties?

Well I guess it must look weird to ask all these questions. The thing is that we do have some images of the life on US campus, but through movies mainly... so it’s very vague and probably wrong.
I would love to have the point of view from an actual American student. It would be very helpful.
Thank you for your help.
Sincerely
Vincent Lambert
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2005, 03:20 PM
Firehouse Firehouse is offline
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Vincent, read Alex deTouqueville on American fraternal organizations (Democracy in America, 1835). He considered them one of the half dozen fundamental, defining structures of American society. In their present form, college fraternities & sororities probably are uniquely American. They probably derived originally from German college societies, along with similar British and French models.
American college fraternities (some sororities call themselves fraternities) began in 1776, the year of American Independence. The social fraternities are almost exclusively undergraduate organizations, but many reamin close to their alumni.
Fraternities have been traditionally not quite in sync with university administrations. Across the last 200 + years, faculty have considered fraternities something of a threat to their authority. In the 19th Century, faculty thought fraternities were not sufficiently conservative, not religious enough, and considered them to be hedonistic. In the 20th Century, faculty think of fraternities as not sufficiently liberal, as too religious, and consider them to be hedonistic. The point is: fraternities have remained hugely popular because they express the constancy and values of the dominant American upper middle class. Fraternities express the fundamental American personality traits of anti-intellectualism (in the European sense), democracy, adherence to tradition, and the entrepreneural spirit. The fact that they have never been fully embraced by the ruling acedemic elite is just another source of their popularity.
Most movies featuring fraternities are exploitive, but several have been discussed on these message boards (someone else can give you the thread). Animal House is one of the most popular fraternity movies ever, but the broad humor is drawn from severe stereotypes. There are some decent movies.
The strength of fraternities derives from the friendships formed with each other while in college. Those life-long relationships give fraternities their most powerful attraction. Anyone can do service projects or make floats for homecoming or play sports. Nothing lasts but the "brotherhood".
I'm sure others on this board will give you plenty of information about the current college atmosphere. Good luck to you.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2005, 05:19 PM
hendrixski
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Bonjour Vincent

Votre anglais c'est super!
les fraternités sont une sort de societé secret (comme les masons). Chaque Université a quelque fraternités, et plus des fraternités ont beacoup de "chapitres" dans beacoup des Universités. Nous communiquons avec des otres "chapitres" de temps en temps. Par exemple je visite notre "frères" à Cornel (c'est 1 heur en conduisqnt) peut-être 3 fois par anée. Et c'est pour les fettes.
Il y a les "frat houses", les maisons où les frères habitent, mais c'est pas nécessaire, beacoup n'ont pas un maison.

Dans les Etats-Unis nous avons aussi les organizations pour les étudiants pour passetemps (i.e. billiards, football, art etc.) mais c'est pas le meme. Nous pouvons être en plusiuers des clubs, mais seulement une fraternité.

les fraternités sont pour tout la vie. On peut s'engage dans le fraternité "undergrad" et "gradutate" mais aprés sa on est une frère jusque la mort.

Si tu aurais plus des questions envoye-moi un e-mail à hendrixski@yahoo.com
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2005, 05:54 PM
PKTKKG PKTKKG is offline
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Vincent, these are all very good questions and I'm sure that most of us could write a book about what we know of the fraternity/sorority system. Most of the organizations are national and/or international in scope with chatpers established at colleges and universities across the county.

Most undergraduates tend to view their experience on a local leve since that's all they may ever see of their organization. Once you become an alumni, or move to another part of the state/country many people meet other members from other chapters and gain more understanding about thier organization on a broader level.

Relationships between different chapters on a campus vary, but in most cases Greeks work together for mutual benefit and are self governing. Each campus typically has some sort of Fraternity and Sorority council to address issues and promote unity and good working relationships.

There are many student organizations and opportunities for leadership on campus, but Greeks promote leadership within their organizations and other campus organizations and are typically some of the most involved undergraduates in other campus organizations. Most Greeks are very devoted to the success of their chapters, but also get involved in many other groups.

Some campuses have a high percentage of students who are Greek, while others are more moderate or small. The area of the county also depends on how popular Greek life is on campus. For example, universities in the Southern part of the US typcially have very large, well established Greek systems where a high number of students participate.

Not all campuses have the traditional houses, but generally there is some sort of housing or facility available in a dormitory where Greeks can have a common living experience if there are no houses.

In general, men's houses are more likely to allow alcohol and parties on the premises while all women's groups prohibit alcohol in the house. Women still have meetings and other functions in their houses, but they are dry events.

I am not sure what you mean about Fraternities being mixed. Do you mean gender or race? Most (99.9%) national groups are exclusively men or women. Most groups do not discriminate on the basis of race, but the number of minority members of chapters varies depending on where in the US the chapters are located.

Lastly, most people join Greek organizations as an undergraduate. However, there are some women's groups that initiate graduates. The exception to this rule is with the Historically Black (African-American) Greek Organizations (HBGLOs). I believe that just as many graduates as undergraduates join these organizations. I cannot speak for the men's groups, since I am not sure how many of them allow for alumni initiation. My sorority does not allow for alumni initiation except in very rare circumstances, so I do not know that much about it.

All of the Greek organizations provide a lifetime membership and opportunities for alumni involvement. While I love my university dearly, I would probably not have as close ties as I do if not for my Greek membership. With the exception of football in the fall, my primary bond and affection is my Greek membership and the relationships and other organizations I became a part of solely because I was Greek.

There are some elements of Greek Life in the movies that are truthful, but in general they are very stereotypical of Greeks. For example, I know I attended many fun parties that could be compared to the toga party in Animal House, but this was not the primary focus of my membership. The sense of sisterhood, belonging, and the focus on leadership and developing skills that would serve me well after college were much more important than any party I could have attended. Social events are a fun aspect of Greek life, but it is only a part of that life and does not take the place of the opportunity for lifetime membership, strong friendships, and service to others.

Personally, my favorite Greek 'movie' is Legally Blonde. I think that the ability to lead and work together in a same-sex environment builds the confidence to lead and be successful in the 'real world' after college. It showcased a built in support system where people share your successes and cry with you in your disappointments.

You might also want to check out the website for the National Panhellinic Conference at www.npcwomen.org. The NPC is the umbrella organization for the 26 (historically white) national women's groups. The website has links to all 26 organization home pages.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2005, 07:18 PM
preciousjeni preciousjeni is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hendrixski
Dans les Etats-Unis nous avons aussi les organizations pour les étudiants pour passetemps (i.e. billiards, football, art etc.) mais c'est pas le meme. Nous pouvons être en plusiuers des clubs, mais seulement une fraternité.

les fraternités sont pour tout la vie. On peut s'engage dans le fraternité "undergrad" et "gradutate" mais aprés sa on est une frère jusque la mort.
Vincent, these are important points and may help you understand the distinction between fraternal organizations and college clubs.

Firehouse's post concisely explains and answers your questions. I'd highly recommend checking out the rest of Greek Chat. Through the many conversations, you will get a feel for "Greek culture" and a better understanding of the way Greek organizations work on a local and national level.


Additional responses:

Quote:
Are fratenities (and sororities) the only associations you've got ? In France we've got a great variety of associations : in fact there's almost one association for each project! But ours seem to be much less developed than yours (I mean that we can belong to many of them, because we don't have to spend a lot of time for each one). You seem to be spending all your time and energy either working or having fun within your fraternity... So my guess is that fraternities are like super-associations, which have many different activities. Is that right?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is like joining a family but also involves becoming a contributing member of a large corporation.

Quote:
Are fraternities only for undergraduate?
Among the different councils/conferences/individual organizations there are different rules for graduate members. Some organizations offer a special initiation for members who are not collegiate. Other organizations have specific chapters that bring in non-collegiates. Still others do not allow non-collegiates to join at all.
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Last edited by preciousjeni; 05-08-2005 at 07:22 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2005, 08:45 AM
vinz vinz is offline
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Thank you all for your answers. I really appreciate the time you're taking to answer me.
After everything you've been telling me, I have some impressions that I want to share with you, so you tell me if it's true or not.
My point of view is that a fraternity is a way to create cohesion in a little group of people. This is the most important thing, more important than the things you really do in it. Because they are so many people in a college, this system is a good structure for social life on campus : it’s a mean to create circles of friends. Moreover what you actually do in a fraternity is made to develop some values and skills like solidarity, mutual support, managering… This means social actions, organisation of events (like parties, but also more serious projects I guess…), mutual assistantship for every day life… And the fact is that through all this, you get to know other people from your fraternity very well and they become your best friends!
So basically one wants to get in a fraternity for 2 reasons :
- having friends.
- learn how to work in group and develop ideas : what you call the entrepreneural spirit.

Still some interrogations remain :
- you talk a lot about tradition, you say these societies are kind of secret : are there some rituals ? why is it secret? Do you do some “illegal stuff” there? You say it’s too religious for instance, but how is this religious spirit expressed?
- what is exactly anti-intellectualism (even in the European sense I can’t get a straight idea…)? the dominant American upper middle class does not like intellectuals? Plus I kind of understood that some fraternities recruited partly on marks…
- say I just graduated from high school and I’m starting my scholarship in a college. How do I get in a fraternity? Do I have to know people in it? How do I choose the one fraternity I want to get in? Does it depend on my religious/political opinions for example?

Thank you all
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2005, 08:56 AM
vinz vinz is offline
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I forgot one thing : what exactly do you do with your fraternity? What impact does it have on your every day life : do you work for yur fraternity/see your fraternity's friends every day/all day long/often, like once a week? what kind of social actions do you lead? Are there really big events organised by fraternities?
Thanks one again !
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2005, 10:08 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by vinz
- what is exactly anti-intellectualism (even in the European sense I can’t get a straight idea…)? the dominant American upper middle class does not like intellectuals? Plus I kind of understood that some fraternities recruited partly on marks…
Fraternities & sororities are for everyone not just upper middle class people. Many Greeks are working multiple jobs and have student loans just to stay in school $$wise.

What Firehouse is saying is basically that some of the values and ideas espoused by professors and administrators here are not realistic or workable outside anyplace but an academic institution where there are people ridiculous enough to put up with them. Fraternities are one of the few institutions that will actually say the emporer has no clothes in this instance.

The ones that recruit on marks are known as honorary fraternities. You have to have a minimum grade point average to join and for the most part, they are just a resume/CV builder as opposed to the social fraternities.
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2005, 04:56 PM
emb021 emb021 is offline
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Re: What are exactly fraternities?

Quote:
Originally posted by vinz
Hello,
My name is Vincent Lambert. I’m 20. I'm French. I study in Paris.
I'm currently doing some research about fraternities and sororities. But this whole system seems to be really particular to the US, so I've got some questions... Would be nice if you took a few minutes to answer.
- How exactly are fraternities organised ? Do fraternities(chapters) from different colleges have any relationship? What about the different fraternities at the same college?
- Are fratenities (and sororities) the only associations you've got ? In France we've got a great variety of associations : in fact there's almost one association for each project! But ours seem to be much less developed than yours (I mean that we can belong to many of them, because we don't have to spend a lot of time for each one). You seem to be spending all your time and energy either working or having fun within your fraternity... So my guess is that fraternities are like super-associations, which have many different activities. Is that right?
- Are there houses where all members of a fraternity meet? sleep ? have parties ?
- Are some/all/any fraternity mixed ?
- Are fraternities only for undergraduate?

And to finish with I have a question which is not particularly linked with fraternities : parties at college... Are they like movies show? I mean lots of people getting drunk (it is the case in France), even girls (not the case here), having sex in the rooms above (not so much the case here...)? Which movie would be the closest to reality according to you? Do fraternities often organise parties?

First off, please read some of the other posts on this thread AND some of the other threads. Also recommend you read some of the websites out there are the american college fraternity/sorority system. For brevity sake, whenever I refer to fraternities/sororities as "GLO" (Greek Letter Organizations).

* How are fraternities organized?
not sure what you are looking for here. Each chapter is a stand along organization. They have their governing documents (local chapter bylaws) and elect their own officers. If they are part of a national organization (some are not), there will be national governing documents, many which must be followed by local chapters, with national-level leaders.

How much interaction between chapters of the same organization can very. Some organizations will have state/regional conferences, which will bring chapters together for training, fellowing, and the like. If chapters are close enought together, its not uncommon for them to come together for events.

Different chapters on campus may work together in inter-fraternal groups for common goals. There is usually some friendly rivalry (which can sometimes become 'unfriendly'). There are typically greek festivals on campus where the different chapters can compete with one another, etc.

* Are fratenities (and sororities) the only associations you've got ?
NOPE. First off, realize there are many different kinds of GLO. What many will speak about here are the 'social' or 'general' GLO. There are also professional GLO which bring people together who have a common area of study (business, medicine, law, sciences, etc). There are a few service GLO whose focus is mainly doing community service. There are the honorary GLO who honor people with high grades in there area of study. Then most colleges/universities have a variety of political, social, service, religious, hobbies, etc clubs and organizations on campus. Most people will join several organizations, depending on their interests.

*Are there houses where all members of a fraternity meet? sleep ? have parties ?

This will depend on the type of GLO, and their campus. Only social/general GLO have houses (that is, professional, service, honorary GLOs won't). These are places where the members ideally live and hold their meetings. Some campus don't allow (or don't yet have) greek housing. Some may allow for certain floors in campus housing for this purpose instead.

* Are some/all/any fraternity mixed ?

Mixed in what way? Social GLO are usually single-gender, but I have heard of some local socials who are co-ed. While most Social GLO are open to anyone, some are aimed at those in certain ethnic groups (latino, asian, african-american, etc). There are some gay GLO.

Typically professional/service/honorary GLO are mixed and usually aren't allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.

* Are fraternities only for undergraduate?

Usually social GLOs only take in undergraduates. Some may allow for graduate students to join. Some allow for students who have graduated to join (called 'alumni initiates').

Professional/service/honorary GLOs usually allow for both undergrads or grads to join.

*And to finish with I have a question which is not particularly linked with fraternities : parties at college... Are they like movies show?

Bit of advice. American movies/tv are a poor way to get an idea of american society/life. A lot of people see a movie like "Animal House" and think all social GLOs are like that. Maybe a few at sometime may be kind of like that, but not all. I'll leave it to others to add to this.
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2005, 08:43 PM
bekibug bekibug is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by vinz

Still some interrogations remain :
- you talk a lot about tradition, you say these societies are kind of secret : are there some rituals ? why is it secret? Do you do some “illegal stuff” there? You say it’s too religious for instance, but how is this religious spirit expressed?
- what is exactly anti-intellectualism (even in the European sense I can’t get a straight idea…)? the dominant American upper middle class does not like intellectuals? Plus I kind of understood that some fraternities recruited partly on marks…
- say I just graduated from high school and I’m starting my scholarship in a college. How do I get in a fraternity? Do I have to know people in it? How do I choose the one fraternity I want to get in? Does it depend on my religious/political opinions for example?

Thank you all
Someone already answered the "anti-intellectualism" question, so here are my answers to the other two:
you talk a lot about tradition, you say these societies are kind of secret : are there some rituals ? why is it secret? Do you do some “illegal stuff” there? You say it’s too religious for instance, but how is this religious spirit expressed?

Yes, there are rituals in Greek organizations. Some are very involved and others are not. The rituals are secret because it is a code of values unique to each organization, although some groups have "open ritual," which is similar to a mission statement or purpose. I doubt that any group does anything illegal, because a common belief in all groups with open statements of purpose is adherence to law and upholding the rules of the country, state, and university. Many groups' ideals seem to be based in Judeo-Christian ideals, but may not be overly religious. For example, my own sorority's "open ritual" expresses that we try to act with humility, strength, and a genuine desire to help others. These are values common to religious and non-religious groups alike.

say I just graduated from high school and I’m starting my scholarship in a college. How do I get in a fraternity? Do I have to know people in it? How do I choose the one fraternity I want to get in? Does it depend on my religious/political opinions for example?

Fraternities (and sororities) have membership recruitment processes. The membership recruitment, often called rush, varies from organization to organization and often from campus to campus. Generally, a student that desires to join a Greek group signs up for recruitment and is contacted by the respective umbrella organization (NPC, NPHC, NIC) with information about membership requirements, dates and times of recruitment, etc. Information about the membership recruitment program can be found over in the Rush Forum.
It is not necessary that you know someone in the group you wish to join, but often members recruit people they know outside the group to join. Often, people join a group that a close family member belonged to.
Your best option for figuring out which fraternity suits you best is to attend events for more than one and/or possibly all the fraternities on your campus, depending on how many there are. For example, it's not very easy for a man to visit every fraternity at Auburn University during recruitment because there are so many. However, during sorority recruitment, every potential member is required to visit every sorority at least once.
Usually, religious or political affiliation is not important to join a fraternity. No group that I can think of requires that you have a certain political view to join; most campuses have other organizations on campus for expressing political views. Some groups are religiously based; for example, Alpha Epsilon Pi is a Jewish fraternity. Although many groups were founded on Judeo-Christian ideals, they welcome members from any background, regardless of religion. However, most groups have a grade requirement to join and remain an active member since the primary purpose of attending a university is to get an education, not join groups.

For information on the various types of Greek organizations, I suggest looking at the websites for the "umbrella" organizations. Keep in mind, though, that there are also "local" groups which are not affiliated with an umbrella group. Their membership recruitment is often different from that of national organizations. The three largest umbrella groups are:
National Panhellenic Conference
National Interfraternity Conference
National Pan-Hellenic Conference

Last edited by bekibug; 05-09-2005 at 08:55 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2005, 11:02 PM
WeaponX WeaponX is offline
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Re: What are exactly fraternities?

Quote:
Originally posted by vinz
Hello,
My name is Vincent Lambert. I’m 20. I'm French. I study in Paris.
I'm currently doing some research about fraternities and sororities. But this whole system seems to be really particular to the US, so I've got some questions... Would be nice if you took a few minutes to answer.
- How exactly are fraternities organised ? Do fraternities(chapters) from different colleges have any relationship? What about the different fraternities at the same college?
- Are fratenities (and sororities) the only associations you've got ? In France we've got a great variety of associations : in fact there's almost one association for each project! But ours seem to be much less developed than yours (I mean that we can belong to many of them, because we don't have to spend a lot of time for each one). You seem to be spending all your time and energy either working or having fun within your fraternity... So my guess is that fraternities are like super-associations, which have many different activities. Is that right?
- Are there houses where all members of a fraternity meet? sleep ? have parties ?
- Are some/all/any fraternity mixed ?
- Are fraternities only for undergraduate?

And to finish with I have a question which is not particularly linked with fraternities : parties at college... Are they like movies show? I mean lots of people getting drunk (it is the case in France), even girls (not the case here), having sex in the rooms above (not so much the case here...)? Which movie would be the closest to reality according to you? Do fraternities often organise parties?

Well I guess it must look weird to ask all these questions. The thing is that we do have some images of the life on US campus, but through movies mainly... so it’s very vague and probably wrong.
I would love to have the point of view from an actual American student. It would be very helpful.
Thank you for your help.
Sincerely
Vincent Lambert
Whats up Vincent, these are some decent questions but theres some other things that some of the other posters left out. There is a group of fraternities and sororities that as stated before was formed for certain ethnic groups (although you dont have to be a part of that ethnic group to be a member). The fraternities and sororities that I speak of are known as BGLOs or HBGLOs, better known as black greek organizations or historically black greek organizations. They are governed by the national panhellinic council or the NHPC (better known as the panhell). These fraternities and sororities are most commonly known as the "devine nine" and there are 5 fraternities and 4 sororities. They are Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta (fraternites), the sororities are Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho. Each one of these orgs were formed by black men and women at various time during the early 1900's. Each one has a national headquarters and a national staff that governs over each fraternity or sorority respective chapters. Most colleges have all or some of the devine nine on their campus, some dont have any at all....it all depends on where you are located for school. The recruitment process is a little different than other fraternities and sororities. Most college freshman usually have been influenced early in life as to which fraternity or sorority they want to go with before they even schedule classes. This is usually because those orgs were big in there community or their familiy members are members. Some people just figure out who they identify the most with at some other time in collge. Either way members of the panhell encorage aspirants to do research on the orgs they are intersted in on their own, usually by using the internet or reading whatever public books they can get their hands on. After that, an aspirant usually will approach a member discretely and express interest, and after that the org will usually have an open to the public interest meeting to dissiminate some information and hand out applications. Aspirants will apply and if they make the cut (they are reviewed by the organizations members) they are called back to start the process for the organization. Each org has different things they instill in their aspirants before they become members, and thats the stuff that is not common knowledge to regular people. As a whole most of the organizations on most campuses get along, and compete against each other in step shows, and they throw parties, and do community service. The big difference between the "divine nine" orgs and all the other greek orgs, is that membership is reconized to be for life. Once you are a member you are always a member. Its not just something fun to do in college. Most undergrad chapter members are encouraged after graduating to join an alumni chapter in their area. This chapter is made up of people who have already obtained a degree and are out of school. People who have degrees and didnt go thru the process in college are allowed to express interest (much in the same way an undergrad does in college) and join an alumni chapter. I havent been to too many schools, but most of the ones I have heard of have a house they chill at, or a plot on the yard (a place where all the members hang out on the school grounds). But some do have houses where they just hang out and throw parties. The stuff you see on TV is usually a lot of stereotypes, but if you want to see how the black greek organizations do things see if you can rent a copy of "School Daze" by director Spike Lee. Its old, but you should get the idea. Hope my longwindedness helps you.
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:43 AM
emb021 emb021 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by vinz


Still some interrogations remain :
- you talk a lot about tradition, you say these societies are kind of secret : are there some rituals ? why is it secret? Do you do some “illegal stuff” there? You say it’s too religious for instance, but how is this religious spirit expressed?
- what is exactly anti-intellectualism (even in the European sense I can’t get a straight idea…)? the dominant American upper middle class does not like intellectuals? Plus I kind of understood that some fraternities recruited partly on marks…
- say I just graduated from high school and I’m starting my scholarship in a college. How do I get in a fraternity? Do I have to know people in it? How do I choose the one fraternity I want to get in? Does it depend on my religious/political opinions for example?

Thank you all
Again, read some of the other posts on this.

* you talk a lot about tradition, you say these societies are kind of secret : are there some rituals ? why is it secret? Do you do some “illegal stuff” there? You say it’s too religious for instance, but how is this religious spirit expressed?

GLOs take many of their traditions/concepts from masonics/fraternal organizations. The use of rituals and various 'secret concepts' are taken from these traditions.

The first GLO, Phi Beta Kappa, in fact, had to be secret because at the time, student organizations were not allowed. The various secret signs where a way of ensuring the others were really members. From this tradition and the fraternal traditions of groups like the Freemasons, Odd Fellows, etc, came the rituals and traditions of GLOs. (please note that in past (1800s thru early 1900s) fraternal organizations were a major part of american society, more so then in Europe)

Ideally, nothing illegal should be happening in these rituals. "Hazing" is illegal. While it has happened in the past and sadly continues to happen, its both illegal and condemened by all GLOs. Hazing is one of the major reasons that a chapter of an organization will be shutdown by either their national organization, the school, or both. And hazing in most organizations will get you kicked out of the org.

The rituals are secret to keep some of the mystery and specialness of the ceremonies. Nothing more. Certain secret information is conveyed at these ceremonies (handshake, sign, explanation of crest, explanation of groups secret name, etc.)

Several GLOs have a judeo-christian basis, and this is expressed in their rituals. Some GLOs, due to the fact they now bring in people from other religious backgrounds, have made their ceremonies more nonsectarian.

* what is exactly anti-intellectualism? the dominant American upper middle class does not like intellectuals? Plus I kind of understood that some fraternities recruited partly on marks…

Basically, many people are put off by 'smart' people. Your basic 'jocks' vs. 'nerds' concept.

Many GLOs expect a minium GPA (grade point average) to join, and require that you maintain it. This should not be surprising. GLOs grew out of a tradition of being student discussion groups, plus you have the many professional/honorary GLOs whose focus is a particular field of study. Scholarship and academic excellence is thus a big part of many GLOs.

* say I just graduated from high school and I’m starting my scholarship in a college. How do I get in a fraternity? Do I have to know people in it? How do I choose the one fraternity I want to get in? Does it depend on my religious/political opinions for example?

Someone else posted a very good answer to this. Basically, all GLOs have a period at the begining of the semesters when they do open recruitement, called "Rush". This is the time that prospective members can check out the various groups. Typically they see if the ideals of the group match what they believe in, and more importantly, if they feel the 'fit' in. Having friends already in a particular GLO can help, having a relative who is a member is even more so important (you're called a 'legacy' and typically get preferable treatment in regards to 'bids' for membership).

Many GLOs are also checking out the prospectives. Wanting to join one is no guarantee of getting a 'bid' or offer to join. And you still have the pledge process you must complete to attain membership. (some groups no longer calling it pledging, but may use other terms).

Religious/political opinions usually aren't an issue, unless you are very religious, and are looking for a GLO which is also religious. American society is not a divided on politics as it may seem. You'll have people of differing political viewpoints in GLOs and chapters.
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2005, 10:06 AM
emb021 emb021 is offline
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Re: Re: What are exactly fraternities?

Quote:
Originally posted by WeaponX
The big difference between the "divine nine" orgs and all the other greek orgs, is that membership is reconized to be for life. Once you are a member you are always a member. Its not just something fun to do in college. Most undergrad chapter members are encouraged after graduating to join an alumni chapter in their area.
I would be careful about saying this of "all the other greek orgs". My organization ALSO emphasises that membership is for life, and we encourage Brothers to stay active as alumni volunteers &/or members of Alumni Associations.

I can't speak of other GLOs, but I would think that MANY others do the same.

Of course, there are many GLO members who don't get the message, and yes, think that their GLO membership was "just something fun to do in college"
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:11 AM
UNLDelt UNLDelt is offline
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I would have to back up emb021.

Other orgs, including the one I belong to (and I'm out of college), do emphasize life-long membership and involvement.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:31 AM
WeaponX WeaponX is offline
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I hear you emb, but your org seems to be the exception and not the rule, which is why I worded my post regarding GLOs the way I did. No disrespect intended, as I have mainly dealt with BGLOs, but from what I HAVE experienced with GLO members this mentality tends to be the case with the majority of their organizations. A lot of them seem to not have a specific alumni chapter. Some of the members of the GLOs I know, when asked about their orgs usually tell me "oh, I used to be in XYZ in college", or something along those lines. So my question would be to you and UNLDelt, am I wrong for making that general observation or do all GLOs have alumni chapters, and still participate at the alumni level?
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