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  #16  
Old 10-09-2014, 09:14 AM
Trèves Trèves is offline
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Did your friends start a whole new fraternity or are they working together with a American fraternity?
Are there any books or websites, that could help me to start a new group?
I dont know where to start.
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:26 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Trèves View Post
Did your friends start a whole new fraternity or are they working together with a American fraternity?
Are there any books or websites, that could help me to start a new group?
I dont know where to start.
Trèves, I don't know of any books about how to start a fraternity. You may find some info in threads here, however.

I guess the questions I would ask are these:
  • What is it about North American-style fraternities that appeals to you?
  • What specific aspects of North American-style fraternities are you drawn to that you think are lacking in groups that already exist at your university or in Germany/Europe?
  • How have you learned about North American-style fraternities? First-hand experience? Friends? Books? Movies and TV? Internet research? In other words, how much do you really know about North American-style fraternities?
I certainly haven't made a study of it, but my impression is that efforts to establish North American-style fraternities in Europe have not, as a general rule, been particularly successful in the long-term. As best I can tell, this is partially because university life and culture in Europe is so different from university life and culture in North America, where Greek-letter organizations developed and have thrived, and partially because Greek-letter organizations are, in many ways, distinctly American/North American institutions. Distance from governing councils, HQs and other chapters has also been an issue, though the internet ameliorates that challenge somewhat.

Given that, I wonder if you might not be more successful identifying the aspects of North American-style fraternities you are drawn to and adapting them to a more European-style context rather than trying to "import" a GLO. This may be an opportunity to create something completely new—something that blends the strengths of European-style student societies with the strengths of North American-style fraternities.

Just a thought. Good luck!
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  #18  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:48 AM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Will Germany allow single-sex organizations?
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  #19  
Old 10-09-2014, 01:55 PM
Trèves Trèves is offline
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@MysticCat
Regarding your questions:
  • The fascinating thing about american-style fraternities is how they connect people. All members are working together on this "project".
  • If you join a german "fraternity" it is more like joining a club/group. You dont see the members in everyday uni-life because they stay for themselves.
    Have a look at this documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEBI5NK70iU (it is a german documentary but you'll maybe have a little insight through the pictures). Their aim is to maintain the tradition without charitable or educational/social goals. Furthemore they are in very bad standing because they are often associated with national socialism.
  • First i have seen fraternities in movies (for example animal house, american pie, social network). After this i began with internet research.

Quote:
I wonder if you might not be more successful identifying the aspects of North American-style fraternities you are drawn to and adapting them to a more European-style context rather than trying to "import" a GLO.
That is a great idea. The greek letters would be more like a marketing aspect to attract people i guess.

PS.: It is hard for me to express myself because I am a miserable english speaker.
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  #20  
Old 10-09-2014, 02:45 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Trèves View Post
@MysticCat
Regarding your questions:
  • The fascinating thing about american-style fraternities is how they connect people. All members are working together on this "project".
  • If you join a german "fraternity" it is more like joining a club/group. You dont see the members in everyday uni-life because they stay for themselves.
    Have a look at this documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEBI5NK70iU (it is a german documentary but you'll maybe have a little insight through the pictures). Their aim is to maintain the tradition without charitable or educational/social goals. Furthemore they are in very bad standing because they are often associated with national socialism.
  • First i have seen fraternities in movies (for example animal house, american pie, social network). After this i began with internet research.

That is a great idea. The greek letters would be more like a marketing aspect to attract people i guess.

PS.: It is hard for me to express myself because I am a miserable english speaker.
Thanks, Trèves. This is helpful, and I think you're doing very well with English. Trust me—your English is much better than my miserable German!

Let me ask a follow-up question and make a follow-up comment. First the question: When you say "All members are working together on this 'project,'" what do you mean by "project"? Connecting people?

And second, the comment: As much as I love "Animal House" (and I really do love "Animal House"), I would not take it as a truly accurate representation of what fraternities are about—though in some ways, it actually does come closer than many other movies do. You might want to check out some other sources to get a more well-rounded picture of what fraternities are about and what makes them different from other clubs and societies. As a generalization—perhaps a significant over-generalization—I'd say that traditionally the things that have set fraternities apart from other clubs include:
  • An emphasis on brotherhood (hence the name "fraternity");
  • An emphasis on specific values and principles that are intended to be guides for members' interations with each other, interactions with society, education and/or life in general;
  • A coherent system of rituals, particularly initiation rituals, and symbols (usually including the Greek letters themselves), the content and meaning of which is usually known only by members, that express and reinforce the values and principles central to the fraternity;
  • An emphasis on providing for some kind of common life—social life, mutual support, service to others, and/or room and board—to members;
  • Exclusive membership, meaning membership by invitation only, and usually (though not always) single-sex membership; and
  • At least for national or international fraternities, connections with students at other universities and with alumni after university.
Frankly, I think it would be really interesting to see what a group that combines some of these traits with the traditions of European student societies might look like.
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2014, 04:47 PM
Tulip86 Tulip86 is offline
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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
As a generalization—perhaps a significant over-generalization—I'd say that traditionally the things that have set fraternities apart from other clubs include:
  • An emphasis on brotherhood (hence the name "fraternity");
  • An emphasis on specific values and principles that are intended to be guides for members' interations with each other, interactions with society, education and/or life in general;
  • A coherent system of rituals, particularly initiation rituals, and symbols (usually including the Greek letters themselves), the content and meaning of which is usually known only by members, that express and reinforce the values and principles central to the fraternity;
  • An emphasis on providing for some kind of common life—social life, mutual support, service to others, and/or room and board—to members;
  • Exclusive membership, meaning membership by invitation only, and usually (though not always) single-sex membership; and
  • At least for national or international fraternities, connections with students at other universities and with alumni after university.
Frankly, I think it would be really interesting to see what a group that combines some of these traits with the traditions of European student societies might look like.
That would look like most Dutch fraternities and sororities.
One of the things I noticed about "Greek" life when I got here (the Netherlands) is that it resembles the American Greek system a lot. They just have local, city-wide groups and the setup is different between universities to suit the scale and style of the city. They don't have Greek letters, but a name instead. Some groups are on their own, some are part of larger associations and that is where you really see the old European traditions (no fencing though). But at their core, they're all pretty similar to the Greek system.

Rituals, alumni-involvement, leadership, specific values, friendship, recruiting, activities, pledging, parties, mixers, formals, traditions? All there.
The tent-talk and the gossip are present. Even the tales about hazing are the exact same stories I heard in high school.


Trèves, my friends founded new groups so they could found them to fit in with campus culture and make sure it was something that could grow and thrive. I agree with MysticCat that it would be a good idea to look at those things you like about the American fraternities and adapt them to something that suits your group and would work at your university.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2014, 09:09 AM
Trèves Trèves is offline
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@MysticCat
By 'project', I mean the whole organisation/fraternity.

Quote:
I would not take it as a truly accurate representation of what fraternities are about
I am aware that those movies are not an accurate representation but it was the first time I heard about fraternities when I watched them.

@Tulip86

Quote:
That would look like most Dutch fraternities and sororities.
One of the things I noticed about "Greek" life when I got here (the Netherlands) is that it resembles the American Greek system a lot. They just have local, city-wide groups and the setup is different between universities to suit the scale and style of the city. They don't have Greek letters, but a name instead. Some groups are on their own, some are part of larger associations and that is where you really see the old European traditions (no fencing though). But at their core, they're all pretty similar to the Greek system.
I visited some websites of fraternities in the Netherlands (Maastricht). They look very similar to American fraternities.

I will do some more research and maybe I am going to start something like that at my university.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2014, 09:30 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Tulip86 View Post
That would look like most Dutch fraternities and sororities.

One of the things I noticed about "Greek" life when I got here (the Netherlands) is that it resembles the American Greek system a lot. They just have local, city-wide groups and the setup is different between universities to suit the scale and style of the city. They don't have Greek letters, but a name instead. Some groups are on their own, some are part of larger associations and that is where you really see the old European traditions (no fencing though). But at their core, they're all pretty similar to the Greek system.

Rituals, alumni-involvement, leadership, specific values, friendship, recruiting, activities, pledging, parties, mixers, formals, traditions? All there.
The tent-talk and the gossip are present. Even the tales about hazing are the exact same stories I heard in high school.
Really interesting. Thanks for the info. Are these groups single-sex?

And as for the bolded, that's certaily not without precedent in North America. While the vast majority of fraternities and sororities use Greek letter names, not all do, or did. Consider Triangle, Acacia, FarmHouse, Ceres, . . . . And, of course, there's the case of Sinfonia, a name which our tradition says was taken from the name of a German student organization that the Director of New England Consevratory, George W. Chadwick, had been initiated into while studying at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig.
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2014, 11:36 AM
Tulip86 Tulip86 is offline
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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
Really interesting. Thanks for the info. Are these groups single-sex?

And as for the bolded, that's certaily not without precedent in North America. While the vast majority of fraternities and sororities use Greek letter names, not all do, or did. Consider Triangle, Acacia, FarmHouse, Ceres, . . . . And, of course, there's the case of Sinfonia, a name which our tradition says was taken from the name of a German student organization that the Director of New England Consevratory, George W. Chadwick, had been initiated into while studying at the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig.
Most are single-sex, there are a few mixed groups. The larger associations are even same-sex in a few cases, though in a lot of cities two same-sex groups have formed a larger coed association (up to 2700 members in some cases ). It seems so work very well here. Membership has been growing steadily in the past 10 years.

I completely blanked on the non-Greek letter fraternities and sororities in the US. Their names are very similar to those in the Netherlands. There's even a group here called Ceres, though it's a larger association not a sorority but it is associated with a university that specializes in agriculture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trèves View Post
I visited some websites of fraternities in the Netherlands (Maastricht). They look very similar to American fraternities.

I will do some more research and maybe I am going to start something like that at my university.
Good luck, if you need any more info feel free to send me a PM.

Last edited by Tulip86; 10-10-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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