I am in a Greek fraternity (Phi Delta Theta if you really care to know) and at my campus there has been a big push in the greek community towards getting official recognition from the student union. Now our comunity is very small maybe 1 percent of students are in a greek society if that. I'm basically starting this thread to gauge where the perception of these groups is from not only atheists but also people from outside the demographic of a university student.

I'll briefly state my position, the four main criticisms we tend to face are sex bias, alcohol, hazing and discrimination of homosexuality. I find sex bias absurd because there are also sororities, and the student union recognizes several different ethnic and religious groups (or both in the case of Chinese Christians.) With alcohol, many university students drink and while we have a good time just like any other student we also know there's a time and a place for it. The fraternity I'm in has several people
on the dean's list and mandatory study halls so we're not just a bunch of drunken idiot frat boys. Although I can't speak for all Greek societies the one I'm in has a zero tolerance hazing policy and
I was never once hazed during my pledge period. As for treatment of homosexuals this one's harder to prove. although we don't have any current gay members I'm told we have a gay alumni although I've never met him.. In any case, if a homosexual came to us we wouldn't turn him away cause of that.


So any thoughts? Have you had any experiences with Greek life in the past? What's your perception?

Tags: fraternities, greek, life, soroities

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Brian, I think you're fighting an uphill battle. If there is one thing that has influenced the perception of fraternities outside of universities it has to be the movie Animal House. I know that sounds shallow but that's the first thing that came to my mind, not that I'm the arbiter for all things fraternal.

There are so many kinds of fraternities and sororities and each one has their own focus and reputation. The ones that make the most noise are the ones that get the most attention IMHO.

Just my two centavos...
I'm certainly not trying to paint all fraternities with the same broad brush. But you do have to admit that you wouldn't have to look very far to find a drunken frat party. Of course, things could have changed in the many years since I went to college - back then we made up our own fraternity (the legitimate ones wouldn't have us) and we called it Tappa Kegga Beer. I learned a lot at college, some of it in the classroom.

BTW, rent Animal House. It's hilarious and somewhat of a window into college life long ago.
I remember them from college. They could pretty much do whatever they damn well pleased. They looked down their noses at the non greeks,kinna like xtains do.

Once,I remember walking by three sorority sisters..One was being "punished."
She was told:"You cannot speak to no one and no one can speak to you."
I thought that was a crock of shit and if someone said that to me,I'd tell them where to shove it.
I agree. Fraternities and Sororities have banned most (if not all) hazing. And laws have been passed (at least here in P.R.) restricting practices that have lead to different situations in which pledges have been hurt. My sorority does have a "clique" but like Brian said, we are all part of groups like Math Clubs, Student Council, Theater, etcetera. We obviously have a very close bond because we do work together at times very closely for activities and such. But it's not like we limit our social interactions to Greeks only, that would be absurd. But obviously every group is different and the people in it act according to their mind set and way of thinking.

Alcohol I agree is an issue, people expect it all to be parties (which yeah they are definitely fun) but it's not all people do. Charity work is a major part and civic responsibility. At least for me, I didn't join to drink it up, that I could do on my own time and not have to go through a process of pledging/initiation to be able to do it.
LOL! Sure thing! I guess I shared almost everyone's perception of Greek life until I was approached by it. Which was completely random and unplanned (even though my mom is Greek also)

And it's local, Zeta Phi Sigma.
Well, if it's not all of those things we think it is, can you explain exactly what you guys do?

I always thought fraternities/sororities were weird clubs the spoiled prep/jock kids joined when they weren't ready to let the social aspects of high school go. 21 and under, at least in mentality. The isn't meant as an insult. It's just that some people grow up poor have to go to community college, or straight to work at first and the fraternities/sororities always seemed like yet another elitist thing kids from families with money do.
It sounds like the fraternity has been good for you. I'm glad to know that all of those stereotypes are just that--stereotypes. :)
No offense taken.I can only speak for mine obviously but most my girls, if not all, come from blue collar, average middle class homes. Most of us either work part-time or full time to be able to go to school. Tuition costs here aren't as high as in the U.S. but still it's more money than people usually have. We have athletes, music geek, choir geeks, dancers, chemistry nerds, etcetera. My sorority doesn't have one particular philantrophic cause, we just help whoever needs or asks for our help. I've been in it for about 3 years (I joined when I was 20) and we've done everything from organizing blood drives, fundraisers for cancer patients, disaster relief (for example haiti), donations and visits to battered women and children shelters. Most of the times we just take it upon our selves to find shelters or community based centers who need help and we volunter time and resources. Obviously we are a small local sorority, but we do try to help out any way we can. Also cultural activities that need volunteers and such.

But yes, there are some who only accept people from certain social spheres because they get "status" from having the doctors son or the lawyers daughter but that's not the case all the time. Elitism at least in mine is a thing we don't appreciate or accept. We are very diverse in background, families, etcetera. I know of a few fraternities and sororities where they pretty much ask you to hand in your parents tax info to validate if you are of certain wealth. I guess these give the rest a bad name so to speak.

I'm very active in mine, I've been vice-president, secretary and student representative. All in all my experience has been mostly positive and I've met some pretty amazing people who have been there through thick and thin. I don't know if that answeres your question, hopefully it did!
I see, it all makes a little more sense now. Its good to know that instead of worrying about status your sorority puts so much effort into the community.
Thank you!

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