I've been offered the opportunity to help start a new fraternity on campus..

  • kittar

    Posts: 314

    Aug 28, 2010 8:52 PM GMT
    As a student, I have always been pretty involved in different organizations on campus, and through that I have gotten to know a ton of people, both fellow students and staff. One such staff member, Brian, I met only a few days into my freshman year. He works for the organization on campus that promotes prevention of power-based personal violence against women. I had gotten to know him then through looking into the organization and how to get involved with it; he ended up being one of the first people on campus that I came out to. Ever since then I have gotten to know him pretty well through seeing him around campus.

    Last night I was helping to table for the large activities organization on my campus, of which I am a member. Brian was also there, tabling for his organization. I had seen him earlier yesterday, and he had asked me if I was going to be at the event that night, because he had a seed to plant in my mind. When I went over to find out what it was, he mentioned that there was a new social fraternity that was potentially going to start on campus. He told me that a dude whose job it was to go out to different colleges and start new colonies had gotten in contact with him about it. The man offered Brian one of the advisor positions of the fraternity, and told him that if there were any guys on campus who were not Greek but who could do a good job of starting it up, he should reach out to them. Brian told me that he immediately thought of me as the right guy for that job. He told me that the opportunity would be cool, because it could give me a chance to have a great input in shaping the chapter. The opportunity is not guaranteed but it's in the works.

    This news has created a well of thoughts in me. I really like the idea of starting up a new fraternity on campus, one which will perhaps add some variety to the types that are currently found here. I have always wondered what Greek life would be like; during my freshman year I pledged one of the fraternities on campus but ended up dropping out because it wasn't a good match. This might give me another shot at it. It might also lead into a position of high leadership within the chapter here... Perhaps president? On the other hand, I am not the typical Greek you'd find on my campus. I don't drink, I'm not a big partyer, and, of course, I'm gay. But then again, maybe it's an opportunity to bring some freshness into the Greek community here at my university.

    I wanted to post this to get reactions, ideas, thoughts, opinions, and things to consider. RJ has always provided a good source of these. If anyone wants to know the particular university that I am attending, or the fraternity that is potentially starting here, feel free to message me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2010 8:56 PM GMT
    Hey kittar, now how cool is this, eh? Sounds great but I'm as dumb as a post with stuff like this (and sadly out-of-date, too).

    Now where are all the young Uni-going guys on here?

    -Doug (Bill says Hi through den window - he's giving Rupert our brown dog a haircut)
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    Aug 28, 2010 9:03 PM GMT
    seems cool to be in a fraternity in the states. here fraternities are boring
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 28, 2010 9:09 PM GMT
    Oh hey!

    Kittar, this is our friend, BuckYou!

    BuckYou, this is our friend, Kittar.

    -us guys (omg Bill's covered in dog clippings)
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    Aug 28, 2010 9:15 PM GMT
    I know exactly the situation you have been offered. When I was a freshman a few friends and I started a colony of a national fraternity on campus after being contacted by a recruiter. He told us the same things that you say your recruiter did and I felt the same way about fraternities. So I know everything that you will go through if you accept, especially the difficult things. I have to say that you should be absolutely sure you want to do it because you have to be 200% dedicated. You should also be sure you aren't accepting his offer because you are flattered by Brian choosing you. It is a 4 year commitment (except you are a junior) so you have to really want it.

    If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them, you can just message me.
  • rioriz

    Posts: 1056

    Aug 28, 2010 9:37 PM GMT
    I'd think about it and then if you really want to go for it! The best thing I ever did was join a fraternity in college. Still have many good friends I keep in touch with from my fraternity. Just make sure it is a diverse one with people who can contribute in many ways. Good luck with it!
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    Aug 28, 2010 10:15 PM GMT
    dooooo eeeeeet icon_smile.gif
  • crush09

    Posts: 117

    Aug 28, 2010 10:29 PM GMT
    i speak from experience because i did charter a fraternity in my school, its alot of hard work and dedication along with time and expenses.... but i wouldnt trade it for anything else, it made my college years even more memorable.... i guess when your into it and really commit to pleding and bringing that organization to your campus you'll be taught (or you should) to love your letters and wear them proudly.... i didnt charter a "white" or a coed/professional fraternity(sorry if thats politically incorrect) so i dont have an idea what goes on in that sort of a pledging. I pledged a fraternity thats cultural interest (i.e. black frats, or latino frats or asian frats etc...) so our style of pleding is very ummm "controversial" LOL (you all know what im talking about:twistedicon_smile.gif hehehe "PROBATE" is a clue lol. ...... anyways if you feel like you can accomplish alot in your college years and the future by bring this organization to your campus and do good to your university and community then by all means, i salute you to chartering that organization..... heheheh the perks of starting it in your campus and being a charter, think of it 20, 30, 40 years from now people pleding in your chapter will have to remember your name and know who your are and what you did, because your the reason they were able to join that fraternity on campus..... heheheh i still am amaze to this day that pledges spit out my name when there tested on it!... hehehe

    GOOD LUCK TOO YOU.
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    Aug 29, 2010 12:01 AM GMT
    crush09 saidi speak from experience because i did charter a fraternity in my school, its alot of hard work and dedication along with time and expenses.... but i wouldnt trade it for anything else, it made my college years even more memorable.... i guess when your into it and really commit to pleding and bringing that organization to your campus you'll be taught (or you should) to love your letters and wear them proudly.... i didnt charter a "white" or a coed/professional fraternity(sorry if thats politically incorrect) so i dont have an idea what goes on in that sort of a pledging. I pledged a fraternity thats cultural interest (i.e. black frats, or latino frats or asian frats etc...) so our style of pleding is very ummm "controversial" LOL (you all know what im talking about:twistedicon_smile.gif hehehe "PROBATE" is a clue lol. ...... anyways if you feel like you can accomplish alot in your college years and the future by bring this organization to your campus and do good to your university and community then by all means, i salute you to chartering that organization..... heheheh the perks of starting it in your campus and being a charter, think of it 20, 30, 40 years from now people pleding in your chapter will have to remember your name and know who your are and what you did, because your the reason they were able to join that fraternity on campus..... heheheh i still am amaze to this day that pledges spit out my name when there tested on it!... hehehe

    GOOD LUCK TOO YOU.


    I'm not in a frat, but I'm in something just as good: An Ultimate Frisbee club.

    He's pretty much told you all you need to know. You'd make the experience. Literally, the traditions, the people you recruit and the memories of everyone who follows you. The commitment would continue well past college because it would be such a young organization, you'd need every alumni to try and finance as much as possible (like partying, and drinking, and partying, and drinking, and a house). Just know that your commitment should be considered life long and despite any hardships you might face is something you should deal with head-on and till the end.
  • Cutlass

    Posts: 426

    Sep 10, 2010 3:27 AM GMT
    Are there gay fraternities at any American colleges? This might be a precedent, but I would try to be careful and consider all the pros and cons before proceeding. If you become a Greek letter fraternity and have a house, the house could be targeted by hate groups, and word of course would get around that it's a gay fraternity, and there might be problems. Maybe just a gay men's (or gay/lesbian/bi/trans) club on campus might be better fit since even some high schools now have them, and there are only occasional times when they have become controversial.
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    Sep 11, 2010 1:58 AM GMT
    Being a former frat guy myself, I'd have to say that if it is something your truly want it could be an amazing experience to start a chapter from the ground up. My advice, check out the website and any other information you can about the national chapter (ie. Cardinal principals, motto, philanthropic pursuits). See if their views and principals match yours. Contrary to many peoples beliefs fraternity life can be very rewarding and is less about the parties than most people know, although there are always exceptions.

    As for the gay thing, it is probably a non-issue as far as the national body is concerned. Many major fraternities have very inclusive national policies. How they're enforced or ignored on the local level is a different story, but that's where you could be influential.
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    Sep 11, 2010 2:01 AM GMT
    Cutlass saidAre there gay fraternities at any American colleges? This might be a precedent, but I would try to be careful and consider all the pros and cons before proceeding. If you become a Greek letter fraternity and have a house, the house could be targeted by hate groups, and word of course would get around that it's a gay fraternity, and there might be problems. Maybe just a gay men's (or gay/lesbian/bi/trans) club on campus might be better fit since even some high schools now have them, and there are only occasional times when they have become controversial.

    There is at least one "gay" fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi. http://sites.dlp.org/sites/national/
  • cmom19

    Posts: 33

    Sep 11, 2010 2:30 AM GMT
    We started a new chapter here at U of M a few years ago, at which I was the first new member educator. If yours would be anything like our experience, you'll have a little guidance from alumni, but most of the decisions will be up to the starting group. We had to write all of our local bylaws and had a deadline to reach a certain number of members in order to charter. It's definitely stressful; plan on arguing with your buddies from time to time. My advice, however, is to go for it. You would be shaping traditions that guys will hopefully be using for years to come. I've made a lot of great friends, learned a lot, and got a great leadership role to use on resumes. Questions... I'll try to help if I can.
  • cmom19

    Posts: 33

    Sep 11, 2010 2:31 AM GMT
    Oh yeah- it's a social fraternity. I feel like that matters.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 11, 2010 2:35 AM GMT
    Awesome opportunity. I'd encourage you to do it. Make sure you get the necessary background and do whats necessary to become an "approved" campus organization as well. Not sure what your University would require, but I'd talk to the head of your student government organization, just to see if you are eligible for funds from them..... and to help talk up the group.
    Certainly see your campus paper as well.

    If you do proceed, make sure and have a "marketing plan", meaning, how to "sell" it to other guys on campus. What sort of a niche will it fit? Make sure you know what you are looking for... don't make it ambigious.
    Keep us informed, sounds great. I'd love it... but when I was in college, I was in a fraternity, but I also set up another organization myself. It was a "horse association". I loved it!
  • Cutlass

    Posts: 426

    Sep 12, 2010 3:59 AM GMT
    RudeMech, were you in a gay or straight fraternity? If you were in a straight fraternity, how did you fit in? What was its name? I would imagine it would be difficult to be a member of a straight fraternity because there are always exchanges with sororities, and you have to dance and pair up with the gals.
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    Sep 12, 2010 4:06 AM GMT
    I had a great experience as a fraternity member. I wasn't out then, but all my brothers have been very supportive since! Go for it!
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    Sep 12, 2010 4:08 AM GMT
    I was in a fraternity in college and it was a blast, although it was intense being in the closet in such a hyper-masculine environment. There were definitely closeted guys in the house and the rumor mill was crazy.

    The one thing about colonizing a new fraternity, however, is that the ones that colonized seemed way more accepting of a wide variety of brothers. They also seemed to put more emphasis on leadership, diversity and philanthropy than the established ones. The newly colonized houses always had openly gay members who could bring dates to their events.

    Ours, on the other hand, was much more focused on partying. There is no way an openly gay guy could have gotten a bid (although, like I said, there were definitely closeted gay brothers). But it sounds like you have the opportunity to create something that would be an accepting atmosphere. Go for it!
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    Sep 12, 2010 7:20 AM GMT
    cmom19 saidWe started a new chapter here at U of M a few years ago, at which I was the first new member educator.


    DLP new member educators unite! Beta Nu chapter representing icon_smile.gif
  • Moonraker

    Posts: 110

    Sep 12, 2010 7:26 AM GMT
    sounds really cool! What would your name be?

    Sigma Beta Phi?
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    Sep 12, 2010 7:49 AM GMT
    You have a very exciting and awesome opportunity. Once you decide that it's the right fit for you, it's one of the greatest experiences you can have. I was very fortunate to be able to join mid-way through the colonization process as a founding father for the chapter of the fraternity I was in back in 96/97 at Miami University in Oxford, OH. I was not out initially, but the initial group of guys that began the colonization/chartering process were very selective in the who they chose to be part of the founding fathers. They utilized the national hq and their designated rep extensively to get recruitment going. I was already part of a national service fraternity (co-ed) and the brother that recruited me was also a member, and felt I would be a good fit into this new fraternity that was purposefully focused on bringing together men that wanted to meet very high standards of personal development, building brotherhood, and a very strong focus on philanthropy. These elements sold me to accept their bid to join. The brother that recruited me became my big, and it was an amazing experience that was so influential in the way it shaped me as a person today.

    I did come out the following year after talking it over with my big, and even though I had a hard time to figure out how to do it, it was the best decision I made. Some guys had difficulty accepting aspects of it, but it turned out that I ostracized some of the guys because I didn't think they would accept it well enough, and I found out that what was important was the brotherhood and I was accepted. There were its difficult moments, not just the gay thing, but the different personalities that made up the group, but we stuck together and mutual respect for what we were all working to achieve. I also had the opportunity to be the first openly gay member and left literature and my "legacy" behind. I found out years later when I met one of the new brothers that it was the books, and the fact that I was openly gay that it allowed other guys to either be openly gay or to be welcomed with a bid no matter their sexual orientation. To hear that I left such a legacy is beyond words. I cannot guarantee that your experience will be like mine, but it is my hope that your involvement will leave a lasting and beneficial legacy in the lives of the brothers you'll get to know and the brothers that will come after you. I can't believe it is now over a decade that the chapter remains in existence and is strong with a house and an annex.

    So that this doesn't get any longer, email me or IM me if you'd like to talk more about my experience, even though it was years ago. I would be honored to share anything that can help. You can also access the Lambda 10 Project, which is focused on GLBT Greek issues and life (http://www.lambda10.org/) to get some input from others...I utilized this resource as I was coming out, and it was quite beneficial. All the best!
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    Sep 12, 2010 8:00 AM GMT
    Do It.

    Having been a founding member of something similar (a campus wide group at my University- we dont have fraternities here) it can open up doors personally and professionally that will last a life-time.

    Yes, it is alot of work but well worth it if your intentions are genuine. And you'll meet some awesome people.

    Don't listen to negative gits who are too insecure or jealous to support you. You'll find your supporters and they will find you. Follow your heart and be genuine and humble. Like others have pointed out, opportunities like these only knock once.

    Just my 2 cents icon_smile.gif

    Good luck!
  • kittar

    Posts: 314

    Sep 27, 2010 2:57 PM GMT
    Hey all.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. It really sounds like many guys on here had a very positive, formative experience in Greek life while at university. It is especially exciting for me to hear this, as I don't have much frame of reference outside of RJ regarding what it is to be gay and Greek.

    A few updates: It has been several weeks since my original post, and a lot has happened regarding the founding father opportunity.

    I met with the recruitment dude from the fraternity office, once, and once again, in order to really discuss what it would mean to be in the fraternity... What the fraternity stood for, how it's been undergoing changes nationwide in the past decade, how it is seeking to go against the status quo of today's typical fraternities... And then of course dues and the charter process, etc. I could really tell from meeting with him that the new chapter will be something different from what is on UK's campus right now... Much less emphasis on being a 'social club'-type organization, and more of a focus on actually developing its members into lifelong brothers and men of principle. I could tell this even more when I went to eat dinner with him, another recruiter, and 3 other students that they had been talking to. We had pizza and chatted this past Thursday night, and from that I could really tell that the others were really genuine, awesome guys that I would be excited to join with.

    I told the recruitment guy that I've been talking to that on decisions like these, I really like to take my time and make sure that I'm doing the right thing before I proceed. That's the stage I'm at right now.. Examining the pros and cons of joining and making sure I'm ready before I dive in. So far, the only thing that I can see getting in the way of this is my current involvement on campus.. I am a part of the leadership of a large org on campus, and am also an RA in one of the buildings. And as a bio major, I keep busy. I have made these concerns known to Mr. recruitment, and he has let me know that my involvement on campus may actually be an asset to getting this thing going.

    I am extremely excited about this opportunity. I could say I'm 75-80% certain that I am going to join the founding father class...

    Again, all of your advice has been beneficial! Please, guys, keep it coming. And feel free to shoot me a message. I'm up for hearing what you have to say about this!


    By the way, the fraternity is Beta Theta Pi. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 27, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    When I was a junior in college I was approached to be a founding father of the Delta Chi colony that was to begin forming. I saw nothing but opportunity, and immediately interviewed and and was accepted. There were about 50 of us who started the process, about 25 made it through to the end. It wasnt easy, but it was chatacter building...there was no hazing, we were the firsts, there was no one to haze us...but there were rituals, we were sent to a nearby school with a Delta Chi chapter and went through the rites to become a full fledged brother. Everything about forming the fraternity was positive, I made great friends, learned a lot about organization, and had a lot of fun and drinks along the way icon_smile.gif

    Well, one day early on when we were first getting to know each other, we had to sit around and do an exercise. We stood up one by one and told something about us that no one else knew, and we werent allowed to repeat anything said by one another, and everyones 'secret' had to be original. At this point in time I knew of at least one other gay guy in the fraternity (we had confided in each other, but hadnt told the guys yet), and we had our suspicions about 2 others....plus one of the older advisors was obvously gay....so we go around, and tell our secrets...and Matt was sitting two people away from me and he went first...brass balls...he stated his full name and said "Im gay...and dont worry, youre my brothers now, so thatd be incestual" ...he smiled, I snickered, a couple other guys laughed at his joke, he sat down, proud as can be. The session ended, and afterwards everyone took to Matt, embraced him, called him brother...it was really cool...I felt like I was in a good place.

    Fast forward a few months and Matt has to quit the frat because he had too much on his plate, Hes an Resident Advisor, in marching band, etc etc..hes busy!... so were at our first meeting without him and one of the Advisors from the main chapter of DX states Matt leaving and follows it with "Good, because we dont need fags representing us anyway" ... ... people sat there kinda shocked but didnt say anything. I sat there for a moment, stood up, and said...'well, then I guess you dont need me here then either, and Im sure theres a few others here right now who you dont need...fuck this." (I wish i had said more, I wish I had been more Norma Rae about it, but i was crushed at the time)....

    Up until that day, I loved it....and I should never had let one rotten apple spoil it for me, because you know what the kicker of it all is? The chapter of Delta Chi that I left behind, evolved pass that douche bag, and embraces differences...the guys who stayed behind who I had always thought were gay, were, and later, more gay guys joined, and so on...I should never have left...but I wear my heart on my sleeve....everything else about the fraternity experience was amazing...
    so honestly, having been there...I would do it if I were you...everyones experience is different, and you wont know yours until you do it.
  • kittar

    Posts: 314

    Oct 13, 2010 2:35 PM GMT
    Thanks guys for all your great advice and support. It has been really helpful getting a perspective from y'all that's not easy to come by here at my university.

    I'm proud to say that I am now a BΘΠ founding father at my university icon_biggrin.gif