Should I join a fraternity?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 5:37 AM GMT
    So I'm attending West Virginia University and I went to a frat party last night. While i was there I was introduced to some of the members of the fraternity that threw the party. Well long story short they recommended that i should rush there brotherhood. I'm skeptical because I've heard some of the stories about how they go about hazing the new recruits and I can honestly say I'm nervous. But i really want to be apart of a fraternity.

    Need help.. Is it worth
    it?
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Aug 22, 2011 6:11 AM GMT
    Only if theyre attractive.

    The gay frat here has lots to be desired.....
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    Aug 22, 2011 11:05 AM GMT
    I definitely thought it was worth it. 20+ years later and some of those guys are still among my closest friends. I was closeted in school, but everyone knows now. I haven't had a single bad comment from any of them since coming out. I've even taken my partner back to Homecoming with me. Nobody seemed to mind at all.

    We didn't have much in the way of hazing though. I wouldn't put up with much of that. I do blame them for my jockstrap fetish though. icon_smile.gif

    My suggestion is to shop around. Not all fraternities are the same. Find one full of people you actually like and want to be friends with, rather than the ones you think are hottest or party the best.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 12:47 PM GMT
    I had an experience similar to strapguy.

    It was Probably one of the best things I've done in my life and even though I've been out of undergrad for several years now, it still is a part of my life. It was such a pivotal time for me that I want to make sure that others can have that personal growth.

    My Brothers know about my predilections and have also met my guy. All of them are fine with us (even the older ones).

    Definitely shop around to see which one fits you the best. Ask yourself if you can see spending the rest of your college years with these guys. Do they haze? Most, if not all, have an anti-hazing policy but there are some chapters that don't follow it. Get to know as many of the brothers as possible to try to make the most informed decision you can.

    Good luck and have fun!
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 22, 2011 12:57 PM GMT
    I had a great time in my fraternity when I was in college! We had some
    challenges with Rush... but all went well and still very close with some of my bros.

    I understand your concerns. I'd try and get some information about the group with your campus organizational organization... not sure if it would be Student Council or some group that can give you some unbiased information about the group and something about their history. Talking to current members won't give you the background you may want in making a good decision.

    I would also make sure to spend some time with some of the members and make sure you are comfortable with them. It may or may not be a good fit for you. Good luck!
  • tgrissom0312

    Posts: 91

    Aug 22, 2011 1:00 PM GMT
    I got my first great-paying job right out of college thanks to Fraternity connections. My 2 greatest friends are guys that I were all active at the same time. (active vs. alumni). I'm even godfather to one of their kids.

    I agree that you should shop around. Find out how much involvement the active chapter has with their alumni. That's were the real connections come in right after college. I made it a point to make friends with guys out of school. In fact, I spent more time with the 30-40 year old alumni than I did with my college peers.

    Overall, I had a great fraternity experience but its not for everybody.

    Rush SIGMA NU! ;-)
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Aug 22, 2011 1:08 PM GMT
    I honestly think it's just paying for friends. Also, you will instantly gain the "douchebag" reputation.
  • MagillaNectar

    Posts: 72

    Aug 22, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    I was in a fraternity so let me list the pros/cons.

    Pros:

    - Made some awesome friends
    - Every weekend, there was a party for me to go to
    - Met really cool people (not friends but friends of friends)
    - Opened up my mind (I did a complete 180 with most/all of my prejudices)
    - I learned to be more confident when challenging a mob mentality (in large group meetings (like 30-40 people), sometimes an idea takes hold and when you think it's a bad idea you have to stand up)
    - Did some awesome things - general activities like playing sports I've never played, experiencing new music, and so on
    - Learning to work in a team environment (fraternity councils, etc.)
    - networking connections
    - become more efficient at handling schoolwork and partying (or it may go badly, sink or swim)

    Cons:
    - Large socially competitive mentality (I noticed a bunch of the guys would rip on other people to make themselves feel cooler and this actually worked with the more insecure people - this gets frustrating to deal with) but not everyone has this
    - You may feel like these are your only friends - never get stuck only in the fraternity, it can be isolating
    - expensive

    My fraternity was non-hazing. They made us do some stuff but it was all productive (like studying the history of the fraternity, throwing a philanthropic event, etc.). There was no, "I'm better than you" hazing which is the only reason I considered it in the first place.

    Edit: So many people will judge you for being in a fraternity. This sucks as it's incredibly small minded and prejudice but fuck them. I'm not friends with those people.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    Every fraternity is different and even chapters of the same fraternity can vary widely campus to campus. Chances are whatever you think about them is dead wrong. Get to the brothers first, ask them what their values are and how closely they actually stick to them, think about it, then decide.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 3:42 PM GMT
    You can meet great guys and douchebags, just like....well, everywhere. Any hazing will be pretty mild at best. It's a good way to make connections both in school and after it, and they all have a solid service component.
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    Aug 22, 2011 3:51 PM GMT
    i joined one from NPHC... and it was a lot of fun. but be careful it can deter you from a lot. You have to make sure thats what you want.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 3:54 PM GMT
    i think its dumb, its only for weak people
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:31 PM GMT
    I went to WVU and was part of the greek community. Personally, I found it to be quite a cohesive group, but the Morgantown Greek system is atypical in the sense that GDI's and Greeks intermingle almost seamlessly.

    The hazing component is simply a rite of passage and a team building exercise. There aren't brandings, beatings, or publicly humiliating ordeals. And, for what it's worth, EVERYONE in the university system has subjected themselves to the initiation ritutuals...EVERYONE; fraternities, sororities, team clubs, and student organizations all of them have some sort of ritual associated with them. Don't let that deter you from joining.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    was one of the best decisions i've ever made, i'm still close with a lot of those guys, many of them are my best friends, but don't do it for the parties. ask a few questions, such as are most of the guys cool, are there ppl that interest you, are they actually doing something with their lives, the strongest fraternities have a very tight brotherhood, start askin questions, do they have a pledgeship? ideally this isnt a time for them to get their rocks off hazing you but a time for you to really get to know your pledge bros, these are ppl you will prolly stay in touch w/ for the rest of your life, ask some questions, do they have a pledgeship, how long is it? is it a local or national fraternity? how many active members in this chapter? nationwide? what about philanthropy and intramural sports, does everyone seem to have a lot of pride, that sort of we are the shit attitude (thats a good thing) if these guys cant rattle off at least the the creed, founding date, and founding fathers, w/ their eyes closed, i'd b skeptical. the bottom line is what do you really have to lose, you also gotta ask how much does it cost, it shouldnt break the bank. all in all i think it's a really good idea, just make sure that the guys there and wat they stand for kina fit w/ you

    hit me up for any questions man, i'm still an active alumni in my fraternity. an would be happy ta help u w/ it
  • crownroyal117

    Posts: 42

    Aug 22, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    fraternity.jpg

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:56 PM GMT
    I joined a frat because it was the opposite of gay people. No one cared about furniture or decorations, people yelled at each other on a daily basis, shit was thrown against walls, people were overly masculine and full of protein bars, and people liked to fight. It was great.
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    At first I rushed for the experience, then I found Sigma Alpha Epsilon. They were all very nice and seemed different from your average fraternity. Yeah they still partied and did some stupid stuff, but they were a bunch of cool people. When I decided to pledge, on the very first night I came out to them. They were shocked, but very supportive; I haven't had anyone complain about my orientation at any point.

    Hazing and homophobia are still certainly issues to be worried about, but keep in mind that if they don't treat you with respect then they're not the kind of people you want to call your "brother." Hazing is illegal, and at least then you can get them into a lot of trouble if they do haze you ;)
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    Aug 22, 2011 5:00 PM GMT
    JakeBenson saidI joined a frat because it was the opposite of gay people. No one cared about furniture or decorations, people yelled at each other on a daily basis, shit was thrown against walls, people were overly masculine and full of protein bars, and people liked to fight. It was great.


    ... -.- what a violent fraternity...
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    Aug 22, 2011 5:05 PM GMT
    _Mohamed_ said
    JakeBenson saidI joined a frat because it was the opposite of gay people. No one cared about furniture or decorations, people yelled at each other on a daily basis, shit was thrown against walls, people were overly masculine and full of protein bars, and people liked to fight. It was great.


    ... -.- what a violent fraternity...


    It was actually less violent compared to others. We had the highest frat GPA at 3.5 =) Much better than living with a group of gays.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 5:06 PM GMT
    as to the comments about buying your friends, i guess in some instances this could b true, but in our chapter the rent, dues and pledge fees were all reintroduced back into the chapter. the $$$ for things such as paying the utility bills, paying tha mortgage, throwing all those wild parties that ev eryone always talks about, where do you think it comes from. also theres the general housing supplies such as light bulbs toilet paper, cleaning supplies and maybe a new stove for the kitchen or a flat screen for the basement. another large cost is insurance this is typically an enormous expense and these are all things ppl rarely think of, so i guess instead of thinking of it as buying your friends think of it as more helping to keep a place for you and you brothers to go and hang out.
  • ATXnative

    Posts: 240

    Aug 22, 2011 5:09 PM GMT
    It has some ups, but it will pretty much consume your social life... and if you want a bunch of straight guys as friends you are going to lie to for a number of years and then come out to down the road then that's you. I can't stand douche bags, and I hate hiding who I am, I was never really interested.
  • smudgedude

    Posts: 260

    Aug 22, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    as long as you think they're genuine, sure, go for it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 22, 2011 5:20 PM GMT
    This may sound harsh.

    The only thing I've equated to paying dues for a greek organization is buying a prostitute. If you are that desperate and lonely to make friends go for it.
  • awm55

    Posts: 619

    Aug 22, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    I have heard horror stories and great things about frats. I am not sadistic enough to haze someone, nor stupid or desperate enough to let myself get hazed. Every one is different, definitely do research.
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Aug 22, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    It all depends on how the Greek systems are at your school. Each fraternity has great chapters at some schools, and then there are less than stellar chapters at other schools. I was initially set against joining a fraternity, but after some of some outstanding men I knew joined one, I ended up joining one since it was very different from the stereotype I knew.

    The basic idea is awesome though. I interacted with a ton of people so different from myself that I wouldn't have otherwise, and it really helped me grow as a person. I learned so much from all my brothers, even the ones I didn't agree with, or weren't best friends with. Hands down the most valuable experience I had in undergrad, and the most fun as well! I also was friends with two other gay men in my chapter. Super fun, we grew very close through our years together as well.

    My fraternity was a bit different though. We were the most involved and had the highest GPA on campus and were very well liked by the administration and the student body. A whole ton of really smart, ambitious, and awesome young men who really supported each other individually and as an organization.

    These were the guys who mentored me and helped me in my application process to graduate school. These are going to be the guys at my big fat gay wedding, and my funeral. It's a totally unique experience.