Greek Life: Not Just What You See in the News

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Greek Life: Not Just What You See in the News

Another day, another story about Greek-letter organizations doing things to reinforce every stereotype people have against them. What was it this time? The chapters of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Chi Omega sorority on the University of Pennsylvania campus held a mixer with a “gangsta” theme.

college party

The chapters are now, deservedly so, getting reamed for being culturally insensitive. This party led a columnist for Philadelphia Magazine to label UPenn students “shmucks” in a letter addressed to “Penn Kids.”

He wrote, “You’re not actually kids, after all: You’re adults. Maybe you were raised with too much “faux” ironic comedy racism in your pop culture to know the difference, but making fun of other races? Not actually cool. So grow up.”

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Yale Fraternity is Suspended for Sexist Chants

In October 2010, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale University marched their pledges through campus, chanting explicit phrases such as “No Means Yes” and phrases about various sexual acts, including necrophilia. Many of these chants were very discriminatory and demoralizing towards women. The fraternity was chastised for the event and chapter leaders apologized. Then, the fraternity’s national office demanded that the chapter not continue with any pledge activities for the rest of the year.

The members of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) probably thought this was the end of their punishment, but in May 2011, USA Today reported that Yale University had decided to ban the fraternity from recruiting new members or holding any activities on the school’s campus for five years. This will be quite a change for the school’s Greek life because DKE has been an active fraternity at Yale since it was founded there in 1855.

Yale officials claim that disciplining DKE by forbidding them from recruiting and holding activities on campus in order to protect “an educational environment free from harassment and intimidation.”

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Yale Fraternity Suspended for Sexual Harassment

“Hazing” is a word commonly associated with college fraternities. Fraternities have traditionally used embarrassing methods to harass and humiliate freshmen fraternity pledges in order to initiate new membership. In recent years awareness has been raised on this practice and sanctioned have been implemented by colleges to dismantle harassing techniques. Despite university efforts the practices continue. The Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Yale University has recently come under fire for inappropriate behavior related to hazing pledges. However, instead of harassing their own members this fraternity is being punished for the harassment of other students on campus.

The incidents in question took place in October 2010 on Yale campus. DKE members are reported to have yelled obscene chants at female students; such as “no means yes, yes means anal”. Members were also seen holding signs on campus reading “we love Yale sluts” and rating freshmen woman on attractiveness.

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Sigma Alpha Epsilon Expelled on Hazing Charges

SAE logoThe University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been expelled by the national Sigma Alpha Epsilon organization and U of M’s Interfraternity Council after accusations of hazing. The fraternity had been suspended since February after a parent emailed the university’s Office of Greek Life, reporting that pledges were forced to perform physical tests while having tennis balls thrown at them among other hazing tactics.

The national SAE organization announced that the University of Michigan chapter will continue to exist, but will be demoted to “colony” status. “The chapter is still suspended, but we’ve started work on a redevelopment plan with them,” said associate executive director of communications for the SAE national organization Brandon Weghorst. “The chapter will be classified as a colony, which means it will be like having a new group, and we will be starting from ground zero to make sure that they do everything that a chapter is supposed to do.”

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Debunking Greek Life Stereotypes

Greek LifeIt is often said about Greek Life that “from the outside looking in, you could never understand it, and from the inside looking out, we could never explain it.”

Well, here is my effort to explain and counter-argue some of the stereotypes plaguing fraternity and sororities across the nation.

Stereotype: Joining a Greek organization inhibits academic performance

Most fraternities and sororities consistently stay above the average grade point average of their college’s students. Also, at most campuses, notable public speakers are invited to discuss the importance of academic excellence, effective study habits and essentials to achieving scholastic success. Additionally, retreats are often offered for all undergraduate members along with numerous leadership conferences and conventions. Each chapter is also required to have a scholarship and new member education chairperson responsible for ensuring academic success, like study hour logging programs, academic accountability partners, and scholarship programs to aid in academic performance. Read the rest of this entry »



Greek Life: Fact or Fiction?

Greeks Don't Always Fit the Sterotype

Greeks Don't Always Fit the Sterotype

There are many myths about fraternities and sororities: All frat boys are jocks who drink too much. Sorority girls are spoiled little princesses who don’t know how to work.

These are not true! It’s not fair to stereotype such a large group of people.

The Greek system has millions of members across the country. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the most common myths and legends about Greek life.

Myth: Going Greek will lower my GPA.

Fact: Actually, that’s not necessarily true. Sure, Greeks do have a lot of social activities, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to study and your grades will fall. In fact, at many schools, Greek students have higher GPAs on average than non-Greek students.

Myth: You have to drink to be Greek.

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Top Frats for Producing Future CEOs

If you have your eyes set on becoming the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you might want to investigate joining a fraternity house. According to Forbes, one-quarter of all CEOs on the Forbes Super 500 list of America’s largest corporations were members of college fraternities.

charles schwab

Charles R. Schwab

So before considering joining a fraternity solely for its parties, take a look at ten of the top frat houses that produce some of the countries most successful CEOs.

Beta Chi

Charles R. Schwab, founder, chairman and CEO of Charles Schwab Corporation Retail Stock Brokerage

Gamma Upsilon

Don Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods

Delta Upsilon

Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree.com
John Thain, current CEO Merrill Lynch & Co., former president and COO of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and former CEO of NYSE
Chase Carey, president and CEO of DirectTV Read the rest of this entry »



Biggest Party Frat Houses

frat brothersWe have done our best to identify the fraternity houses best-known for their parties. We found three campuses that are home to three frats who know how to make a Saturday night memorable.

Beta Theta Pi and Alpha Tau Omega at DePauw University:  This small liberal arts college in Greencastle, Indiana sports one of the most active Greek communities in all colleges and universities across the country. With more than 70 percent of all students enrolled in a fraternity or sorority, it’s no wonder that DePauw ranks high when it comes to having quite the colorful frat parties. At the top of the list are Beta Theta Pi (Beta) and Alpha Tau Omega (ATO). To say these frat house weekend parties are popular amongst DU students is a gross understatement. Read the rest of this entry »





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