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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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The College Bucket List: 50 Things to do Before You Graduate

School is back in session for many colleges and universities across the country. Freshmen go in with wide-eyed wonder and seniors just want to get it over with. Meanwhile, alumni, like myself, become a bit nostalgic. While I wouldn’t want to go back to my demanding course schedule and bi-annual struggles with financial aid, I would love to go back for even a couple of days for a few of those key collegiate experiences, and even fill in the gaps with the ones I missed.

The beauty of the college experience is that it can be incredibly unifying. We’ve all had to scrape enough quarters together to wash a pair of jeans and probably even slept on a mysterious couch to ensure a safe arrival home the next day. And every school has their own set of unique traditions, like riding the Sooner Schooner at an OU football game, jumping in Mirror Lake at Ohio State, participating in CalTech‘s ditch day, or unleashing Northwestern‘s “the scream” on the Sunday morning before finals. You should take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way – no matter how ridiculous it may seem at the time.

Whether a freshman, sophomore, or fifth-year senior, we want you to have a classic college experience, and so we’ve put together our picks for a college student bucket list. You’ve got (at least) four years to accomplish the items on here, but you’ve got your entire life to conjure up the incredible memories that each item will no doubt deliver.

1. Live in the dorms.

2. Take a nap in the “quad”.

3. Order a pizza and eat the whole thing.

4. Stay up all night cramming for an exam.

5. Become friends with one professor. Read the rest of this entry »

University of Iowa Plans to Establish First Gay Fraternity on Campus

university of iowa logoThe University of Iowa has been working hard to establish a progressive attitude on its campus towards gays and it seems only logical that one step in the process would be to create a gay fraternity. So, that’s exactly what the school is considering doing.

“Current Greeks have talked about it and supportive,” said Kelly Jo Karnes, associate director of the university’s Center for Student Involvement & Leadership. “We have been feeling out other students who might be interested, and they have been really excited about the idea.”

Although the fraternity will not have a house on campus, it will serve as a way for gays on campus to get to know each other and form friendships in a niche community.

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Easy Halloween Drinks to Serve at Your Party

orange drink next to pumpkinPlanning on hosting a Halloween party but still not sure what drinks to serve? Listed below are simple Halloween-themed drink recipes that can all be measured with a single shot glass. All cocktails can be easily converted to yield larger servings.

Serve these drinks at your party, and you’ll show your friends you know how to serve more than a keg of Bud Light.

Witch’s Brew: Mix one shot of pineapple juice, one shot of cranberry juice, a double shot of 7 Up and one shot of Malibu coconut rum. Serve in chilled cocktail glasses or on the rocks.

Party Tip: Make a large quantity, and place in a witch’s cauldron. Serve it with dry ice.

Pumpkin Martini: Place one shot of pumpkin liqueur, one shot of vanilla vodka and one shot of apple cider into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well, and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Party Tip: Stick candy corns on tooth picks, and use this as a super-sweet garnish.

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Fun Date Party Ideas for the New School Year

If you are in a sorority or fraternity, then I bet there is one thing that you have sorely been missing this summer and can’t wait for school to start again so you can have it. What could I be talking about? Date parties!

If you are new to the Greek Life and haven’t got a clue what a date party is, let me fill you in. Date parties are usually themed parties hosted by a fraternity or sorority. Members of the fraternity of sorority get to a bring a date to these parties and the couples usually dress up according to the theme.

Although date parties are a lot of fun, sometimes it can be hard to think of a theme. If you are the party planner for your group, feel free to snag some of my ideas from below and then party the night away!

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Should the Drinking Age Be Lowered to 18?

Some press has been given lately to the topic of lowering the legal drinking age to 18. Anyone that has spent time on a typical college campus or been to a secret high school party has probably witnessed underage drinking, often to the point of binge drinking. The idea of lowering the drinking age has its supporters and critics as most issues do. Several colleges and universities have come out in support of lowering the drinking age. Of course some of the consequences of lowering the drinking age could be increase instances of DUI arrests and accidents, increased alcohol consumption and a possible increase of alcoholism.

Some of the positive viewpoints are that by lowering the age, you will have less overconsumption and fewer people breaking the law. People tend to find something more intriguing when they are told they can’t have it, and many underage drinkers consume alcohol in excess. No matter what your thoughts on lowering the drinking age, one additional thing to consider is how this could affect your education as a college student. If the drinking age is lowered and there is an increase in alcohol related injuries or even deaths will the college be held accountable if these things happen on campus?

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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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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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Top Sororities of 2010

The sorority culture in a year end review has been the source of numerous news stories. From the Fraternity and Sorority Concert Series to the sorority girls at Florida State University who fell victim to an online predator. It seems that because of these headlines and many more, sororities were heavily trafficked for online news and information. Here is a list of the most popular sororities of 2010 based on website traffic:

  1. Pi Beta Phi: Founded at Monmouth University in 1867 although its original name was I.C. Sorosis. Pi Beta Phi, also commonly known as Pi Phi’s symbols are the arrow, angel, and its colors are wine and silver blue. Pi Beta Phi was the first sorority to be a national organization.
  2. Alpha Chi Omega: Founded at DePauw University in 1885 and was first founded around the school of music. Commonly known as A Chi O, Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy is the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, which focuses on domestic violence awareness and prevention.
  3. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Fraternities of 2010

The fraternity culture in a year end review has been the source of numerous news stories. From the TBS premiering of the new fraternity inspired show Glory Daze to the anti-hazing Twitter campaign initiated by Sigma Nu. It seems that because of these headlines and many more, fraternities were heavily trafficked for online news and information. Here is a list of the most popular fraternities of 2010 based on website traffic:

1. Kappa Sigma: Kappa Sigma, also commonly referred to as Kappa Sig, was founded in 1869 at the University of Virginia. The founding fathers of Kappa Sig started the fraternity based on the traditions of the ancient order of Bologna, Italy and its colors are scarlet, white and emerald green.

2. Sigma Chi: Founded in 1855 on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the two official philanthropies for the Sigma Chi fraternity are the Children’s Miracle Network and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

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