The Fraternity Examined

I wanted to evaluate the stereotypes and rumors that go around regarding Fraternities. Typically, there are rumors about drinking, rape, drugs, and hazing. Immoderate life at its finest is the dominating belief about what goes on inside a “Frat” house on Greek Row. I am here to evaluate my experience in Greek life and to affirm or deny these stereotypes, evaluating what I have experienced in my Fraternity.

I am a freshman at the University of Arkansas and have just recently been initiated as a member into a house on campus. My experience has been absolutely amazing and I’m here to explain what actually happens on the inside, of course without revealing anything that I am not supposed to. I went through pledgeship, which people normally people think of in a certain way. Normally, they believe that I might have had to drink copious amounts of alcohol, resulting in an unhealthy lifestyle. Some might think that I might have had to do crawl across a football field naked, having to carry a grape in an inappropriate, and uncomfortable place. Others might imagine that I had to eat a mixture of cat feces and frosted flakes. I can assure you, these things DID NOT HAPPEN. My pledgeship consisted of devoting my time to my fraternity (ALL OF MY TIME). If I was asked to be there, I had to be there, regardless of the time (unless I had class or was at campus ministry or anything of that sort). I had to learn about the history of the fraternity, as well as learning about the members. But I was not “hazed.” I actually was a dry pledge, meaning that I did not drink the entire duration of pledgeship (this is because of my religious affiliation and I don’t think it right to drink in excess and under aged). I experience no pressure to drink at all. However, I was the only dry pledge. There is a decent amount of drinking. I cannot deny such a stereotype. Drinking exists within Fraternity life, and so do drugs. As with rape, there was no incidents of rape in my fraternity. There have been a few cases in other houses on my campus, but not mine. So this stereotype is not common among ALL fraternities. Sex is extremely common, and is even the norm. As a virgin who believes in abstaining till marriage, I am an outsider in that sense.

I have had a great experience. I was, directly after initiation, appointed to the position of Chaplain. This means I am to be the Christian voice of the chapter, encouraging involvement in church and campus ministries. I am also starting a Bible Study to be started this upcoming week to last for the entire semester. Yes, some aspects of fraternity life are not perfect. However, I have experience a true bond with the brothers I have been able to know. I have also been able to find a place to spread the word. Hopefully my work will work against the customs of sex, drugs, and drinking.

Don’t judge all fraternity life off of these stereotypes. Indeed they are stereotypes because they are sometimes true. However, I wear my letters proudly as a Christian, knowing fully that they are in no way against God or my beliefs, but they are actually a gift from God.

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