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'The Dark Power of Fraternities'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The Atlantic takes on college fraternities in a massive 15,000-word story:


    I haven't read it yet. I will. But in the meantime: I can't believe I used to put this shit on my resume.
  2. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    I read it last night and it made me want to retroactively not have children.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    What was your pledge name Dick? :D
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    In fairness (to myself), we weren't what you think of as a fraternity. We always had between 20-25 guys, and the vast majority of them had serious, steady girlfriends. There was certainly a drinking and drug (pot) culture in our house, to excess, but no violence or mistreatment of women. We had an issue with underage girls being in the house that the leadership had to deal with at one point.

    That said ... even in our small house, at our tiny college, things got really out of hand with alcohol, at times. It would have been no great surprise to see something very bad happen.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Over the years I've had family friends who's kids entire Freshman year
    of college was consumed by getting into the right frat. At least
    some schools have the sensible policy of not letting kids rush till
    their sophomore year which makes a lot more sense.

    I've also had some family friends who had their kids on school visits this year
    and they've all said that the colleges do not even mention frat life was part of
    their activities. It's like their embarrassed by it.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    We had rush the first week we arrived on campus. They changed that while I was there. But that was bad because it turned into six-month rush at our small school.

    Remarkably, the friends I chose that first week are friends for life now. Dumb luck, I guess. Also: Guys can pretty much get along with most other guys.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I can honestly say there was not one second of my college (or pre-college) career where I ever looked at a fraternity and thought that would be a good place to be.

    Now that I've read and heard more about it, the obsession with other male butts seems fairly unhealthy.
  8. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    Even if my school had fraternities, there's no way I would have joined, but I'm glad I picked a school that didn't have any.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It depends on the culture of the school, I think. At my school, almost every campus activity ran through the system. Plus, you're 18 years old, and this is what everyone is doing Week 1. I understand why - I'd be curious to know if participation has waned since they don't do it so early any more, once students have a chance to find their place without a formal social structure.

    I would guess that 75-80 percent of the men who lived on campus - i.e. non-commuters - were in fraternities at my school.

    It's odd, because I'm not really a joiner, like most journalists. I did at least end up in the least frat-like frat on campus. World's tallest midget, though.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but at the time at least, my school (Mizzou) was I think the most Greek university in the country by percentage.

    Just held no appeal for me whatsoever. And the people I know who did join, some of the hazing stuff they told me about was ... weird. Very weird.
  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Awfully deep read. My eyes crossed. But it does show how the game is played. And it surprises, I guess, that hazing is such a low percentage of frat-related crime.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This is true. But my school had a high percentage - like 80 percent - Greek participation, and only 900 students total.

    So at a place like Mizzou or Illinois, which have high Greek participation rates, there are still at least a few thousand that are not. That wasn't the case where I went. I honestly can think of very few guys I would have hung out with that were not fraternity members. They were either athletes or non-social types.
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