The movies tend to make fraternity life look as though it’s nothing short of an excuse to party and get into all kinds of mischief, but there are some that offer up accurate depictions of fraternity life. One thing that a lot of movies don’t appear to want to show is that while fraternities are a brotherhood that can last with a person throughout the rest of their lives, they’re also something that tends to work on set rules that have to be followed in order to be kept within the fraternity. The drunken parties and nights of debauchery aren’t really what fraternities are about, but people are definitely under the impression that these are the kind of things that go on at these places. What prospective members need to realize is that you don’t get into a brotherhood by being a brainless, drunken lout that can play a sport or benefit the fraternity in some obscure way. There are still such things as standards.
Here are a few things that the movies get wrong about fraternity life.
5. The fraternity president is the most popular of the bunch. Not really.
Being the president of your fraternity isn’t a cakewalk as you see in the movies. It’s about more than just being popular and being the person that everyone likes and can come to with a problem. Those that do come to the president with a problem expect that person to solve it, and to attend several other duties that the fraternity president is expected to take care of, such as keeping up on current affairs, both in the college and in the organization, or taking care to make sure everyone is safe and is acting within the boundaries of the rules that are set down for every fraternity. A president is essentially a babysitter for young adults.
4. People can just walk into a frat party. Nope, unless you know a guy or a guy that knows a guy.
Frat parties aren’t like the local pub, not everyone is going to get in and people can’t just come waltzing in off the sidewalk. This is one of those duties that the president of the fraternity needs to attend to since a party is all well and good if it’s within the rules, but anything that goes down and creates a negative vibe or effect is the president’s responsibility. That means that anyone that attends a frat party better belong to the fraternity, or know someone that does. Even then, the person that’s not a part of the frat had better be invited, or it’s likely that they’ll be escorted to the door and beyond if they decide to invite themselves.
3. The dean holds all the power over the fraternities. Nope, they’re bureaucrats with some power, but not all.
There is some power in the dean’s office since they’re responsible for running the school and yet still, they have to follow legal channels when it comes to doing anything. If the dean doesn’t like what you’re doing but it’s still within the rules then they can’t do much, but if your organization tells you to stop, then it’s wise to take heed and knock it off since the organization the fraternity belongs to has absolute power over the frat. This is where fraternities can meet that famous spot between the rock and the hard place since between the dean and the organization that runs your frat, there’s little to no real independence.
2. There are no rules for hazing. Oh yes, there are.
It’s hard to know if hazing was once as brutal as it sounds considering that some folks that belong or belonged to a frat will tell you that hazing did go on, but it wasn’t as prevalent in every organization. But there are limits to which a frat can take the hazing since egregious bodily harm and humiliation isn’t the point of a fraternity. The people that are being hazed have to learn to trust their brothers after all, and any serious harm is going to develop a lot of massive trust issues later on down the line. So some hazing is to be expected when it comes to freshmen, but otherwise, pledges are guys that the older members are grooming to take over one day, not just potential victims.
1. It’s all alcohol and partying. If you want to get kicked out maybe.
There are parties, there’s no doubt of that, and there’s alcohol, depending on the fraternity, the college, and their current status. Frats on probation aren’t allowed to have alcohol more often than not, and any violation of this rule is going to make things worse on everyone since the punishment might include the whole house. It’s alright to party and have a good time, but college is for studying and advancing yourself in life as well, and while parties are fun, too much of a good thing can lead to very bad places sometimes.
Fraternities can be a plus in your life if you know how to follow the guidelines. Oh, and if you can pay your dues.