9 Myths About Fraternities, Debunked

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Through the years, the general public has come to accept some bad, and inaccurate, stereotypes about fraternities. Due to bad movies and the media only covering the negative stories about fraternities, many young men who go to college are scared away from rush. As a member of a fraternity, I am here to disprove some of the myths about our organizations.

1. You pay for friends by joining a fraternity.

True, you do have to pay dues, but the money goes to the upkeep of the house, to pay the chef, and to other administrative stuff. You also put money into a social fee or a pool of funds the fraternity draws from to throw parties, sort of like how GDIs pool money when buying kegs for their off campus house parties. Besides, you could pledge a fraternity and end up not liking any of your pledge brothers. Even GDIs pay for friends. Think about it–they pay tuition and dorm fees. Other school clubs are likely to have some sort of dues or social fund, too. They meet their friends in the classroom and the dorms most of the time, so essentially everyone in college “pays” for friends.

2. Dues are too expensive and fraternities are only for the rich.

Yes, you pay money to be in a fraternity, but many fraternities offer payment plans to make those payments manageable. Almost all fraternities have scholarships, and others allow a member to work in the kitchen or do yard work around the house in order to decrease dues. Furthermore, most of what you pay to a fraternity is for housing. It’s sort of like how half your “tuition” is actually for room and board. Believe it or not, dorms are very often more expensive to live in than a fraternity house. And don’t worry, you can use your student loans to pay for your fraternity housing just like you would for a dorm.

3. Your grades will suffer (especially during pledgeship).

Members in fraternities have a higher average GPA than non-members. Every day during your freshman year, study hours are required. Members in poor academic standing are also required to do study hours. Most fraternities have an academic chair whose sole purpose is to make sure everyone’s grades are doing just fine.

4. You waste money on alcohol.

Everyone who drinks alcohol wastes money on alcohol. People in fraternities just take their parties to the next level. Social fees may seem expensive, but assuming you attend a good amount of the parties your house throws, you will get every penny of that social fee back and then some.

5. Fraternity men do not help the community.

Totally false. There are these things called philanthropy events, and these events help the community in innumerable ways. Greek life members make up the largest volunteer network in the United States of America. Not only do fraternity men help the community, they help it significantly more than their GDI counterparts who stand around and bitch that frat guys are a detriment to the community, while offering little to no help of their own.

6. Fraternity men only wear Sperrys.

Fine, that one’s true.

7. Making it through pledgeship is painful and impossible.

Pledgeship will suck, yes, but the fraternity wants you to make it through, and the brothers will help you. Unfortunately, there are still some fraternities who take hazing way too seriously and end up really hurting someone. The amount of questions rushees ask me about hazing is huge, and my response is always, “If pledgeship was a bad as you say it is, I would have probably dropped.” Yes, a pledge can drop, so if he really cannot handle pledging, no active will stop him from leaving.

8. Fraternity men are ignorant.

The people who make this argument have probably never actually gotten to know a fraternity member. Meeting or observing one hammered brother doesn’t count, because you know who else is terrible when drunk? Most people.

9. Fraternity men think they’re better than you.

Fuck, I got nothing. When you throw a party and have hundreds of people show up, you’re surrounded by beautiful women, all the bar owners love you and give you discounts, you get better grades than most people, and you make the community you live in a better place, it’s hard not to feel at least a little superior. But sure, we could probably not be such dicks about it.

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