Nearly every fraternity has one. There is always that one brother who takes the call of collegiate excellence far beyond the typical four year route. Mind you, this is no mere “victory lap” 5th year student; the old guy surpasses this fairly common extension by at least threefold.
The old guy is an absolutely necessary factor to any house’s existence. His finesse for the ability to combine extra majors and minors to delay graduation is comparable to a concert pianist. His nickname is typically derived from some form of military technology (“The Tank,” “Howitzer,” and “The Hydrogen Bomb” are my personal favorites) most likely because of his drunken destructive behavior.
The old guy is always willing to pitch in his opinions about how your house “isn’t the same as it used to be.” While his opinions are valued as a brother, it can tend to become an annoyance when his stories continually start with “In my day…” like a nostalgic grandpa. Yes, we get that your hazing “makes today’s look like kindergarten.” I’m sure the summer of 2005 was just as good as you say it is, but that was before I could even drive.
The old guy can take many forms, and he is not restricted to the persona of a triple-redshirt 8th year slacker. While I’m not condoning bidding a Joseph “Blue” Pulaski of your own, at least it would make for a good story (despite the onslaught of creeped out girls that would follow). I’ve even heard of 30+ year old Marines in fraternities, and I doubt anyone could mentally incapacitate a pledge quite like a Marine.
Whatever form your “old guy” may take, he is a pivotal part to your fraternal experience. For one, you can always count on him to look lazier than you in comparison. You never know when that self esteem boost can come in handy. Also, more seriously, he is a good link between the traditions of your fraternity, and can judge things from a very wide perspective. Most problems your fraternity may come across, be it hazing allegations, massive inter-fraternal brawls, or even a kitchen grease fire, he’s probably seen it before. And don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll take every chance he gets to remind you.