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4 Types of Legacies Every Fraternity Encounters

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This past week we had to blackball a triple legacy. Similar to playing wingman for a friend, you never quite want to do it, but for the greater good it sometimes just needs to happen.

We knew that the kid in question was somewhat off during rush, but sometimes pledging can make a man out of a young miscreant maladjusted idiot. Sometimes, in the alcohol-fueled, tedious, sleep-deprived darkness, an oddball can find the light. After all, it takes different temperaments, talents, and convictions, you know, as long as all of those traits fall within a specific spectrum of acceptability. Regardless, his dad and grandfather were both brothers so we gave the kid a shot.

Midway through pledging, though, we knew that we made a mistake. His social awkwardness to brothers was only rivaled by his creepiness toward girls. He was an atrocious pledge on top of it, even by pledge standards, and after weighing the pros and cons in chapter we gave him his marching papers and cut him loose.

You see, legacies are a fickle bunch. Some are pedigreed and perfect, a result of pre-collegiate diligence on the part of their active predecessor. Others, however, like the kid I mentioned, were somehow let down, lost along the track, their failure an equal reflection on themselves as much as their fraternal role model. As you look around your chapter or at your current crop of pledges, these are the legacies you’ll encounter.

1. The First Round Draft Pick

This legacy is exactly what a legacy should be. The First Round Draft Pick is the kid during rush that the other rushes think is a brother, but he would never claim to be himself. With just the right amount of confidence, this kid knows exactly what to say and do to brothers, knows how to talk to girls and goes home with actives after rush parties, gets liquored up but never too drunk to fuck or fight.

As a pledge, the #1 pick takes it with a grain of salt, doing what he’s supposed to without messing up and without being “broken” in the process. This is the kid who only gets yelled at for chuckling as he’s getting hazed because his dad or his older brother have already put him through much worse and he knows he’ll be on the other end of lineup soon enough. The first round draft pick is pedigreed perfection, and he’s going to run your chapter soon enough.

2. The Try Hard

This legacy, however, while quite similar to the First Round Draft Pick, simply does everything the wrong way. He’s the guy who actually tells people he’s an active brother when he’s just there for rush. He’s the guy who can’t drink without puking all over himself after shitting his pants because he wants to prove how “hard” he goes. He’s the guy who shows up to rush dressed in the standard fraternity attire, but taken to a ridiculous extreme. Not because that’s actually how he dresses or because it comes naturally, but because he read about it on TFM. He tells you “I’m a legacy” right away and then proceeds to not listen to anyone because he thinks he’s guaranteed. The try hard is completely over the top and rubs everyone the wrong way because of it.

All of the actives still want him to be a brother, but while this kid is pledging, he will be absolutely destroyed by everyone he annoys. So by everyone, basically. As a brother, he’ll be the one who puts down all of the rushes for being try hards themselves, completely missing any sense of irony. He will, however, be dedicated to the chapter because he loves nothing more than being “frat” and letting people know it, so look for him to wind up as house manager or social chair.

3. The Black Sheep

Whatever the Black Sheep’s predecessors lived for did not transfer to him through either nature or nurture. Perhaps he was purposefully shielded from the life or perhaps they tried in vain but failed. Now, his family is entrusting you with molding him in the very image that they couldn’t after 18 years. The Black Sheep’s dad or whomever told him to rush and told him to rush your house specifically, usually with a bribe or sheer force of will. Since the Black Sheep’s dad also pays the Black Sheep’s tuition, he reluctantly agreed.

If you give this kid a bid to placate him or his father, he will be miserable the entire time and make your chapter miserable in the process. Rushing a fraternity should be a choice, and pledges and brothers alike should genuinely want to be there. The Black Sheep won’t fit in, won’t want to fit in, won’t get along with his pledge brothers, and after the first semester of being a JI is going to simply fade away into oblivion, coming around for mandatory events if that. Don’t do it to him and don’t do it to yourself.

4. The Missing Link

Unlike the Black Sheep, the Missing Link genuinely wants to be a brother for one reason or another but just sucks too much for you to consider it for long. Like the creepy scumbag triple legacy mentioned above, if this kid is a cancer to your chapter he needs to be excised as well. Also, unlike the Black Sheep, there is always that chance you could train him and mold him to the very image his father or older brother would want because he genuinely wants to be improved.

The Missing Link isn’t an instant cut, but he will need to be watched throughout rush, shaped appropriately during pledging, and not allowed to regress if he actually becomes a brother. A properly altered Missing Link will show his gratitude and be a very dedicated brother, but very few Missing Links are able to be properly domesticated. More often than not, you’ll have to put him down. Otherwise, Missing Links spread, and as he gives bids to his weirdo friends, and they bid other creeps, eventually your entire chapter is overrun.


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I used to write for TFM and PGP when they were funny.

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