What would baseball be without the Yankees? What would Batman be without the Joker? What would Greek row be without PIKE? Somebody has to be the evil empire. Somebody has to wear a visor and do curls on their roof as they catcall bi-sexual girls with cat Twitter avatars walking to class. Some people might say that those guys who make “frat guy” Tik Toks draw their inspiration from PIKEs; those people are absolutely correct. Truth be told, I think PIKEs are more self-aware than people give them credit for, which is kind of amazing for a group of guys that watched The Big Short one time and thought they could beat the system via Ethereum. The average PIKE intramural player claims they were a torn labrum away from pitching for the Cardinals and a healthy ankle away from playing for coach Cal. PIKEs are the most athletic fraternity, hands down. Drinking is SAE’s sport; Sports are PIKE’s sport.
Most PIKEs have access to their Dad’s boat, and the rest post pictures from their friend’s Dad’s boat. PIKEs are interesting because they can give you a thirty-five-minute spiel on the dangers of Red-Leaf pre-workout into your body and then turn around and buy Columbia’s best export from a guy whose Snapchat name is David devil-emoji. Speaking of Snapchat, that’s where most lines of communication run through with PIKE- and I respect that. PIKE “you up” messages disappear like pages about our country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia on the 9/11 commission report. PIKE brotherhood is not like a lot of other fraternities. Between the testosterone and amount of 5’9 guys that wish they weren’t, some chapters have weird caste system-like orders within them. Sort of like an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians with creatine poops. On the real, I know a lot of PIKEs, and I like a lot of PIKEs. The only reason I’m going at them this hard is because: 1. They can take a joke 2. They know who they are 3. They know they are arguably the best house in America.
You know when you start off playing 2k, and you can choose what skill sets you want your player to excel at, whether that be a playmaker, a three-point specialist, or a bruiser in the paint? There’s one option where you can balance all the abilities, and that’s exactly what Sigma Chi is. Sigma Chi isn’t trapping harder than Phi Psi, hitting the library as hard as Beta, and posting as many shirtless pictures on Instagram as PIKE. They are men of balance, often wearing New Balance. When I think of Sigma Chi, I think of a kid who starts off the night bragging about his internship at Deloitte and ends it with a public urination ticket and several missed calls from a girl he claims he’s not dating. Your average Sigma Chi might be better at failing drug tests than Casey Anthony is at disposing children, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one that fails all of his classes. Sigma Chi is the place where once good catholic school boys own illadelphs with insurance policies on them. These guys can recite a bible verse to you and then open a drawer with more points in it than a Capital One credit card commercial.
The only thing more awkward than the moment a light skin Sigma Chi learns that one of the founding members fought on the wrong side of the Civil War is when an underclassman takes a girl home who already knows where they keep their plates in the house. I can imagine dating a Sigma Chi is like watching the character arc of Michael Scott. At points, you want to rip his head off, but occasionally, he shows up to Pam’s art show, and you could shed a tear. Every Sigma Chi has a grandparent who wanted them to go to Notre Dame, and sometimes that weighs on them when they crack the last womp of the night at three in the morning. If you get a bid to Sigma Chi, expect to gain fifteen pounds honing in your dye abilities, a decent job in corporate real estate, and four years hanging out with great friends, in Hoc.
What do Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson, and Terry Bradshaw share? Yes, multiple wives, but more importantly, TKE. TKE is a lot like Wawa; it’s a great place to stumble in drunk, it’s prevalent on the East Coast, and if you knock on the right guy’s door, he might even present you with a secret menu. TKE has more chapters than the Klan in the ’60s, not clash, the bad clan. That being said, their chapters are relatively small. Apart from the Pac-12 and some Big-10 Schools, PCs can be twenty kids or less. If your school isn’t making the tournament, your TKE chapter will be roughly the size of an NFL team. Some might say this is a bad thing, but I disagree. It’s why you don’t really find a lot of the petty, vindictive girl drama at TKE. If there’s beef between two people, it gets handled Tyler Durden style in a sticky basement with asbestos.
I like TKE because they don’t have much pride, and that’s okay. The average TKE spends more time looking for the baggy that he dropped on the floor than he does flexing. TKE’s are the guys that you’d want to be dating your girlfriend’s best friend. He’s a good guy, but he doesn’t do too much. He doesn’t walk into a room expecting all the attention like a PIKE, but he doesn’t make you uncomfortable to be around like a Phi Kap. A TKE is just a kid that kind of sits there high scrolling on Tinder until his fingers cramp, then occasionally nudges you on the shoulder and goes yooo, check this girl out. It’s the Lamarcus Aldridge of Fraternities: is it an All-Star some years? Yeah. Does it do too many stimulants and have to sit out with a heart condition? Also yeah. Is it someone you’d want on your team? Yeah.
If fraternities were sports, SAE would be baseball: it’s full of rich history, guys that fail drug tests, and a whole lot of oral nicotine products. SAE is funny because South of the Mason-Dixon line, watching a slavery movie with an SAE would get awkward because they’d end up saying well, my Grandpa wasn’t that bad of a guy while up North, an SAE would scream GO DJANGO, THAT’S MY MF’in GUY. Southern SAE’s rail lines on boats, wear Chipper Jones jerseys, and date hot blonde girls that weigh one hundred pounds less than they do. Northern SAE’s are some of the funniest guys you’ll ever meet, drink any punch-like alcoholic substance like it’s water, and have one friend with a weird cult-like appreciation for 42Dugg. An average SAE GroupMe is more incriminating than Hunter Biden’s laptop. These guys can drink more beer than anybody you’ve ever met. Hands down, not even close. SAEs are either skinny with good bone structure and a relationship with their dealer that mirrors that of Tony Soprano and his therapist or rock a dad-bod with facial hair and a Spotify Daily Mix 1 that’s seventy percent Morgan Wallen.
If you ask a girl that likes SAE about them, she’d say they’re a little crazy, but they mean well, and if you asked a girl who doesn’t, she’d go on a Margaret Atwood-style rant that would bring her to tears. Are SAE’s the best humanitarians? Probably not. Are they incredibly fun to shoot whiskey with? Yes. SAEs ride or die for one another. If you have beef with one, you have beef with ninety. No matter what chapter, school, or walk of life they came from, all SAEs share one thing in common- a deep hatred for Kappa Sig. I have many friends who were SAEs from all over the place. They are good guys. Guys that you would have to explain to your girlfriend before she met them, but good guys nevertheless. If you get a bid from SAE, get ready for the best six years of your life.
Kappa Sigma is like a young Kevin Love: it’s white, it’s consistently good, and it’s moderately good-looking. When I think of Kappa Sig, I think of a kid in a roped hat looking anxious at his girlfriend’s birthday brunch because The Tampa Bay Rays lost him a five-leg parlay, and now he can’t afford to front the bill. Kappa Sigs are interesting because they can explain how and why the 2008 economic collapse occurred without missing a beat, but if you asked them to show you where the labia is, they’d be about as confused as Christopher Columbus when he landed in the Bahamas. These guys are from money, but they’re humble about it. They’re the type of guys that make a good impression on a girl’s Mom, who, of course, has no idea what’s in the baggy that’s currently on their dresser. If you have beef with one of them, you have beef with seventy of them. They are loyal guys who would like nothing more than getting into a fight in a Waffle House parking lot at 2:46 AM and recapping it the following day in hyperbolic details.
In all seriousness, they are a great house. Kappa Sigs are the kind of guys to Venmo a girl $25 the next day in the name of equality and possibly bring her to a formal where she’ll facetune what will end up being her most liked picture on Instagram. They might not be great everywhere because there are so many living members that they could make up almost half of Wyoming’s population, but in my experience, they throw good social events. They take intramural sports far less seriously than PIKE, yet still almost beat them; they know their way around a grill, and they always have drunk cigs on deck. If you get a bid from this house, get ready for at minimum one pregnancy scare, sclerosis in your early sixties, and an amazing four and a half years.
Sigma Phi Epsilon:
Look, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but somebody has to tell Sig Ep something: not all of you will end up being successful DJs. The world can only use so many DJs. I know the thought of JK Rowling face with Barack Obama’s daughter and Louis The Child is enticing, but the world needs some of you to be architects and accountants. That aside, Sig Ep is a good group of guys. Every Sig Ep could be the third contestant out on a reality dating TV show, girls love them, and they do a pretty good job with philanthropic endeavors beyond the small Colombian villages that they finance with their yeyo transactions. Sig Eps always has the funniest Asian kid you’ll meet in your life, and the organization does a great job instilling confidence in young men. Every Sig Ep I know is a lot like JR Smith. It doesn’t matter that they miss a few shots here and there; sometimes you’ll see them eurostep their way out of the bar with a girl that makes you say, for Pete’s sake, I didn’t even know that was possible.
When I think of Sig Ep, I think of a guy who looks like the bully football character on an Oxygen TV show, he’s dating a girl named Margo, but she spells it Margot (she’s got 3200 followers on Instagram), and making the finishing touches on his Kobe themed dye table. Do Sig Eps have the same amount of loyalty to one another as SAE or Kappa Sig? No. Do you ever hear a campus rumor that they are weird with girls? Also no. Sig Ep is where boys become men, and girls catch something that makes it burn a little when they pee. If you get a bid to Sig Ep, expect to learn a lot about Eastern European DJ culture, meet the best men at your wedding, and spend four years having a zyn in your mouth more frequently than you don’t.
ZBTs are the type of guys that leverage their bar mitzvah money into starting a sludge fund that gets made into a Netflix documentary after defrauding thousands of elderly people in the midwest out of their 401ks. The average ZBT could be at a post-game watching his friend Elijah DJ deep house music that sounds like a bad acid trip until 4:24 in the morning, then somehow get an eighty-eight on his midterm at 11 AM. ZBTs aren’t good dye players; they are great. They all either look like Chet Holmgren or Adam Friedland, and their champion hoodie collections are deeper than that one Brett Farve pass on the Vikings. ZBTs are known for having sick hair, driving MILF cars, and getting yelled at by their formal dates for skiing too much when the theme was beach weekend.
Is every chapter of ZBT good? No, just like any other big fraternity. The kids are quick-witted and smart, and they roll more frequently than the Armadillo. Can they put back as much beer as an SAE? Hell no. Do they share the same skin tone as Kristen Stewart? Yes. But they are a great fraternity that’s organized and knows how to throw good parties. ZBT gets things done, and that’s why girls like them. They have an aggressive social schedule, and each member’s Venmo is full of shady transactions that will be leveraged against them sometime down the line. ZBT gets my stamp of approval, except for that one kid in every chapter who’s still weirdly into sneaker culture.