Should You Go Greek? Here are 5 Reasons to Join a Fraternity and 5 Reasons to Stay Independent
A recent trend I’ve noticed in the Brommunity is an onslaught of talk about whether or not your status as a Bro hinges on whether or not you’re in a fraternity. Here’s the thing: It doesn’t. A Bro is a Bro and it’s as simple as that. I personally pledged a fraternity last semester, and consider it one of the best decisions of my life. Does that mean I hate on people who aren’t in fraternities and call them GDIs (God Damn Independents)? Fuck no. The rivalry between Greeks and Independents is as old as fraternities themselves, but nowadays it’s gotten increasingly petty and stupid. I didn’t join a fraternity because I “need to pay to have friends,” and (most) independents didn’t decide not to join one because they’re too much of losers to make friends. The right to choose for yourself is as American as Hulk Hogan singing country music in the back of a Chevy. Being a dick to another Bro because of a choice like this is poor Bro-etiquette plain and simple. That being said, here are five reasons to stay independent, followed by five reasons to go greek. Sound off in the comments about what you think I missed for both sides.
5 Reasons to Stay Independent:
What you call “earning your spot as a brother,” I call getting spanked in the ass by a dude. What you call “a team-building exercise,” I call holding your pledge brother’s dick (also known as an elephant walk). What you call “a sign of commitment,” I call being forced to pick up a meatball up with your a**hole. I understand that hazing is a tradition, and it’s cool to share the same common experience as all of your predecessors, but really? You’re gonna try to convince me that an elephant walk is cool? A little light hazing is fine and dandy — “Hey pledge, go get me a pack of gum and a receipt from the Gulf station 20 miles from here” — but the second you tell me to touch another guy’s dick is the second that you and I go our separate ways. This one doesn’t even need to be put to the jury in a “Bro or Not Bro” segment. Elephant Walk: not f*cking Bro. Also not Bro is the type of alcohol-pegged hazing that gets pledges killed and fraternities kicked off campus. Any hazing that involves entire handles of Aristocrat is not Bro.
2. No Fraternity Dues
Ahh yes, the source of the famous “I didn’t join a fraternity because I don’t have to pay for friends” defense. As weak and defensive as that is, staying independent and getting to avoid Fraternity dues is a blessing that cannot be understated. Dues can sometimes run over thousands of dollars, and having your treasurer hunt down the sc*mmy brothers who avoid paying them creates a real awkward situation. No Bro likes having debts he can’t pay, especially when the guy shaking you down for the cash is your brother. If you stay independent, you get to spend all of your money out at the bar, and ensure that your night will be an absolute shitshow. If you’re a Bro, you’ll probably also get invited to frat parties anyway and get to drink the beer that those dues helped pay for at no cost at all.
For some reason, some people in greek life use it as an excuse to act like high schoolers. Every frat needs to have a stereotype, and so does every sorority. College gossip sites like collegeacb.com bring out the worst in people, as they anonymously talk shit about other people, fraternities, and events. You wanna know what isn’t Bro at all? Talking shit about someone from behind the name “Anonymous.” If I have a problem with someone, I say it to their face. If I think a girl’s a sl*t, I say it to her face. You have to be some sort of p*ssy to go onto a website, write “Tommy Brown is a homo,” and then pat yourself on the back for talking shit about someone you don’t like. My Bros (who read the site every day for some reason) told me that some girl said something cool about me on the site, then asked if I would start reading it. Fuck no! For all I know, that could’ve been written by a 40-year-old man hoping to get into my pants. Nothing written from the name “Anonymous” holds any weight unless it’s a pearl of wisdom from at least 400 years ago.
4. Easier to Get Good Grades
Yeah, yeah, yeah, frat guys. I am well aware that at most schools, the average Greek GPA is higher than the average independent GPA. You know what else I know? My GPA would be much higher if I didn’t live in a modern day “Animal House.” The average independent GPA is weighed down by degenerate failures dropping out of school, as well as students working to overcome a language barrier. Without the constant distractions and commitments of being in a fraternity (none of which I’m complaining about by the way), getting straight As should be a relative breeze, and set you up for a good job leaving college.
5. Time for Other Extracurriculars
When I went to school, I wanted to be a sports writer more than anything. I knew how much it would help to get a job on the school paper, but between juggling classes and my fraternity, the paper just kind of got lost in the process. By staying independent you offer yourself so much more freedom and flexibility, enabling you to explore an extracurricular that you like. You can play a club sport, get a job and make some bank, etc. I’ve got a bunch of Bros who wanted to play a club sport when they got to college, but couldn’t keep themselves in proper shape or make enough practices once they joined a fraternity. The amount of time that your brotherhood consumes can be a blessing, but it can also be a curse — a curse that independents are fortunately free from.
Editor’s Bonus Reason: AG here with one last reason, which comes simply from my own experience as a college newspaper editor who covered my fair share of fraternities getting kicked off campus or suspended by nationals. These days, fraternities are under such fire from campus administrations that even insignificant infractions can be reason enough to get a fraternity essentially disbanded. And that sucks. You might say that a fraternity is a fraternity whether or not you’re recognized by the administration or nationals, but even if you stay together off campus, it’s not fun to lose housing, access to IFC funds, or chances to participate in legit greek events. It especially sucks when it happens the semester after you’ve gone through pledging.
On the next page, five reasons to join a frat…
Five Reasons to Join a Frat:
As a member of a Fraternity, I’d be remiss — not to mention in deep shit with my brothers — if I didn’t put brotherhood on top of this list. The word “Bro” is sometimes thrown around with reckless abandon, but if you’re in a legitimate fraternity, then you know what the word really means. Need a ride at 4 in the morning for a late night booty call? Your Bros got you. Need someone to spoon your puke out of the sink at the bar so you don’t get thrown out? Your Bros got you. Need to have your broken nose popped back into place after you drank too much and fell down a flight of stairs? You get my point. Fraternities provide support systems that can be
replicated outside of the Greek system, but nev
er really matched. They are shining examples of man-love at its finest, and as the years go on, you know you always have a group of Bros to fall back on.
2. Away Weekends/Formals
Fraternity formals are the one thing that even the most passionate advocates of independence are painfully jealous of. Twice a year, you and 70 of your Bros grab a sorority girl, pile up in a car with a bunch of cases, head out of town, then throw down as hard as humanly possible. Getting hammered and trashing a hotel (along with yelling at other hotel patrons who should mind their own f*cking business instead of telling you to quiet down) becomes just as much of an end-of-semester mainstay as finals week. The best part? Girls fully understand that when they accept an invitation to formal that they have to put out. It’s like wining and dining on steroids.
3. Alumni Networking
One of the best things about fraternities is that during the undergraduate experience, the concept of looking out for your future brothers as an alumni is shoved down your throat. That means, once you graduate and start looking for a job in the real world, you’ve got thousands of brothers in the work force willing to give you a shot. Wanna go into politics? Only two presidents since 1825 haven’t been in fraternities. Some 42% of all Senators went greek also. Wanna be a sports broadcaster? Turns out the president of Comcast was in your chapter and wants to have a face-to-face meeting with you. Get it? Garth Brooks may have made it sound cool to have friends in low places, but if you join a big national fraternity, then you’ve got friends in high places. Take my word for it, that’s a very good thing.
4. Fraternity Clothes/SWAG
There’s no better feeling than walking to class with your letters on, and catching a glance from a hot broad who looks like she would literally sell her soul to the devil to get into your pants because of it. Actually, I take that back, there is a better feeling than that. It’s throwing a shirt that says “Property of (insert your fraternity letters here)” on that same girl the next morning, and watching her walk back to her house with half the campus watching her. Fraternity clothing doesn’t just serve this practical purpose, though — it also looks awesome. Rush shirts with funny slogans and puns on them are essential gear, as are the SWAG shirts you get by taking part in Homecoming, Greek Week, and any sorority fundraising event. It’s no secret that Greeks are the best-dressed kids on campus, and this shit just cements it.
5. Sorority Girls
Does this one even need to be explained? And I know all of you independents out there are saying, “Hey I’m not in a frat, and I know loads of sorority girls!” But when you think about it, do you really? Sure, maybe a KD was in your group for the big science project, but do you really chill with a bunch of sorority girls? And it’s not you guys — it’s the system. Fraternities have socials, where 50 DTF sisters from one sorority come over at one time, to see who can blow the most brothers in one night. Does your apartment off campus even have room to fit that much hot ass? Sorority girls can be the shallowest of the shallow, and I’ve met some who openly admit that they won’t even talk to a guy who doesn’t have letters emblazoned across his chest. I don’t make the rules, guys, but I do play by them.