You’ve seen Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds and Old School and you are also about to go to college. What a convenient set of circumstances for this article and its author, yours truly! Although you are still unsure about the major that could determine how you spend the rest of your adult life, you know beyond a benefit of a doubt that you want to spend the next four years of your life in the Greek System a.k.a. a Frat. Informed and educated exclusively from Hollywood’s version of frat-life reality you look forward to alcohol-fuelled shenanigans, an endless supply of willing sexual partners and brotherhood for life. Listen shmuck, none or that is real, this is the real side of Fraternities.
Usually, frats screen their ‘pledges’ very stringently looking for characteristics that will appropriately fit their house. Even in the fictional world where marshmallows grow on trees and people can drink alcohol for hours and not end up at the hospital getting their stomach pumped, frats are pretty homogeneously white and preppy. Its Lacoste shirts, khaki shorts and yachting shoes for as far as the eye can see. Yup, I said it. Here’s some evidence, University of Texas frat Phi Gamma Delta released an internal memo that banned Mexicans, inter-racial dating and fagetry (which is apparently some hick’s way of saying to homosexuality). This is on the heels of another scandal involving the same frat that actually attacked a family of Mexicans in their van because they thought the family was homeless. At the University of Oklahoma, the Frat Sigma Alpha Epsilon chanted a racial rhyme that mentioned hanging African Americans while they were on a bus returning from a football game. For those keeping score at home that’s not just exclusivity, it’s also flat out racism.
Frats and Sororities ‘hazing’
Most frat and sorority movies feature some sort of hazing. It’s usually a comedic scene were a senior ‘brother’, or ‘sister’ uses a paddle to beat the pledge’s buttocks. That happens too, but most times it gets much, much darker. Pledges are subjected to both emotional and physical torture during the initiation process into the Greek System. Some pledges testify that they had to perform an ‘elephant walk’ (a line of men were the person in back holds on to the preceding person’s penis through his legs, like elephants walking holding each other’s tails) completely nude while the entire house drinks and cheers. A letter written to hazingprevention.org claims that a pledge was given the option to penetrate herself with a sex toy in front of her ‘sisters’ or do a line of cocaine. In another case the punishment for losing a trivia based drinking game was being violated with a Sharpie marker, a knife, a hammer or a sex toy. There have even been dozens of hazing-related deaths in the United States since 2000. Most involve alcohol poisoning, but the most shocking cases resulted in death by heat stroke, drowning, cardiac arrest due to heavy exercise and water intoxication.
Due to the encouragement of alcohol abuse the Greek system is often the convergent point for sexual misconduct, sometimes the misconduct becomes criminal. Several sexual assaults and rapes have taken place primarily during parties at numerous fraternities and sororities across the United States. Luckily many of them resulted in the suspension of the institution they took place in.
Have you experienced any of these things, tarnishing the shiny Hollywood take on on-campus debauchery? Let me know in the comment section below.