I'm not talkin' about the "here are the frats, they benefit the community" gloss-over that I got on the campus tour; I'm talkin' about the real deal. Tell me everything you've heard or have experienced first-hand.
I'm not sure whether I'll pledge because I'm not sure what to expect. Hopefully you guys will be able to help me make an informed decision.
You won't rush and have to decide to pledge until January. Spend first semester partying with friends at various fraternities, but keep the houses that you like in the back of your mind. Towards the end of first semester, contact the houses that you think you might want to rush/join and ask them if it'd be alright to come to dinner; most will more-than-willingly have you. I decided to rush - mainly to see friends, party, and get away from home - and ultimately found a house that was chill, had really nice brothers, and was a perfect fit.
I was looking for a really thorough breakdown. What's the difference between "rushing" and "pledging?" Are some fraternities hard to get into or something? Do you necessary live in the frat house? I know my cousins are in a sorority but they live in their own apartment off-campus.
Rush = the week before second semester begins; for fraternities, this week consists of daily "smokers" in which you will go around to various houses, meet the brothers, and partake in a few activities (sports, planned day trips, etc). Parties and more planned activities go on nightly. During my rush week, I went paintballing in Corning, clubbing/gambling in Syracuse, and snowboarding at Greek Peak. As you narrow down your choices, you go to fewer and fewer "smokers" and gradually get invited to more selective events. You'll receive a bid/bids (a formal invitation to join a given fraternity) by the end of rush week.
Pledging = member education once you've signed a bid. Varies in intensity from fraternity house to fraternity house. Pledging is heavy on time-honored tradition, and there's a lot of bonding to be done and history to be learned. You'll be assigned a "big brother" to look after you during the entire process. Pledging ends with Initiation (again, varies in intensity), in which you will go from a pledge to a full-on brother. This happens sometime after Spring Break, usually - depends on the fraternity.
i live in the middle of frats, and all I can say is that I hear strange noises coming out of them spring semester. Sounds of screaming goats. And chanting. And screaming freshmen. And then bottles breaking. At 6 am.
greek life is amazing. definitely try out as many frats during the fall semester and narrow your choices down during rush in january. as for the level of difficulty during pledging, it depends on what fraternity you join. some are very time consuming, some are very "hellish", and some are both, and some don't haze at all (which in my opinion is kind of boring ... but thats just me).
Hazing can mean a lot of different things to different people. Give examples when using the term. Besides, doesn't Cornell have a website where people can anonymously report hazing incidents? And won't the school take action? I thought I read something about this in the Sun not too long ago.