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Greek Life

DukeRMDukeRM Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
edited March 2010 in Duke University
I will be a freshman at Duke in the fall. I want to rush but I don't really know much of anything about Duke's Greek Life. What do you know about individual fraternities at Duke? What are the different reputations of the frats? Thanks!
Post edited by DukeRM on

Replies to: Greek Life

  • ProspectusProspectus Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    I also got the same question, and when does rushing begin?
  • DukeRMDukeRM Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I am pretty sure they start rush within the next couple of weeks. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  • mafoolmafool Registered User Posts: 6,453 Senior Member
    You will have plenty of time to figure this out for yourselves in the fall. Really. That is one of the benefits of not having rush first term.
  • KOConnor10KOConnor10 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I agree with mafool, I'll be a freshman and am in the same boat. Definitely planning on joining a frat because its my scene of choice and it sounds like the social scene is rather exclusive for those not involved. My current understanding is that freshman hit parties all fall term to decide which, if any, frats fit their needs, and then rush accordingly (sounds like fall is going to be an absolute BLAST xD)
  • eatsaloteatsalot Registered User Posts: 1,465 Senior Member
    and it sounds like the social scene is rather exclusive for those not involved.

    Not true. The majority (and then some) of people at Duke are not affiliated with a fraternity or sorority.
  • duke500duke500 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    It is rather exclusive for those not involved. This has nothing to do with the percentage of kids in fraternities or sororities.
  • mfedermanmfederman Registered User Posts: 350 Member
    I plan on rushing at Duke, but I would like to hear some opinions on the individual frats. What are the reputations of each frat?
  • ht2791ht2791 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Official rush begins in January after winter break (Spring rush)
  • paperbear21paperbear21 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    first semester is honestly kind of random, if you are a guy, you won't be invited to a lot of the good parties thrown by top tier frats until later in the semester. For the first several months, there is always an open party thrown by the mid to low tier frats though.

    Second semester is much more fun with mixers, date functions, if you go greek.

    Greek is about 20-30% of campus but it definitely dominates the social life, because they are the only ones throwing the parties. Otherwise, you can bake cookies, play cards, and watch movies on weekends if that's what you are into.

    Frat rankings-
    First Tier (all about equal):
    Delta Sig- ragers/frat stars
    Alpha Delta Phi- northern boarding/private school elite, laxers
    Kappa Alpha Order- "southern" gentlemen which at duke means they study more and preppy
    Sig Nu- guidos/jews/long island
    Kappa Sig- alternative/european/rave

    Second Tier (don't know much about them, in descending order):
    the rest
  • mfedermanmfederman Registered User Posts: 350 Member
    Thank you! That is really helpful!
    Any advice / insight on the rush process?
  • DSKauffmanDSKauffman User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1 New Member
    Here is some real talk:

    First off, you need to bear in mind that DS (Delta Sig) is probably the consensus #1 frat in the school. Some may argue, but you'll find that typically that's because they are absolutely, certifiably 100% bonkers and loony (DS Karim, 2001). KS is #2, and the others follow (SN, etc.). It might surprise some of you to hear that Sig Nu is not #1, since they have a festival called "Sigma Nuclear" marked by the erection of a 15-foot missile-phallus outside the section entrance.

    Second, because current applicants will matriculate in Fall 2010, you will be in the class of 2014. That means that one predestined fraternity member will be the ZOOF, which means "zero one, one four", as in the #01 fraternity guy in the class of 2014, which is, to put it mildly, no mean feat. As an example, see Sidley Austin LLP - Our People - Colin Garry. He was ZOZO. That's right, the #01 frat guy in the class of 2001.

    Third, my main advice is not to stress out about frat life at this stage. The cream will rise to the top come rush season. To the extent you want to maximize your chances of being the cream-of-the-crop, here are some pointers on what you should work on:
    -- be white;
    -- develop either (a) an aggressively misogynistic attitude toward women or (b) an ability to (x) pretend as if you have an aggressively misogynistic attitude toward women and (y) maintain the facade throughout all your interactions with your friends for four years;
    -- play lacrosse or, if you do not play lacrosse, grow shaggy white guy hair;
    -- build up a strong tolerance for alcohol, recreational drugs, and drunken blows to the face and body;
    -- either (a) ask your parents to buy you an SUV before you matriculate or (b) encourage your parents to earn more money so that they can purchase you an SUV before you matriculate; and
    -- don't attend Duke basketball games unless you have non-student tickets provided by a friend's father (it helps if friend is white and has shaggy hair or mohawky-type hair).
  • LightzoutLightzout Registered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    kind of out of topic, but how are minorities welcomed in the frat scene(especially african americans and hispanics)? For example, i've heard that the Darthmouth frat scene is very welcoming of minorities and that they dont have any issues with it. Contrastingly, i have a friend at Ole Miss...and yea, you can get where im going with this.
  • KPTKPT Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    I can't tell if Kauffman's post is a joke or not. As a current student, I will admit that there are...these types of kids....at Duke. They're everywhere, so don't let that tarnish your opinion of the school. Second, I will agree that "Greek life dominates the social scene" but this needs to be qualified significantly. Greek life dominates the binge-drinking, drugs, and promiscuous one-night-stand social scene on campus. If that is your scene, and for some people it is, then yes, you will feel excluded if you do not join a frat or sorority. At the same time, most Greeks on campus fully immerse themselves in Greek life -- they don't know about other social opportunities because A) they're not involved in the organizations that host them and B) they're not open to them. Most "alternative" social opportunities are hosted by groups that do throw open parties. They are quiet in the sense that only people that are members of the group know about them (ie an extracurricular group throwing a party for members of that extracurricular group). Frats dominate the OPEN social scene, but there is a completely separate side to Duke's social setting that most people do not recognize because it is not publicized. If you are involved in groups on campus, involved in Duke as a community, you will find absolutely no shortage of social events. And by social events, I do not mean playing Jenga in your dorm room. You will find plenty of parties, probably not the "raging" ones like frats host, but enjoyable nonetheless. In my personal opinion, raging parties are often ways that frats assert superiority by having a ton of people go -- they're not exactly designed for the partygoers to have the best time.

    Now, if it isn't evident, I am not a member of Duke's Greek scene, and for me, Spring semester has been better than Fall. I went to many of the open frat parties last semester, the raging ones where anyone on campus can walk in and grab a beer, and I have found the smaller ones to suit me more. It's a personal preference, and combined with some other reasons, I decided to not join a frat after rushing and making it through to the end of all three rounds. It was by no means social suicide like some members of Greek life would like you to believe (and trust me, its only the Greeks that are saying it is). If you do not want to go Greek for whatever reason, don't. If you do, then by all means. My point is that there are a ton of social opportunities on campus, and Greek life does not lay claim to all of them. Frats and sororities only dominate Duke if you believe they do. I never submitted to that, and my experiences have taught me that they don't.

    The unhappiest people here are the ones that admire frats and sororities so much that they stop wanting to become a part of anything else. And when they don't get bids to the group that they want, they're stuck without any sort of community to turn to. These people feel excluded. These are the people that didn't take advantage of Duke's true social scene. These are the people who complain and tell you that you need to be in a frat or you won't survive your 4 years. These are the people that didn't try.
  • eatsaloteatsalot Registered User Posts: 1,465 Senior Member
    Very nicely thought out and accurate post, KPT. Nice :)

    On the same token though, I still hang out with my friends who did go Greek even though I am not affiliated with a frat myself. So it's not like you're gonna exclude yourself from one group if you don't go Greek. Mosttt of my friends aren't affiliated with a Greek group though.. (but that just may be because the numbers themselves aren't that high).
  • KPTKPT Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Eatsalot, I agree completely. I have many friends who went Greek and being in a frat or sorority has done nothing to weaken our relationships. What it really comes down to is if you're compatible with someone, you'll both make an effort to stay close even if you're doing other things. If not, you probably wouldn't stay friends no matter what group they joined.

    Also, I'd like to add one thing that I think is important for prospective students to know. When Duke puts out a number and says that roughly 30 percent of students participate in Greek life, they are strictly speaking of Greek life. Something unique to Duke is that we have other non-Greek groups on campus which comprise a significant portion of the Duke community. Don't ask me for numbers because I don't know them, but SLGs (selective living groups) are very sizable and probably adds a significant percentage to the total number of students who participate in a communal residential experience. They provide similar residential opportunities to Greek life, namely a community of like-minded people who you spend much of your time with, however they are more diverse and much more flexible because they do not adhere to the rules of a national organization. This has allowed Duke to create groups specifically focused on things like the residential aspect of an SLG or doing community service or academics or promoting multicultural life. The focus is not on pledge tasks, rituals, and whatnot, but rather the living experience. That is not to say that Greek life doesn't provide a worthwhile experience in of itself - frats and sororities participate in community service etc etc - but it is very different from what the SLGs offer and comes down to what you want out of your tuition dollars.

    My point with all this is that just because you don't go Greek doesn't mean that you're isolated. Independents, those who are not in Greek life or an SLG, have a harder time finding social opportunities, but again they are not excluded from them. I am a member of an SLG which hosts events every weekend, and even if there was no formal event planned, you can always go to the common room and find something to do, truly any day of the week. These events are strictly for members of the SLG, and so no one else on campus would know about them. It becomes very easy to see then how someone could mistakenly say that Greek life dominated the entire Duke social scene, when really, it comes down to which events are publicized and which ones are not. Even if I wasn't in an SLG, there are dance clubs that have huge events every weekend, and you don't need to be a part of any organization whatsoever to go and have a good time. Many groups also host nighttime events like Jazz shows, Salsa dancing, and sports games, which receive relatively little publicity but are still available to every student and have very positive reviews from the people who attend.

    In my parting words, being social at Duke is about being involved in the Duke community. It is not about which frat or SLG you decided to join or not to join. If you decide to come to Duke, please don't be deterred by the Greek rhetoric that you have to join a frat or sorority. Some of my best friends made that choice and they are very happy, but at the same time, I made a different one, and I have never regretted it.
This discussion has been closed.