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different type of frat question

lexafro69lexafro69 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited March 2009 in Kenyon College
so i know frats through lots of parties, and going out at night is almost always going to be linked with frats. My question is more specific, about actually joining frats, as well as the type of people who join them.

i think the fiske book says that about 27% of guys are in frats. what type of people usually join these frats. As the majority of kids aren't in frats, are frats considered elite havens for "cool" kids, or is joining them considered sort of lame?

are there any social disadvantages that make themselves apparent if one doesn't want to join a frat?

these questions may seem a little superficial, but as i absolutely adore kenyon but abhor the forced relationships that i think frats press upon their members.. i really am quite curious.

thx <3
Post edited by lexafro69 on

Replies to: different type of frat question

  • MolBioAce06MolBioAce06 Registered User Posts: 306 Member
    You can just be friends with all the frat guys and not join one...works out well. Also, there are many non frat parties at various apartments if you get to know a few older students. As per elite, there are a few frats that sort of fit that category and a few that don't. There are those who think frats are lame, and those who think they are cool, either way it was hard to avoid them if you were into the lounge party scene. I really don't know the status of parties at Kenyon, as the administration and security always seem to be messing with things. Hopefully a current student can comment...
  • kenyonstud09kenyonstud09 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Before you read this: I am a current Kenyon student (senior for 08-09 school year) and a fraternity member!! Thus, I think greek life at kenyon is great. But that is, of course, my opinion.

    No, Fraternities are not seen as havens for the elite, at all. The guys in my particular fraternity, and I am sure we are not the only one, often admit that when we came to kenyon, we had no intentions of joining a fraternity. But here we are now.

    Today, there is a general discord between the fraternity members who do not hang out with independents, and vice versa. The two groups do not perceive each other accurately. Those independents who do take the time to hang out with greeks, and vice versa, seem to live the most effective lives at kenyon -- that is, you get the best of both worlds.

    Being in a fraternity is, no matter where you are, somewhat of an exclusive process in one way or another. But the mere fact that 80% of fraternity parties -- if not more -- are open to the whole campus takes away a lot of that feeling of exclusivity. However, when Greeks or a Greek screws up, it tends to be a bigger deal. Fraternities and Sororities tend to be more watched than other groups on campus, and thus they must strive harder to uphold their good reputations, which most Greek groups do effectively, in my opinion.

    Any freshman dude can ask to join -- bid to pledge-- a fraternity in the early weeks of second semester. Fraternities return these bids after a couple days, thus letting the individuals know whether they have been accepted. Generally, if you bid, you will be accepted into that group's pledging process. Certainly, there are occasions when an individual is not accepted, but let me tell you this honestly, coming from a fraternity member who has engaged in these discussions with his group, as well as with members of other groups: an individual is not declined without proper reason. Nevertheless, the perception of Fraternity's is generally shaped by what people *think* happens, rather than what they know.

    You are not socially disadvantaged by not joining a Fraternity. In fact, you are more likely to be advantaged socially in a number of ways. Fraternities/Sororities/Archons and Peeps put up probably about 75% of the parties on campus, and you can attend all of them (usually) without being a member. All you have to do is show up. If you're a member, then you become responsible for those parties. Making sure everyone is safe, is dancing, is not hungry or thirsty, and that the party goes off without a hitch. I hope you see what I am getting at.

    If you are an admitted student, make an effort to hang out with the Fraternities on campus, and find out for yourself!! That is really your best option. There are 7 Fraternities on campus, and none of them are the same. Some cater to particular sports teams, but not entirely. You will see for yourself. But please, don't judge us without knowing us, and also... try to refrain from the word "frat," we find it derogatory.

    Best of luck to you!
  • Riceward!Riceward! Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    You will hit the lounge parties during the first semester of your freshman year. These parties tend to be unfun. By the second semester of your freshman year, you will have met juniors/seniors who live in apartments and throw excellent parties.

    All professors hate fraternities. If your professor knows you're in a frat (and they do know), he will assume that you're not serious about your academic work... which, if the idea of joining a fraternity appealed to you, is probably the case.
  • KCalum2003KCalum2003 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Shame on you Riceward! for still believing in and promoting stereotypes about Greeks. I had plenty of friends at Kenyon who were in fraternities, and they were not only serious about their academic work - they were some of the brightest guys I knew. My best friend, a "frat boy", graduated summa cum laude with high honors in his major. Yes, you'll find some slackers at Kenyon - but they're just as present in the independent student body as they are in the Greek organizations.

    lexafro69, one of the great things about a school like Kenyon is that students who don't go Greek can have just as active of a social life as Greek students do. I didn't go Greek, and I had a blast.
  • mjmommjmom Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    My son is a fraternity member at KC. He is very happy there. From what I feel, he thinks it is about friendship and moral values, not about drinking. This year he didn't come home for summer break but last year he was around all the time and we didn't notice troublesome changes in his behavior or in his habits.
    I think he cares about academics, so do his brothers. Many of them are on the merit list. About professors, I don't know... His favorite professor doesn't like fraternities. So what? She didn't put him a lesser grade just because of his membership!
    Kenyon wasn't the right choice for Riceward and his/her discontent is visible in everything (s)he posted. But obviously there are a lot of kids who have balanced, happy and successful four years on The Hill. Some of them are fraternity members, some aren't.
  • MolBioAce06MolBioAce06 Registered User Posts: 306 Member
    What frat is your son in? "Moral values" ??? I agree with the friendship vibe and maybe that he doesn't drink much or at all, but I don't know of one Kenyon fraternity concerned with morality unless a new chapter has started in the last year.

    As for the posting about the use of "frat" being derogatory, was that an attempt at humor? I find it hilarious that you post under the name kenyonstud and expect anyone to take such a statement seriously. I'm guessing you are a Beta or PsiU? Also, the stereotypical "frat boy" does exist at Kenyon, though by no means does it apply to a large majority of the fraternity members. I mainly use the term frat as it is shorter and easier to write than fraternity. I use frat boy to poke fun at or mock one's behavior and attitude.

    In general it is true that professors frown on greek life, avoid letting them find out at all costs unless your organization has a good name on campus or you know for sure that they are not anti frat (or you work hard and get As).
  • Riceward!Riceward! Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    MolBioAce knows what's up.

    Whenever a hung-over, besuited pledge falls asleep in the classroom (which inevitably occurs during Hell Week) the professor glares at him and takes note.

    If it were up to the faculty, every college/university would be Greekless. The fraternity (with the exception of those dedicated to a particular academic discipline, of which there is only one at Kenyon) is an elitist, anti-intellectual institution.

    Many who chose Kenyon do so, at least in part, because it is NOT heavily fraternal.


    I don't dislike Kenyon, not in the least. In fact, I'd wager that it's a good deal better than many more highly regarded schools. An entering freshman can graduate an educated person--no small achievement. I'm very glad to have spent some time in Gambier. I left because I was ready to specialize, and I needed a school with a fatter course catalogue.
  • kenyonstud09kenyonstud09 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member

    My username is a contraction of kenyon student, class of 2009. it has nothing to do with being a stud. I am neither a psi u, nor a beta.

    I have a lot of great relationships with my professors. lucky for me, they are not as judgmental as riceward would have you believe. they, like most human beings, seek to get to know the individual.

    i must admit that i am unsurprised by the responses here. even those posts here defending fraternities are reserved, at best. fraternities do instill good moral values, hard as that may be to believe, as well as offering a type of friendship that not everyone finds, but also that not everyone seeks.

    not all professors hate fraternities, that is a blatant lie. many do, i am sure, but like I just said, they prefer to get to know students on an individual basis. my fraternity holds two formal student-faculty formal get-togethers, which are always well attended.

    Thank you, KCalum, for highlighting a point a made in my last post: as bad as fraternities and fraternity members may present themselves from time to time (I don't think that I said that the "frat boy" doesnt exist at kenyon), they are so misunderstood by the non-Greek population, that they suffer terribly.

    It is really rough sometimes taking the time to organize 30-40 guys to go and do community service two weekends a month, and then to still be frowned upon by most of the student population.

    The point of this website is to inform prospective students, or curious minds, about the atmosphere of kenyon. The kind of generalization that you can see on this very page is what we strive to avoid at kenyon. I understand, unfortunately, where it comes from. I do not want to say that all the fraternities at kenyon are stellar role models. that is not true. but some of them are, and the only way for a prospective student to find out is to go and meet those people him/herself.

    Fraternities are not elitist or anti-intellectual. My fraternity sponsors a cash prize for a professor nominated by a student for excellence in teaching. we hold a freshman literary competition, and for a long time were host to the Kenyon Literary Society. More than half of my brothers are not able to pay dues, and as such are sponsored by alumni members or active brothers.

    Please, do not generalize. By doing that, you only increase the unnecessary rift between Greek and non-Greek.
  • MolBioAce06MolBioAce06 Registered User Posts: 306 Member
    So you are an AD, one of the nicer groups of guys on campus. However, again, trying to say your fraternity upholds morality is rediculous. I spent many hours with the ADs and no amount of community service can make up for the amount of chaos and debaucery they cause on the weekends with the Bullseye and lodge. I lived in Old Kenyon for 3 years because I loved that, and I would say most Kenyon students have been to one or both Bullseyes at some point.

    Frats will always be frowned upon by some members of the campus, there is no way to avoid that. You have to understand that non-Greeks either like or dislike the frats and it is going to be that way no matter how much "good" you do. It is true the ADs are like the PhiKapps in not being elitist.

    I don't really have anything more to say. It is cool that your group does some nice things for campus and sponsors academic pusuits. However, you are still a frat and a fairly traditional one at that. Just being better than the Dekes, PsiU, and Delts doesn't make you angels :)
  • MolBioAce06MolBioAce06 Registered User Posts: 306 Member
    Just to clarify: I enjoyed my time at Kenyon immensely and the fraternities added to that experience. Also, sorry for the spelling errors in my previous post...that's what I get for trying to do a quick post at work.
  • kenyonstud09kenyonstud09 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I can't argue, really. It is true, that at a fraternity party, you will never see any moral values being upheld, except in rare instances. but that's not what parties are for, anyway! but friendship is still a huge part of them, and I think that's what it's all about, if you're cool with it. of course, it is also possible to attain that kind of friendship without ever joining a fraternity or any group.

    it really is a subjective question, i guess. that's why I want to stress to lexafro69: don't totally avoid the fraternities, but don't spend all your time with them either. try and get the whole picture!
  • ExOHExOH Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    My D was an Archon (always sounded like someone from Star Trek, to me...). Seemed like a good group for socializing and doing community/university service w/o the whole greek thing. Just a thought.

    I wonder if frats release info on per cent of members graduating with honors, etc. to compare with general student population.
  • MolBioAce06MolBioAce06 Registered User Posts: 306 Member
    I was also an Archon....good times.
  • ChelseaMorningChelseaMorning Registered User Posts: 42 Junior Member
    so i'm a prospective kenyon student and i'm into greek life...how are the sororities?
  • dreamer121dreamer121 Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    i had the same question about sororities. whats the deal?
This discussion has been closed.