Should I Join a Frat?

Q: Should I join a fraternity at college?

A: It depends what kind of person you are and what type of college experience you are looking for.

Once you answer these questions honestly, you will have a good idea of what kind of fraternity will work for you.

The main benefit of Greek life is that it gives you an instant big group to be a part of. If being a part of a group is important to you at this stage of your life, a frat can be a good way to go. It is a great way to meet a lot of people quickly and get involved in campus life.

To find out what frats are all about, you should plan to a few rush events. The rush process is when sororities and fraternities put on elaborate parties and fun events to attract new members.

Remember that the rush parties are temporary and once the rush process is over the fraternity might not be as much fun. During rush, they are working hard to sell you on the experience. So expect to be treated very well, just remember that these guys are trying to sell you something.

During rush, it is also very important to be yourself. The frat brothers should experience the real you so that you can get an idea whether or not you will get along in the house. Also, be sure to talk to some of the brothers one-on-one. Ask them what a typical weekend is like. Are they a studious group? Are they wild partiers? Find out. If they do not want to talk about it, that is a bad sign.

The fraternity rush process is usually pretty mellow and less formal than the sorority rush process. It is mostly about hanging out and seeing if you mesh well with the other brothers.

Once the rush period is over, you may be offered a bid or a pledge pin. At this point, you may choose to accept or not to accept the invitation to join.

Potential Fraternity Problems

Hazing of Pledges: Hazing does happen. It is usually not a problem, but it can be dangerous if a pledge is put in physical danger or forced to participate in activities that case mental stress. Pledges may be subjected to whippings, forced exercise, alcohol consumption, or brutal treatment. This type of treatment is illegal and should not be tolerated. Basically, do not do it and do not let it be done to you. Stand up for yourself or report the fraternity anonymously by calling 1 (888) NOT-HAZE.

Losing Your Identity to the Group: It is often great to be part of a larger group, but for some people the group can take over their own identity. Do not let your fraternity define who you are. Instead put your unique stamp on the fraternity. Be yourself.

Feeling Cut Off from Other Students: It is possible to be become isolated in the fraternity system and cut off from other parts of campus life. Try to stay open to meeting many different types of people on campus.

Peer Pressure: Students in fraternities and sororities do tend to drink and party more than average college students, but you do not have to do anything you do not want to. When it comes to sex, drugs, alcohol, and parties, you need to draw the line so that you are comfortable.