People who wish to join typically participate in activities which take place over the course of a week at the start of a semester. Since most colleges with a fraternity system have multiple fraternities, these events usually take place during the same week at all fraternities, allowing people to explore all their options. This period is known as rush week. After rush week, current members of the fraternity decide which members should be voted in. Traditionally, new pledges participate in an initiation ceremony which has historically been accompanied by hazing challenges.
Due to concerns about the risks of hazing challenges which involve dangerous activities and drinking, many colleges have explicitly banned hazing in the interest of student safety. Some colleges have also cracked down on fraternity parties in response to complaints from other students and the surrounding community. Membership in a fraternity can confer many advantages. It is not uncommon for fraternities to maintain living quarters and private clubs which are only open to their members. Special scholarships may be available, and fraternity membership can be used for networking which will be valuable later in life. Many people also enjoy the brotherhood which comes with fraternity membership.
From Internet (researches)
The old understanding was that it was typical for a fraternity to be all-men group while sorority was all-women group. However, there is such thing as a sister sorority or a brother fraternity. While in theory they are separate organizations, but in practice they are one. They believe in the same principles. They practice the same tradition and they have the same mission, vision and methods of work. As such, there is a good reason to combine the fraternity and sorority to unify the organizations. However, long time ago, there were already fraternities who accepted female members who were highly qualified to the standards of the fraternity. This happened in Ž£AE at Central Mindanao University, Musuan Bukidon, Philippines in 1966. This resulted to a mixed-sex organization. Then in the later years, there were merging of the brother-sister organizations. But in some cases, the sorority is absorbed by the fraternity rather than merged, thus retaining the name of the latter. There are practices in the fraternity/sororities that only the members are privileged of participating and/or enjoying them.
These practices are traditions that the organizations are maintaining which are generally symbolic in nature but are closely guarded with exclusivity. In addition to the calling of brod or sis, there are the passwords, songs, special/exclusive handshakes, tattoos, motto, use of badge or pin, frat sticker, or even a frat whistle, colors, flag, flowers, or seal. It has a motto to express the ideals of the fraternity or sorority. They are very significant to the organization. They remind them of their pledge of allegiance to the brethren. Some Greek-letter organizations have acquired juridical personality to conform to local legal jurisprudence. This had widened the perspectives of the organizations to engage and/or participate in some public endeavors requiring permits and/or licenses. For example, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Philippines is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under Registration No. CN200429554.
In a simple language one joins a fraternity/sorority because he/she believes it is good for him/her, and he/she likes to be one of its members. Virtually, common sense will tell us that we would only voluntarily join an organization if it is beneficial to us. And if we do not like the members of that organization we would not also voluntarily join, more so if new entrants would suffer in the process of joining like initiation and hazing. The North-American Inter fraternity Council (NAIFC) as posted in the internet suggested to see some of the ways Greek life can positively influence your college career and the rest of your life. The first way is to be successful in life which means wanting to do well academically, to graduate on time and find a good job, and to have mentors and friends to help me develop as a student and as a person.
This is possible because fraternities/sororities stress academic excellence and many alumni members can help job placement. The second way where your life can be influenced positively according to NAIFC is to be a better person. This means wanting to be a leader, to work effectively and to confront inappropriate behavior, to learn to interact socially, and to be a responsible person among other things. The third way is to form lifelong friendship. This means wanting to find a close-knit of friends helping one another with common values and interest. When I started college in 1962 I was a loner, even introvert, and had never been involved in extra-curricular activities. Then I joined a fraternity in 1966, and I became a campus figure. The fourth way where your life can be influenced positively according to NAIFC is to have fun in college.
This means wanting to participate in campus events, to have stress relieving activities, and meet new people doing new things. Before I joined a fraternity, student life was really boring. All studies without play. I was good in academics but very poor in politics. I was very poor in leadership and human relations. After I joined a fraternity I became the president of two major campus organizations, the News Editor of the school organ, the Editor-in-Chief of the Annual Yearbook, and was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Internal and External Information of the Executive Branch of the Student Body Organization. In addition to the foregoing report of NAIFC, Cesar Gonzales, a Daily Titan Staff Writer in his article posted at the Internet on December 11, 2009 corroborated the same by saying that. Being in a fraternity builds friendship and character.
Rightly said; in fact this is a familiar statement one will hear when someone is asked why he/she joined a fraternity or sorority. But his idea that one joined a fraternity to get the entire college experience and to have fun and meet new people to be able to live the college life needs further explanation. I quite agree with the idea but I have some reservations. In fact the members that I met for the first time became my brothers and sisters; not just friends. But fraternity work is not all for fun. It is possible that Greek-letter organizations vary in objectives, mission, vision, and methods of work. But Im certain that many fraternities/sororities consider membership a lifetime commitment of building a wholesome family characterized by love and unity. Loving is not always for fun. Most often than not, it is denying oneself in order to perform service.
Loving someone is accepting a responsibility. Anyway, once youre a member of a fraternity/sorority, you are expected to participate in many events like meetings, conferences, seminars and other time consuming commitments. And there are of these organizations that conduct group studies and review for term examination. Of course there are fun-related activities like parties, picnics, excursions or sports. But always the purpose is getting to know you. In some ways, being a fraternity or sorority member is more like of choosing a lifestyle than just for leisure. To be a good member one has to be willing and available for these events. But many people have the wrong notion that fraternity or sorority life is all about partying. So unfortunately, negative stereotypes about fraternity/sorority life are abundant and fellow students, even friends will judge you cruelly because of your membership. This is therefore a real challenge to Greek-letter organizations to prove otherwise.
There are fraternities/sororities that academic achievement among other things is a serious concern. Their attitudes towards studying and meeting high scholastic records are very positive. So, when you have this kind of fraternity/sorority, the impression that joining these organizations would eat up your time and result to the neglect of your studies is not at all a sweeping statement. In fact most fraternities/sororities I knew require that those who would enter pledging must have no failing grades. The advantages of joining a fraternity or sorority was also emphasized by Harlan Cohen in his article Greek Life posted on September 24, 2007 that there are opportunities for leadership once you join this kind of organization. He said that so much of Greek life is about achievement and leadership and the students who make up the largest percentage of leaders on campuses are Greeks.
I agree with all of these. I will disclose latter that all of the founding members of my fraternity occupied top ranking elected and appointed positions in the student body organization and were leaders in civic and social organizations in the campus. But Cohen on the other hand also enumerated the disadvantages in joining a fraternity/sorority. One is time commitment that competes with study time that the students grades may suffer. This contradicts to the objective of academic excellence of a fraternity/sorority. Cohen further said that another disadvantage of joining a fraternity/sorority is money, pointing out that there can be an awful lot of incidental expenses. Actually, this is not true to all fraternities. In my fraternity and sister sorority, our financial obligation was only one peso per week.
Then, Cohen also said that there is also that danger of exposing oneself to temptations of sex and alcohol. This is possible, but the truth is lack of morality and indulging to vices can happen to anybody; member or not member to these organizations. It depends on the person. Maybe bad company, or poor family upbringing, or lack of prayers can be one of the causes. But it is not generally correct to attribute the misfortune to the fraternity or sorority. Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your son or daughter will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority chapter will help make the transition easier. Developing lifelong friendships with the members in their chapter helps make the campus seem smaller. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy/community service.
These ideals form the foundation of the fraternity and sorority experience, and are upheld within a culture of support and growth through academic support programs, leadership training and hands-on experience, educational workshops, social events and projects for community service and philanthropy. In my case I co-founded Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity-Philippines to establish support system among engineering students in order to finish the course on time and pass successfully the Board Examination. In addition to our concern for high academic performance, we also wanted to learn leadership in campus organizations and other extra-curricular activities.
And since I didnt like the practices of the existing fraternity in the campus, we decided to form a new fraternity that will carry out our beliefs, inspirations and ideals. So the issue of expenses, time for studying, alcoholism, or even getting involve with the opposite sex were never a concern in the organization. It was earlier mentioned that membership to these organizations is lifetime. Hence, after graduation the alumni members carry with them the rights and benefits of membership.
Thats why in her article posted in the website October 16, 2006 entitled Greek Life: Advantages, Naomi Rockler Gladen said that When youre looking for a job a few years from now, your skill set often is not as important as your connections. This is unfortunate, but its a reality. Greek membership is a great way to connect with people, both in your pledge class and through members who have graduated and joined the working world. I know of a prestigious private corporation in Manila, Philippines that is owned by a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon where all the employees; supervisors and rank-and-files belong to the same fraternity.