Four Common Misconceptions About Fraternities

College fraternities have gotten bad raps for having members who are just a bunch of rich, spoiled brats who only want to party. Because of this stigma many parents can be hesitant to allow their son to join a frat house. Unfortunately, the negative publicity fraternities have gotten from years past still persist today. Here are four of the most common misconceptions about fraternities.

Fraternity Misconception 1: Belonging to a Fraternity Requires a Large Commitment of Time

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While it is true that belonging to a fraternity necessitates a certain amount of dedication, the time commitment is not large enough to interfere with most other activities, including studying. A large portion of the time commitment needed to become a member of a fraternity comes during the pre-initiation or ‚Äúnew member‚Äù period, when new prospects are obligated to be present at ceremonies and meetings to learn about the fraternity‚Äôs values and history.  While most fraternities have a fairly active social calendar, all reputable fraternities have academic requirements that take precedent over all else, resulting in a higher overall GPA than the general student populations. Most all fraternities do not require members to be present at any affair or meeting that may conflict with educational requirements.

Fraternity Misconception 2: Unpleasant and Dangerous Hazing are Required

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Hazing is defined as forcing someone to do something that is physically or psychologically harmful, however hazing no longer takes place at college fraternities and gone are the days of the cruel and thoughtless pranks and punishment made famous by Hollywood frat-house movies. Fraternities have taken great pains to develop and put in place strict anti-hazing policies to rid hazing in all forms from all campuses nationwide. Today, any “initiation” policies and activities generally revolve around some time of campus or community service.

Fraternity Misconception 3: The Benefits of belonging to a Fraternity End at Graduation

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The reality is belonging to a fraternity offer lifelong benefits. Aside from the friendships developed between fraternity members, or “brothers,” fraternities provided members with valuable contacts outside the academic world. These contacts can be invaluable when it comes to building both social and professional networks after school that can help members secure employment.

Fraternity Misconception 4: Fraternities Promote Heavy Drinking and Drug Use

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While wild behavior is often a very real part of college life, most fraternities have come to discourage or have an outright ban on the “party till you drop attitude” of years past. In fact, both national and international fraternity organizations have spent millions of dollars in educational campaigns and programs to educate their members on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Because of the legal and ethical issues drinking and drug use often incurs, reputable fraternal organizations go out of their way to make it clear to prospective members that such behavior is frowned upon. Most fraternal organizations realize that educating their members on the ramifications of drugs and alcohol will not only create a safer organization, but help their members become productive citizens after graduation.

mike@teamexp.com