Fraternities Essay, Research Paper
On the October of 1996, members of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Texas University traveled to a ranch north of their school to commence the annual initiation of their new pledges. Jonathan Culpepper a leader of their university clan poured a can of beer on John Warren a freshman pledge, and ordered him to do push ups while Culpepper sat on his back. He then pulled up viciously on his underwear, this eventuating two days later in one of his testicles being removed.
This story is only one of many documented behind the scene incidents that occurs during a Fraternity initiation. You may have already guessed that the topic for my speech today is Fraternities. I will explore fraternity lifestyle, why students decide to join these organizations and present what happens within a fraternity.
The definition of fraternity is ?A body of persons associated as by ties of brotherhood?. In common terms, ?fraternity basically is a glorified club, where members must bond, interact and live together over the period of the college life?. This club becomes a place for members to meet, socialize and create friendship amongst other members. As a result each member gains recognition, sense of belonging in a family and an ability to feel needed and wanted by the club.
A fraternity is an old university tradition, which started in the early nineteenth century. There are many Fraternities that exist within each college campus, for example, Delta Chi and Zeta Beta Tau ? to name only a few.
A Fraternity also consists of secret handshakes, new friendships, wild parties and the dreaded initiation week. First of all, before anyone is accepted into the group, a member must take part in an ?INITIATION?. This is not as simple task and often at times, it is the initiation that many perspective members dread. This will be further explained later on.
To become a member one must follow the following steps:
1. Firstly you will need to choose a fraternity, I imagine this is the most important decision of all, because if you do select the wrong one your experience of fraternity life will be one of your down points of your university career. For example Stephen Rose, when Stephen thought of a fraternity he pictured brotherhood and a new way of life. But as he pledged himself into a fraternity the only thing he experienced were endless push-ups, running around buck-naked and a handful of beatings. So the first step is the most critical.
2. After you have chosen your desired fraternity, the next step is the interview conducted by the fraternity brothers. This is sometimes referred to as ?rushing?; rushing is the lifeblood of a fraternity. Its purpose is simply to give you a good impression of the college group, and if that their particular fraternity is the one for you.
3. After you have agreed on which is the right organization is for you, you have reached the third and final step. The voting, this is where the fraternity brothers decide if your right person to join them. So before the vote you have to do major ?sucking up?.
Now you are voted in, but the strenuous part is not over, the first week is known as the ?pledges week? in other words initiation rituals. Seven days and Seven nights of degrading ceremonies.
Here are some of the popular initiation activities.
1. Firstly you cannot wear any clothes in your fraternity household for the week. Once inside you must strip down or face hefty punishment. For any wrong doings the penalty will be of paddling, this is were you will be whacked on the behind many times by your fraternity brothers.
2. Another of their favorites is the ?blind drives?, where the newly accepted brothers are taken blind folded and driven to a remote location then dropped off. Then their situation is to find their own way home and of course naked. Plus drinking games and more eccentric and horrifying stories these are just some of the weird and wonderful going-ons in the land of the strips and stars.
According to the College Life Magazine, sixty to seventy percent of male students would partake in a fraternity in there college years, which is quite a significant number of males as it refers to 6 ?7 males students out 10 would join a Fraternity.
Now, you may ask why would an intelligent human being put them selves into a large amount of embarrassment just for a club. The answer is, students decide to join fraternity groups for a wide array of reasons. For instance some students think that joining a fraternity would help them in latter years for business reasons, some probably just join for the wild parties and some participate for the family environment; so they have some other group to count on. David Carter an ex fraternity brother says, ?The Delta Chi Fraternity was tremendous influence on my college years, the greatest experiences of my life. The fraternity helped me grow up and helped me to overcome problems I faced?. Byron Ballenger also states ?It has gotten me much more involved on campus, it?s given me a chance to take leadership positions and learn responsibility?. But as you know for everything in life there are two point of views, and fraternities are no exception. Here are some people who despise these groups – ?Fraternity brothers are self centered, egotistical jerks who only think about beer, sex, and porn? ? ?All there concerned about is their image to realize that their own personality was lost in the process? ? ?They?re just glorified clubs that allow shallow people to but friends?. From whatever side you?re on and for whatever reason it may be for you to join a fraternity group, you will definitely learn something from it.
Fraternities is not only for college preppies or university students, but one must keep in mind that Fraternities can be representatives of other groups such as gangs, sporting clubs and other groups which involve similar activities to what the Fraternities perform. It may appear that Fraternities are only evident in the American culture but one must keep in mind of what the Layman?s definition of Fraternity is a Male bonding glorified group.