Joining Lambda Chi Alpha has brought on a lot of assumptions about being a part of a fraternity from non-Greek friends of mine. Many of them think that I wouldn’t fit into a fraternity due to the fact that I didn’t seem to fit the mold of the typical frat boy. And to some extent, they’re right. I don’t fit into the stereotype of the average college frat boy because at its core, its just a stereotype. There is quite a lot more than meets the eye for fraternities and Greek life as a whole and let me take a minute to bust some of these myths that many still believe are true.
Just a note, I will be speaking primarily from the point of view from a member of my fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. However, that does not mean that this doesn’t apply to the other fraternities on campus. Oh and this might be obvious but the same rule applies for why I’m not writing about sororities.
MYTH #1: Fraternity brothers are alcoholics
As surprising as this sounds, not everyone in fraternities drink. And most individuals do, but in absolute moderation and are the legal drinking age. I know I have spent several weekends spending time at the Lambda Chi house without a single sip of alcohol and I was able to hang out with several other guys who also decided that they weren’t too interested in drinking. Yes fraternity brothers do their fair share of drinking, but honestly not any more than any other college student.
MYTH #2: It’s all about the parties
This is pretty frustrating because of the fact that fraternities nationwide all commit much more of their time focused on charity and fundraising for charitable organizations than planning the events of their weekend party. I know from personal experience that Lambda Chi Alpha raises money to donate several thousand pounds of food towards the Ozarks Food Harvest every year. In fact, one of the seven core values of Lambda Chi is Service and Stewardship.
MYTH #3: Fraternity members treat women poorly
Unfortunately, there have been instances in the past of men in fraternities being disrespectful towards or even harming women and those are truly inexcusable. However, those have only been individuals who have disregarded the morals they have been expected to uphold and many of them have been punished accordingly whether by being reported to IFC or dismissed from the fraternity altogether. I believe in any large group of people you will always find the jerks who ruin the experience of everyone else and unfortunately fraternities are not immune to that.
MYTH #4: Students in fraternities have lower GPAs
Now this myth is actually easily proven false due to statistics that prove that Greek students on average actually get better grades than non-Greek students. Fraternities and Sororities alike both hold their members to very high standards including academics. Many new members who seek to join have to maintain a relatively high GPA in order to initiate, otherwise they lose their vote.
MYTH #5: Fraternities haze too harshly
Now I can’t speak for the other fraternities but I know that Lambda Chi actually has made it an official mandate to forbid hazing of any kind. But I’m not saying that hazing is evil and should therefore be banned. Hazing is one of the many decades long traditions held near and dear by fraternities and are not aimed at harming new members but rather helping them grow both as an individual and as a member of the group.
MYTH #6: All frat guys are spoiled and rich
I know as a fact that within my very own fraternity, there are a very wide variety of brothers all coming from vastly different walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. Fraternities don’t choose their members based on the amount of wealth they have but instead on whether or not they live by the values expected of the fraternity.