Fraternity pledges pursue brotherhood

The process of pledging a Greek-letter organization has been an integral part of life for many GW freshmen this fall.

“Pledging creates a home away from home for the students,” Sigma Nu President Michael Dillon said. “It provides an environment in which to grow and learn, and it gives you a positive outlet on campus.”

“Our goals for the pledge period are for pledges to learn about the fraternity itself,” said Jeff Goldman, pledge educator for Beta Theta Pi. “The most important thing is for the pledges to form a brotherhood instead of just a group of friends.”

Rob Hodge, a Sigma Nu pledge, said the banner in front of the house made him realize Sigma Nu was the house for him.

“The banner said, `Preserving the Ideals of Truth, Honor and Love Since 1869.’ That really made me think this was a different fraternity,” he said.

“At rush, I found myself identifying with the brothers,” Sigma Nu Pledge Class President Jeff Alpart said. “They were guys I could see myself spending four years with as friends and brothers.”

Many of the pledges mentioned how important it is to feel like part of a family.

“I’m an only child and as part of the pledging process I know what it is to be a brother and to have a larger family,” Alpart said.

Pledges in other fraternities made similar connections between their brothers and their real-life families.

“My brother was an (Alpha Epsilon Pi member) also, all my friends decided to do it,” said Greg Freeman, a pledge of Alpha Epsilon Pi. “I liked the guys and had a good time.”

Pledges and pledge educators agreed that the pledge period is an important time for members of the Greek-letter community.

“Pledging involves dedication as well as a drive to better yourself and your pledge class in order to become one unit of congenial college men,” Hodge said.

“Pledging basically gives the college freshmen character and helps them adapt to their new surroundings,” said Brad Stuart, Alpha Epsilon Pi pledge master. “It also teaches them lessons that will later be applied in life, through working with others and dealing with different types of people.” “In the pledge period, I’ve learned how to respect people, as well as the history of the fraternity and its true symbolism,” Freeman said.

Pride in one’s fraternity also is a major theme of pledging, Hodge said.

“Sigma Nu actually holds to the founding ideals of its chapter,” he said. “It actually believes and practices what it stands for. It doesn’t house the stereotypical fraternity mentality.”

“Sigma Nu is one of the few non-hazing fraternities on campus,” Alpart said. “Because of that, we learn to treat the other members of the fraternity as family.”

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