Column: Join a real fraternity

Many people have misconceptions about fraternity life. Some think we all live in an “Animal House” atmosphere, have no respect for property or our fellow students, or that we are disinterested in the lives of people outside our own organizations. Most people who get to know fraternity life are surprised to find out that these stereotypes are not true. The benefits of the decision to go Greek-letter are very profound and will pay dividends for years to come. It is not yet too late for students to come and find out how Greek-Letter organizations can add value to college life, and the Inter-Fraternity Council would like to extend a personal invitation for you to do so.

Students should know, however, that at least three distinct organizations on this campus disguise themselves as fraternities by claiming to give you the benefits, but instead fulfill your nightmares. Their names are Alpha Pi Epsilon (or “APES”), Sigma Alpha Mu (or “SAMMY”) and Sigma Alpha Epsilon (“SAE”). The truth is that these organizations are little more than hazing clubs whose sole purpose is to entertain themselves by preying on incoming students. These groups are recruiting new pledges at the same time that campus fraternities are, so please be mindful if you are rushing.

The IFC and GW have received numerous complaints from former associates of each of the rogue clubs who report being abused in hazing rituals and then being threatened not to tell anyone about it. GW and the IFC hold our 12 campus fraternities to some of the highest standards in the nation. It is well known on our campus that hazing and other illegal activity is not tolerated by anyone in our community. While some of these other clubs say that they are seeking recognition or that they choose not to be affiliated with the IFC, not a single one of them can claim to come even close to meeting requirements for non-hazing, responsible alcohol management and risk reduction. IFC fraternities express a genuine interest in the quality of their programs, and the same simply cannot be said for the unrecognized societies.

The difference between fraternities and these hazing clubs are numerous and important. To a fraternity man, “leadership” does not mean being the first in line with a paddle. “Charity” never involves buying drugs for your brother. “Sports” do not consist of 3 a.m. lap swimming in the Potomac. We know how to have fun with our brothers and associates, and not how to entertain ourselves at your expense.

Fraternities are devoted to making an impact in the community as a whole and we prepare our members to continue to do so long after graduation. Our push to stop these hazing clubs is one example of just how serious we are. IFC members have unanimously agreed that these practices are disgusting and are urging the administration to stop them. In the meantime, you should be aware that there are many parts of fraternity life that you can only experience by joining an IFC fraternity. Our fraternities are the only ones on campus that socialize with sororities, participate in Greek-letter events and have a beneficial relationship with the University. Underground societies attempt to remain hidden for a reason. We hope you don’t have to find out about them the hard way.

For more information on the fake fraternities, visit www.gwgreeks.com.

-The writer, a junior majoring in business, is president of the Inter-fraternity Council.

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