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Frats — we all know the stereotypes. But what do we really know? The Lion sent some rushees to an unnamed fraternity to see what rush events were actually like. These are their stories.
Greek life makes up a relatively small portion of the Columbia population, and considering the number of other student groups and the general stigma attached to the organizations, it wasn't surprising being the only person on my floor to think about rushing. Still, the curiosity got to me over the course of the fall semester, and I decided to take the plunge and go for it.
During the first rush event, the brothers introduced themselves and gave the rushes a tour. During the tour, they introduced a different aspect of the fraternity, such as the social scene, the academics, and the sense of community and brotherhood at the frat.
A fellow rushee commented that one of the most memorable things presented by the brothers was a “work hard, play hard sentiment.” For me personally, I felt that the the brothers had a jaded view on friendships. One upperclassman commented that he saw relationships at Columbia as “transactional,” as they always had some specific goal in mind.
So far, there hadn’t been any surprises, but some events could only be attended by invitation. Luckily, I managed to get an invitation to one of them. As one would expect, the third event was a party where we got to know the brothers, complete with beer pong and decent margaritas. The brothers were very friendly, and again, there was no alcohol being foisted on unwilling participants.
Although more potential events were listed on the calendar, in the end, I didn’t get a bid. But that didn’t sour my overall experience. I was never a fan of fraternities, and I used to see them as plainly crude. I always thought that people lost individuality when they joined a fraternity, and frat houses were nothing more than fronts for alcohol and drug peddling. All frat parties showed me were how many sweaty people could fit into a small area in a short period of time, and how loud the music had to be before the brothers would begin escorting people out.
Was I wrong? I only got a brief glimpse into the life of a brother, so I can't say quite yet. But my experience with this fraternity wasn’t that bad, for any guys who may want to rush in the future.
[Image credit: Wikimedia]