random fraternity questions

I have a backlog of questions right now that I need to answer.  To make sure I am as timely as possible I decided to combine a bunch in this post.

These questions were submitted by our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.

Question: What are the biggest differences with fraternities in the north and the south?

Answer: Fraternities in the north are very good.  They excel at academics, athletics, social programs and philanthropy.  Fraternities in the south do all those things as well, and they do them much better.

Question:  I am the fundraising chair for my fraternity. We have around 27 guys in the house. We are looking for fundraising ideas that are fun to do and not just selling things. Do you have any ideas?

Answer: I have written about this topic extensively.  I suggest you start here – Fraternity Fundraising.  Also, you can check out all my fraternity fundraising articles here – Fraternity Fundraising Category.  Finally, don’t forget that there is a chapter in my book The Fraternity Leader titled How to Raise $40,000 for your fraternity.  I give detailed examples on how to run 20 different fundraisers to accomplish this goal.

Question: How to go about becoming a member of a fraternity that is not at my school?

Answer: I assume your question is really about re-starting the fraternity at your school.  To do so, the first step is sending their National HQ an email and let them know you are interested in starting a new colony.   They will be excited to hear from you.   To learn more – check out my article on How to Start a Fraternity.

Question: Can one be in a Fraternity and a varsity team?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What are some good fratty shorts and shirts that are acceptable that don’t carry the pricetag of Polo, Patagonia, Lacoste, etc.?

Answer: I think you are on the wrong website.  I am a mid-30s guy with two kids in diapers.  The last thing I know about is current fashion (ask my wife).  If anyone can help this guy out – please leave a comment below.

Question: Is it possible to join a fraternity with a felony?

Answer: I guess.  Of course, I am very curious as to what you did.  Let’s be honest, no one is going to ever check out your criminal record.  So if you keep it to yourself, then you will never have any issues.  However, that being said, I hope you get your shit together.  There is a hard way and an easy way to go through life.  Making big rocks into small ones is the hard way.

Question: Why does every fraternity symbol are written in Greek?

Back in the day – Latin Societies were popular.  Because men wanted to establish more ‘distinguished’ organizations, they developed fraternities represented by Greek Letters.

Question: How do you get a members membership revoked?

Answer: Every fraternity is different, but your national HQ is most likely the only one who can kick a brother out.  That being said, your local constitution should have provisions for RECOMMENDING expelling members clearly spelled out.

Question: What are good items or creative ways to have with your rush while tabling?

Answer:  The very best thing you can have with you at a rush table is a pen and pencil and a good attitude.  Your goal is to collect names.  Nothing more and nothing less.  You do that by being friendly, being approachable and being social.  Remember, your goal isn’t to land a new member at the table.  Your goal is to get a lead.  Spend your time gathering information.  You will follow up with the guys later. That is a key to a successful fraternity recruitment.

Question: I am rushing/pledging a fraternity at my current university, I would like to transfer schools in the near future. Is that possible?

Answer: When you join a fraternity – you make an oath for life.  You aren’t joining the chapter at your school – you are joining a national brotherhood.  If your new school has a chapter of your fraternity, you will be welcomed with open arms.  If it doesn’t, you can start one or you will be a brother without a chapter at your school.  Either way though, once you are initiated, you are always a brother.


If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.

5 thoughts on “10 Random Fraternity Questions

  1. That’s good to know that fraternities because back in the day they wanted to look more distinguished. I would think that would have made sense back in the day since Latin was a popular language to study, and also difficult. I’ll have to consider getting some stuff with letter son it if I decide to join a fraternity.

  2. This is the sum total of my fashion knowledge: conservative professional styling is timeless; and, good quality materials and American made products are better than super mass produced crap. Everything else I’ll defer to someone who knows what they’re talking about. The thing undergrads really need to know is spend on quality because you’re making a logical decision to do so for the right reasons. Don’t chase labels because you think it’ll make you cool. I’d give the same advice about whiskey, boats, cars, houses, or women – possibly in that order of importance.

  3. Dennis – you scare me with the fashion advice. You are a little more metrosexual then you think….

    Also – glad you caught answer #1. Surprised there haven’t been more comments on it. I thought it was pretty funny.


  4. Good answers. Particularly the first one. Loved that!

    Cloths… I’m not a metrosexual fashion guy or anything, but I can probably shed some light.

    Most 19yos wearing the “fratty” brands have no idea. They’re just chasing a label and paying a lot because they think it’ll make them cool. That’s stupid. If you’re dependent on people like that to make you feel better about yourself then the cloths you’re wearing aren’t the problem.

    What most people don’t understand about cloths is the vast majority are made to be disposable. If you buy a shirt from a department store, it’s cheap standard cotton sewn together in some sweat shop in Asia and shipped over here by the millions. It’s made to stand up to a couple dozen wears/washes before it starts falling apart. They expect you to throw out most of your wardrobe several times a year and buy all new the next season. Price alone isn’t the determining factor. You can fine plenty of really expensive designer stuff that’s complete garbage, or moderately priced stuff that’s solid.

    What we’re calling “fratty” brands, are really just American companies offering an American made product with high quality materials. For stuff like polos, that means Pima cotton (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-pima-cotton.htm). It’s softer and much stronger. If you’ve never worn a pima cotton polo, the first time you put one on you’ll get it. It doesn’t feel quite like silk against your skin, but it’s close. And, it’ll last 5 times longer than the crap you get at the mall. So, financially, it works out in your favor in the long run, but the initial investment can be steep.

    If you can’t afford that, go with normal department store stuff that has no external label. Your goal is to look good/professional, not get all catty about who in the room isn’t as good as you because they’re not wearing designer cloths. You’re bigger than that.

    I guess while I’m here though I can toss a rec for some fellow ATOs (http://luxleyandbernard.bigcartel.com/). Not all of their stuff is American made, but it is prima cotton and high quality construction. Stuff’s about the same price as department store shirts though. They don’t have a huge selection. It’s a startup by a couple recent grads running it out of one of their houses for now. That’s pretty much how brands like VV and everyone else came about too.

    Felony… Pat’s right, for now. I’ve seen some recent lawsuits in which they’re making a case that fraternities exposed guests to a dangerous environment by not checking the background of applicants/members. There’s one case in particular that I’m thinking of that involves a different national at a different school. There was a sexual assault allegation, and I think the accused had a previous assault charge or domestic violence or something like that – I forget the details off hand. Point being, I think were a few years out from criminal history checks as part of the rush process. Having been in the property management business, I know it cost us about $5 to run a criminal history and credit check on a rental applicant and only took a few minutes. I can see schools adopting that as part of the rush process, but that’s not the case anywhere I’m aware of so far.

    Greek symbols… most are the first letters (in greek) of latin words or phrases which relate to a philosophy based on the philosophers of the classics from ancient Greece & Rome, or based on various religions – mostly Christianity or Judaism. Most orgs are pretty straight forward what they’re about if you ask, and it’s not hard to figure out from their creed or other open-source information. This is something Phired Up pushes chapters to be upfront about, and I wholeheartedly agree.

    Pledging/Transfer… I never tell people to not rush or quit pledgeship, but if you’re for sure transferring then I’d limit my options to chapters that also exist at the other campus, or I’d hold off till I get to the other campus. It’s not automatic that you can just start any fraternity you feel like. Each national only adds a very few colonies per year for the whole country, and they’re selective about when and where they go. The schools often limit expansion rates to make sure the chapters they have are on their feet and that there is sufficient demand before they’ll take on more competitors; IFCs will often limit expansion for the same reasons. The whole concept of starting a chapter from scratch is a ton of work. I don’t encourage anyone to jump into that without knowing fully what they’re getting into and deciding that’s the Greek experience they want. If you’re dead set on a certain fraternity then find the campus that offers the chapter you want to be part of.

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