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Fraternities

Uploaded by bobby blau on May 06, 2002

A fraternity, as defined by the the American Heritage Dictionary is "a chiefly social organization of male college students, usually designated by Greek letters." This definition, however, is very limited and leaves plenty of space for shortsighted people to believe the stereotype conveyed by the popular media, where fraternity members are depicted as drunks who accomplish nothing either scholastically or socially. Unfortunately, both this definition and media portrayals fail to mention the fact that membership in a Fraternity is a life-long experience that helps its members develop social, organizational, and study skills during college, and that teaches true, everlasting friendship. As a matter of fact, fraternities have a long tradition of high academic achievement, and most of our nation's presidents were members of a Greek association.

According to Irving Klepper, the first fraternity (Phi Beta Kappa) was founded for "social and literary purposes" at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia on December 5th 1776. After half a century of existence, it became and has since remained a scholarship honor society. Throughout the nineteenth century, many new fraternities were founded, but none of these were permanent. Then, in 1825, the Kappa Alpha Fraternity (now Kappa Alpha Society) was born at Union College. Two years later, Sigma Phi and Delta Phi had been founded at the same college, constituting the so-called Union Triad, which was, in a large measure, the pattern for the American Fraternity system. By the end of the nineteenth century there were over thirty general fraternities in this country.

Today's fraternities still have all the characteristics and precepts of the their past fraternities: "the charm and mystery of secrecy, a ritual, oaths of fidelity, a grip, a motto, a badge, a background of high idealism, a strong tie of friendship and comradeship, and urge for sharing its values through nationwide expansion." (Klepper pg. 18) In addition, today's fraternities help their members develop many skills, which are used in and out of college. During membership in a fraternity, one must learn leadership skills, because the chapter has to be run in a business-like manner and because it embraces different offices (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Scribe, etc.), which are held by its members. These offices closely resemble the ones of real business. Additionally, since other Greek associations' members see membership in a fraternity as a great achievement, every brother must be able to uphold that office at any time.

Organization is a...

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Uploaded by:   bobby blau

Date:   05/06/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   8 pages (1,764 words)

Views:   1524

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