Here's what you do, and it'll save you (or your parents) several thousand bucks.

You have friends who will join these "clubs." They will still find you more interesting than any of the fuckwads they meet in this "club." So, you will be asked by your "aware" friends to come to the parties that really matter. Hell, there's so many fuckwads crawling around drunk at these parties that you will hardly be noticed.

While they are having a chugging contest or lighting farts, you make small talk with the sorostitutes. You will wind up with a smile on your face the next morning while the Kappa Sigs are trying to force feed each other Pepto Bismol.

This scheme will work; try it.

Fraternities and sororities aren't a problem at all. Think of it as self-selected quarantine. If you made those idiots wear a big red 'M' on their chests for "moron", all the paranoid conservative right wing maniacs would shit a brick because the poor little rich white people are getting persecuted or some goddamn thing, am I right? I'm right! Ha-haa! You wouldn't get trouble from the miserable whining liberals about most of it because they don't care how much you abuse rich white people, but you have to remember that there are black fraternities in this great nation of ours, and the bleeding hearts would raise holy hell about that part for sure.

But you don't have to do that, because they'll do it voluntarily. Whaddya think those greek letters are? Better yet, lepers have to ring bells, but these semi-hominid fraternity critters make loud bellowing noises, which you can hear much farther away than a damn bell.

Then again, it's true that the fraternityites are a bunch of knuckle-dragging halfwits, but what about all the other losers? Every blessed living organism on college campuses today is a goddamn chimp at best, and sometimes I think I'm being generous at that. So-called "engineers" and math geeks are just a bunch of snivelling little girls. They're either whimpering radical leftist bed-wetting East-Coast pseudointellectuals with thick glasses, or else neo-Nazi crypto-fascist right-wing runts from the boonies who only went to college because they were too weak and sluggish to help out on the farm. Computer "science"? It's not a science, guys. They're idiots too. Most of them write in Visual Basic and the rest write in Perl, which is just as bad. Not a one of them would know a linked list if it came up and bit 'em in the ass... and believe me, I've seen it happen. It ain't pretty. English majors? Illiterate nonentities! Nine out of ten think Walt Whitman founded a candy company, and the rest get him confused with Walt Disney. The men are all pederasts, and the women are all either lesbo-dyke radical feminist ballbusters, field-hockey players with a Y chromosome, or fainting witless Mrs. degree candidates.

I think that about settles it.

*/ Disclaimer - I am not in a frat. /*

Okay. I think frats are kind of getting the short end of the stick here. Despite the abundance of assholes in frats nationwide, there are a couple things that need to be pointed out, just for objectivity.
1. Not all frat brothers are asshole pricks.
2. Frats, as odd as it sounds, do serve a purpose.

For the first issue: Not all frat brothers are the complete schmucks many make them out to be. I am friends with a goodly number of them, and find them to be good-natured guys who enjoy partying and the occasional prank. And some of them are even ::gasp:: CS MAJORS!!!!!!

For the second: One of the things that turn many people off to frats is the hazing. It seems cruel, unusual, and sometimes downright mean. But hazing has a purpose beyond providing the other brothers with hours of free entertainment. That purpose is inculcation. Pledges come in as a group, they get hazed as a group, and they become brothers as a group. Were it not for that fact, I would wholeheartedly agree that hazing is wrong. But the frat way of hazing is remarkably similar to the methods used to inculcate teams of Marines and SEALs. Those methods often produce a group of tight-knit people willing to back each other to the hilt. And I just can't see that as a completely bad thing. What some call a bastion of rich white elitism really provides a support network for people through college and into the real world. And as far as the presence of minorities in frats is concerned, check my writeup on affirmative action for my feelings on that, they should be fairly clear.

/* Disclaimer: I am in a fraternity. I am graduated at this point, but once you join, it is for life. Fraternities are not clubs.*/

The only reason I'm adding to the mess above is because, as best as I can tell, I'm the only one to comment on it that has had inside experience.

I'm going to begin with one of getzburg's comments. Hazing is not necessary. If you cannot get a group of people to bind without hazing them, you're a physican with leeches. My fraternity, Sigma Nu, happened to have been founded in 1869 against hazing. The other fraternity then at VMI was hazing cadets until they joined. The Founders, having been military men before entering VMI, recognized the difference between discipline and childishness. If you have to prove yourself to a group of people that says they want you, beyond proving the capabilities you claim to have, do they really want you? For that matter, if you can't bond with someone without torturing them, perhaps you weren't meant to bond with them?

Yes, to be honest, the average fraternity without other restrictions will be white-dominated. I can't really speak for other schools, though I will say the school I attended was, well, let's just say not subject to affirmative action. So, most of them were dominated by white and Asian students.

At good ol' KU, it was cheaper to live in a fraternity house than on-campus -- if you could find a spot on campus. Yes, you could find housing with other independents, but such housing was chaotic and somewhat irritating at best -- Flint, Michigan is not terribly cosmopolitan. So it actually cost less to live in a fraternity house.

Fraternities were formed to inculcate principles, such as love, truth, and honor. While many have strayed from that path, it is important to remember why these things were done. Fraternities were not formed to be elitist groups -- the original design was to find those who agreed with their principles. They weren't formed for the rich; they were formed for those who wanted to learn, the noders of their day.

I will add one negative aspect I have noticed (the writeup it was relevant to having been nuked): Houses bicker between themselves, tearing down the Greek System rather than building it up. My chapter is being forced to recolonize after a long battle that included vicious rumormongering. Some people realize the need to be interfraternal while in college, some people realize it afterwards, some people never get it. All the Greeks are in this together.

Though I've lived in college towns where the fraternities and sororities worked extremely well and behaved in fairly non-stereotypical ways, I've also been able to compile some funny stories about at least one Evil Frat... Pull up a chair, young 'uns, whilst I spins y'all a yarn...

A few years ago, I attended college at the University of North Texas in Denton. It's a decent school, but the fraternity and sorority system is fairly out-of-control -- they have way too many Greek organizations under probation because they can't seem to stop hazing pledges (including a sorority that got busted three years in a row 'cause they thought it was their sacred duty to get freshman girls drunk). But the goofiest frat was the Kappa Alpha fraternity...

They were, basically, a bunch of rich white high school boys who'd made it to college without any real brain power or maturity. They were racists and bullies and they thought they owned the campus. More than once, they singled out some lone student somewhere for harrassment of one sort or another, only to discover that they were related to the university chancelor, or were married to a cop, or weren't at all shy about filing official complaints, or weren't actually alone, what with their half-dozen lead-pipe-totin' buddies walking up behind them...

So here's the funny stories: First, two friends of mine -- Swampy and Elliotte -- cornered a couple of Kappas in public and asked 'em why the frat was so prejudiced. The immediate response: "We're not prejudiced! We've got a Mexican!" Swampy and Elliotte went rolling on the floor laughing at 'em, and for the rest of the year, they'd holler "We're not prejudiced! We've got a Mexican!" anytime there was a lull in a conversation.

Not long afterwards, we found one of the Kappa Alpha pledge books that someone had lost. This pledge book was mainly a way for the pledges to get to know each other -- they had to list their name, major, hometown, favorite movie, favorite food, etc. -- just like a junior high slam book. Anyway, under "Pet Peeves", every single pledge but one wrote "Niggers". The lone dissenter wrote "Intolerance", no doubt disqualifying himself from Kappa Alpha membership.

And finally, around January 2001, a bunch of Kappas confronted some prospective students who happened to be black -- in broad daylight, in public, with numerous witnesses, and even wearing their official frat T-shirts -- and shouted racial epithets, waved Confederate flags, and generally behaved like a junior chapter of the Klan. If they thought this would be overlooked, they were magnificently mistaken. The university hit the fraternity with a five-year probation, the student body gleefully jeered them off campus, and even the national Kappa Alpha organization told the morons to get bent.

Every once in a while, it's nice to see the Bad Guys get spanked...

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