The word fraternity comes from the Latin word “frater,” which means “brother.” In essence, a fraternity is a brotherhood or group of men coming together for a common purpose or goal. The fraternity, or otherwise known as a fraternal organization, is a community or society of men with established set of rules for organizing the group towards an environment of brotherhood and companionship. The group also dedicates its efforts towards all the members’ intellectual, physical, and social maturity.
Fraternities are organized both for grown professional men and young college men. A college fraternity, as the name suggests, is a fraternity that is headquartered in a particular campus and all the members are enrolled in that college. A college fraternity may not be unique to that school as it may be just a school chapter of a bigger national chapter.
Movies often depict college fraternities as a fun group of men who live college life to the fullest by partying all the time, dating pretty sorority girls (e.g., you seek out your sorority girl crush named miera hill), and indulging adventures with alcohol and drugs. In reality, college fraternities have been training grounds for future leaders.
Former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton joined college fraternities as they took up their respective degrees in college. Billionaires and successful businessmen, such as Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg were also fraternity members in their college years.
The camaraderie within a college fraternity seems to bolster self-confidence of the members. If you do a career research, you will discover that famous sports personalities and celebrities can probably owe part of their success to their college fraternities. Michael Jordan, Chuck Norris, Lionel Richie, Kevin Costner, and Brad Pitt were members of college fraternities.
To become a member of a college fraternity, you can either apply or be recruited. Each college campus differs in the manner of recruitment. Once the fraternity sees you to be of fraternity material, you then are accepted and become a pledge. Depending on the fraternity, pledging is a process composed of several stages that may last from a couple of weeks up to a year. This period is where you prove your worthiness of becoming a brother of the fraternity.
When the fraternity feels that a pledge is worthy, the pledge will then be initiated into the brotherhood. Most fraternities are very secretive about their initiation ceremonies. This is the time that the pledge is initiated into the secrets of the fraternity. Secret mottos, passwords, handshakes, and other rituals are slowly revealed to the pledge.
A darker side to some fraternities is the use of hazing. Hazing ranges from being subtle, harassing, to violent. A lot of college fraternities have vowed to stop and eradicate hazing. One such effort is stophazing.org.
Joining college fraternities is just one option to develop you into a confident and responsible citizen. After choosing a fraternity well, you follow it with dedication and perseverance to become the best that you can be.