A Rushee's Guide to Fraternities  
 

Why Fraternities?

Brief History of Fraternities
The origin of the college fraternity dates back to December 5, 1776 with the creation of Phi Beta Kappa. Originally a secret society, it later changed in the 1830's to become an honorary fraternity.

In the early 1820's, several other fraternities were created, all utilized Greek letters, displayed a badge, had a ritual and were secret societies. By the turn of the century, 40 national fraternities were in existence through out the country. Since 1900 the development of fraternities has been so rapid that the 20th century organizations outnumber those established previously. World War's I & II were a great strain on the fraternity system. Most college aged men were fighting overseas and many chapters closed.

At the end of WW II, and largely because of the GI Bill, the "Golden Age" of Fraternities started as a result of the large influx of men into college. Universities with 40 fraternities, each with 50-150 men were not uncommon.

The sixties and seventies were a tough period for fraternities as the youth of those eras questioned the "establishment" fraternities were seen as part of this "establishment." Today, college fraternities have returned to their roots. They exist to provide a "home away from home", encourage high scholastic achievement, foster community spirit, and teach much needed leadership skills.

Statistics
Greeks graduate colleges and universities at a rate of nearly 20% higher than non greeks
Seventy-six percent of our nation's senators, 71 percent of the men listed in Who's Who in America, and 85 percent of the Fortune 500 executives hold fraternity membership

Greek members overwhelmingly contribute a higher proportion of donations to their university alumni associations

Fraternity membership is at an all-time high of over 400,000 collegiate men nationwide

All but two U.S. presidents have been fraternity men

Benefits
Fraternities exist as a proven support network for anyone on the college campus.
Fraternities provide:
A group of caring, supportive friends to help members make the adjustment to college and be friends for life
Scholastic resources to help members achieve their academic goals
Hands-on opportunities to practice leadership skills
Encouragement to get involved in the campus and the community and exercise their fullest potential
An emphasis on the importance of giving of oneself through active participation in community service projects
Inter-collegiate contacts that expand a member's horizon
Career opportunities through interaction with fraternity alumni

Greek Speak
Rush - What fraternities call membership recruitment.
Rushee - An unaffiliated man who is being recruited by fraternities.
Legacy - A rushee whose grandfather, father, or brother is an alumnus or active member of a fraternity. A fraternity is not obligated to pledge a legacy, and a rushee is completely free to choose the fraternity of his individual preference.
Greek Council - The governing body of greek fraternities.
Dues - Annual cost of being in a fraternity.

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