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Fraternities and Sororities: Attributes and Activities

As is well-known, fraternities and sororities are clubs of college students.

As is well-known, fraternities and sororities are clubs of college students, the former being a club for men and the latter,  a club for women.  Other words for fraternity and sorority are brotherhood and sisterhood.  They are known as Greek-letter societies because their names are borrowed from the  beginning letters of words in  the Greek language, such as Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The initial objective of these clubs was to provide food and lodging for their members, Each fraternity or sorority is equipped with its own house where its members live together and share the expenses. There are several colleges that have what is called, a “fraternity row,”  — a street where most of the fraternity houses are located  and used  as a center for certain social activities, such as dances and parties for members and their friends and families, and recognized as “brothers” and “sisters” for life.  Even those that were once members and out of college are welcome to stay at their fraternity or sorority houses whenever they choose to revisit the colleges on certain occasions.

Fraternities and sororities select new members at the beginning of each school year. Such events are customarily celebrated, with parties and meetings when old and new members get together. The celebration  is known as “rushing,” at which time, the old members are privileged to choose new student members. The new student members are “pledged,” or become “pledges.” The “pledges” are required to learn a number of rules before they get initiated, such as those that are considered to be  the secret mottoes of the club, one particular activity being  “hazing” as a part of the initiation — a practice that may not be tolerated at this time. After the initiation, the new members are required to wear the club’s pin.  When a fraternity member gives his pin to a girl, the gesture is known as “pinning, which signifies that the couple is engaged or to be engaged, or are merely dating.

There are also local fraternities that are not connected with chapters of other fraternities, Members pay a certain fee to their chapter.

There are also honorary or professional fraternities, one of the most famous being PHI BETA KAPPA.  Professional fraternities consist mostly of doctors, lawyers and engineers and other professionals whose rankings allow them to be also included.

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