Editorial: The Joys Of Further Education – US Fraternity Life - Publication: Loaded April 2010
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The Joys Of Further Education – US Fraternity Life 

Who said University life was all about intellectual enrichment, and studiously advancing  career prospects ?– there’s also  important stuff going on, particularly in America, where Fraternity houses at all the top colleges practice all the  significant virtues of student life- beer, cable TV, drinking games, girl fights, billiards, weekly parties and umm, beer.

Frat houses are mini communities of a “brotherhood,”.groups of students living together  who provide an organizational sanctuary for one another in a share(or fraternity)  house situation. In order to join, as a new “pledge,”  you usually need to be referred by an existing member or brother. From there there’s a secret ritual before you pass and join, probably a knowledge test, a tar and feathering or a spanking with a wooden bat, which probably wasn’t considered homoerotic when the ritual was devised about 60 years ago.

The 1978 US movie Animal Hose immortalized the whole frat house lifestyle. Overweight, permanently drunk, repulsive to women, golf obsessed, and scholastically inept,  iconic comic actor John Belushi’s character Bluto typified the frat boy mentality.

 His impersonation of a zit while provoking a new pledge in the film captures the true frat boy spirit. Bluto-:” See if you can guess what I am now. [puts a scoop of mashed potatoes in his mouth and hits his cheeks with his fists and spits it out – “I'm a zit. Get it? This in turn starts a food fight that engulfs the school cafeteria. There s also a myriad of practical jokes, drinking and fighting in the movie not that far removed from fraternity life today where the timeless mix of testosterone,  beer and  general irresponsibility ensure weekends are still a wild time in the average frat house 30 years later

Pi Kappa Phi, is one of 65 fraternity houses comprising the “Greek community,” at the esteemed private University Of Southern California (UCLA) in upscale Brentwood in Los Angeles, they’re called Greek due to the name ( letters of the Greek alphabet). About a ten minute walk from the central campus, the impressive white three story house accommodates 30 house members. Its complete with all the vital necessities, in house chef, pool table, four wide screen TVs hooked to cable on various levels and five bathrooms.

Despite the implied luxury the kitchen and bathrooms still look like something from a council estate squat, mould, dirty dishes, empty bottles and beer cans, cardboard toilet rolls and discarded clothes strewn throughout. It seems all that metrosexual cleanliness stuff is a tad emasculating for the Pi Kappa Phi crew.

House president  Jeff Looby says the cleaner was late due to an off term break and the house is generally a picture of health, “you could perform a  surgical operation in here usually,” he claims. Asked about the party phenomenon at the house, he adds, “frat parties at the house  are  mainly all about blowing off stress from study and having fun. Each different frat house usually has its own  personality or reputation.  The campus usually  has five or so top houses students gravitate towards every week and people play with different themes types of music and stuff, sometimes its more clubby and sophisticated sometimes more sporty and rustic.”

As far as the identity of Pi Kappa Phi, Looby says pranks are something the house has been big on. “We’ve  had some guy s Fedexing a person’s entire possessions to another location, people dosed and drugged and dumped in the middle of nowhere like Palm Springs desert or  on a beach in north California. Ive heard some house dosed a guy and put him on a plane to Greenland once, he had to get his parents lend him the money to get back.”

 In terms of  wayward behavior going to far, Looby says most members adhere to rules, though things sometimes go too far. “The drunk and casual stuff is generally standard though people can be thrown out of the house for disrespectful behavior. That might involve  being rude to women or  to other house members stealing or hard drug use out in the open.”

 Fello Pi kappa house member Matt Johnson, an economics major offers his insights, “   It’s a fun life, though it an get obnoxious . I like the fraternity and the guys but some of the newer dudes can get a little carried away with the whole bro attitude thing.  We are after all supposed to be tertiary level students not average morons, so I’ll hang out for the house party about once a month , other than that I prefer clubs or out with my girlfriend, I get a monthly allowance from my parents so I can afford to do that, Ive also got a pretty handsome ride ( a new Merc) but a lot of the other guys in the house aren’t so cashed up so I guess it makes sense that they would keep things in the house and adhere to a budget.”

Another Pi kappa dude Ryan Bordan, a biology major adds his perspective of house life, “Its pretty cool we have things called Raids which is basically hitting a club with an allied sorority house, that’s the female equivalent of a frat house.  Im really focusing on study now as a business major, so  I don’t have the time for a part time job, so the lifestyle here at the house is great for me, I always hook up with chicks at our parties which is about every second week, in between im on th case to I just mix it up at other parties on the campus or go to raids 

The night  I choose to attend is the first Friday party for the start of the 2010 semester. There  are around 600 people present, gobbling Mexican Tecate beer and cheap vodka (generously supplied by Loaded ). The ratio of girls to guys is equal and a racial mix, black, white Latino. Im inevitably challenged to a drinking game that sees four girls pouring the contents of beer from separate cans into my mouth simultaneously, thankfully the  girls are painfully cute so the process is worth enduring, though a little chilly in  the end with one seeming to intentionally miss my mouth and cover me head to foot with beer, my clothes are soaked.

 Two of the beer pouring babes, Cherry and Sonja are from a neighboring Sorority house ( that’s the female equivalent of a frat house), they are regulars at Pi Kappa Phi and come at least a couple of times each month. Cherry confides, “Im in my second year and its fun and generally safe, I know all the dudes here and they look after me, there’s always good music and lots of booze and it’s a five minute walk home, so its all good.”

 Unfortunately for Cherry and Sonja some after party posing on the bonnet of a car turned a little sour when the girlfriend of the owner seemed to resent them. Some name calling  leads to pushing and shoving then Cherry, a dangerously tall black girl with a mean right hook chases  their challenger down the street,  the pair fall to the ground, fists and abuse flying, a fair share of hair pulling also transpires, of course we ever vigilant Loaded folk remain  rooted to the spot snapping shots and relishing every detail – purely for your benefit loyal readers. You’ll notice Cherry’s deft pugilistic skill ( pictured on top)  she emerged victorious from the  fracas before the cops arrived

Dangerous Business

Indeed not all Frat parties are wholesome affairs  leading to random courtship and dancing. There’s a less than pretty side of fraternity life, a sordid and obviously  dangerous phenomenon that can cause upset, injury and even death. Last year at  rival university USC (University Of Southern California) vice president for student affairs, Michael L. Jackson, announced the suspension of  fraternity house Lamda Chi Alpha. The fraternity is suspected as the location of  sexual assaults against three women Wednesday morning. One 19-year-old woman said she passed out at a Lambda Chi Alpha party and awoke to find herself partially clothed. the woman claims she drank punch that may have been spiked with something besides alcohol. The alleged assaults occurred during the fraternity's  Watermelon Bust an annual six-day philanthropic fundraiser.

Last September three UCLA students and four other people were arrested in connection with a melee at an off-campus fraternity party that left three students. One student was stabbed in the abdomen and required surgery. A second student was stabbed in the arm but did not require hospitalization. A third was hit over the head with a bottle. The fight broke the morning of Sept. 22 at a party hosted by Lambda Phi Epsilon, a fraternity that was on probation at the time after an incident last fall that involved an altercation with members of another fraternity over "male and female relations,"

At a Frat house on  the University of Michigan campus back in  March 2007 The Phi Sigma Xi fraternity, known informally as Phigs, was indicted in response to sophomore Arman Partamian's alcohol-related death by Livingston County District Attorney Tom Moran vowed to crack down on binge and underage drinking on and off campus. Moran noted that providing alcohol to underage drinkers is a Class A misdemeanor - unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree - punishable by up to a year in jail. Allegedly, the fraternity sold alcoholic beverages to several underage students at its official residence

Seems University Of Michigan frat life might be a tad dodgy. Also last year, at a neighboring Frat house Omega Psi Phi party an 18-year-old freshman student, was shot  at a Saturday night frat do. According to Michigan Police Department Sgt. Ed Dreslinksi. “The shooting resulted from an argument on the dance floor. Two dancers bumped each other, and one grew angry because he believed he had been bumped too hard. After a short fight, an unidentified shooter drew a gun. He fired once into the ceiling. His second shot traveled wide of his target, striking the uninvolved freshman in the arm.

Still  this modern day frivolity is quite tame really compared to the hardcore stuff that went on back on the day.  In 1959, the pledges of Kappa Sigma were taking part in a hazing ritual that involved the young men to stand before a buffet table where a tray with raw liver was presented. The pieces of liver, each about the size of a club sandwich, were soaked in oil. Six pledges were made to swallow the liver without chewing it.  One pledge attempted to swallow the liver three times without success. On the fourth time, the liver lodged in his throat. An ambulance was called, but the attendant was not told about the liver,  the pledge died at the hospital less than two hours after he began choking. The incident was inspiration for the movie Fraternity Row and definitely  a pointer to the virtues of campus vegetarianism

Fun And Games

 So how do you brighten up this chaotic mix of warm beer, bad dancing, loud music,and  disinterested women?  - raucous  drinking games of course – here’s some old favorites and not so familiar twists on old themes.

QUARTERS

1.         Gather around a table or playing ground that you and all participating friends can comfortably fit around and play.

2.         Step 2

The goal of the game is to bounce a quarter off the table or hard surface into a medium sized drinking cup filled with beer .

There is no set amount of alcohol suggested to put in the cup, so decide how quickly you want to feel a buzz and go from there.

3.         Step 3

Standard rules are as follows:

1. If a player misses, it becomes the player to the lefts turn.

2. If a player makes a shot, he/she chooses who will drink out of the cup.

3. If a player makes 3 consecutive shots, that player can make a rule.

4. There are no limits to the rules that can be named. Be creative and have fun.

4.         Step 4

This game is always being changed to fit the standards of the players. Create your own version of this game and play with your friends. There is no limit to the amount of players that can join. a few games of beer pong.  LOADED SUGGESTION –Spice things up by swapping the beer for 100 proof Tequila or vodka

BEER PONG

Beer Pong is a drinking game in which players throw a ping-pong ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in a cup of beer/water on the other end. The game typically consists of two two-to-four-player teams and multiple cups set up on each side set up in triangle formation.[1] There are no official rules, so rules may vary widely, though usually there are six or ten plastic cups arranged in a triangle on each side.

The goal of the game is to eliminate the other teams' cups before one's own cups are eliminated. When a ball lands in a cup, which are generally 1/4 to 1/3 full,[2] that cup is eliminated and the defending team must consume all of the beer inside that cup and any other cups knocked over.The losing team must consume all the beer remaining in the winning team's cups.

FRATERNITY/TOGA PARTY ORANGE PASS: Players in the fraternity or toga party line up into two teams rotating boy, girl, boy, girl, etc. The first person places the orange under his chin. The next person grabs the orange using only using her chin/neck. No using your hands! This repeats until the orange gets to the last person. Which ever team finishes first wins  LOADED SUGGESTION -  Substitute the orange  with another object such as a broken bottle , brick  short lit candle or live pigeon

GALLON CHALLENGE

First you'll need to know the rules of the Gallon Challenge. They are simple;

1. The contestant must drink one gallon of milk within one hour.

2. Once the gallon has been consumed, the contestant must hold the gallon down for the remainder of the hour (can not throw up until the hour allotted is up).

3. The contestant loses if they vomit before the hour is up.

4. The milk has to be at least 2%. It can also be flavored.

5. The contestant can only consume milk within that hour. There is no eating food or any other drink for the hour.

2.         Step 2

Many people try drinking the entire gallon within the first 10 minutes of the challenge. This is a bad idea, and you will throw up. The average stomach has a capacity of 1 liter. A gallon is approximately 3.785 liters. So you can see why it is a bad idea to chug the whole gallon at once.

3.         Step 3

It is best to go slow. Spacing out the gallon is what many winners of the past Gallon Challenges have done. 4 cups every 15 minutes would space the gallon out evenly. If you start to feel sick, and don't want to throw up, stop drinking milk. It's better to admit defeat than have it start "raining milk".

4.         Step 4

Part of winning this challenge is stomach capacity. If you know you have a large stomach, and can consume more food than most people you know, you have a higher chance of winning the Gallon Challenge.

5.         Step 5

If you manage to drink the entire gallon in under an hour, and you are just waiting for the hour to be up, DON'T MOVE! Putting as little stress as possible on your body will help you win. Hard laughter will tighten up muscles around your stomach, causes you to get sick. Jumping or running around will obviously make you sick. It's best to just sit down, relax, and wait out the hour.

6.         Step 6

Just remember to relax, don't chug quickly, and take the entire hour to drink it. Good luck! LOADED SUGGESTION- Eat four kebabs and a serving of chips first  OR Swap the milk for Vodka  OR Guinness

TOGA FRATERNITY GREEK ALPHABET: Frat parties can be wild, raucous, and generally good times, specially if it includes a good party theme! When you’re recreating that mood with your themed party, you’ll want to remember those college days with a few games. Try “Greek alphabet?” Set this up ahead of time by writing the names of all of the Greek letters on strips of paper. Include other strips of paper with made-up names. Then each person chooses a strip of paper and tries to decide if it’s a letter of the Greek alphabet or a nonsense word. Since the letters of the Greek alphabet have strange-sounding names (Ro, Sigma, Kappa) it will be entertaining to watch people try to pronounce them and distinguish them from the other words.//

LOADED SUGGESTION –  Boring ! Avoid at all costs or try blindfolded

FRATERNITY/TOGA PARTY TEAM CHALLENGE: Give each toga wearing team a bandana, a basin with water, and a bucket. Put the basin at the start line and the bucket at the finish. The Fraternity team which manages to bring the greatest amount of water to the bucket, wins the game – LOADED SUGGESTION -  Substitute the water with paint or animal blood

Craig Stephens

 

Written by Craig Stephens

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