During my time here in the USA I’ve had the chance to come in contact with the Greek life here. Mostly what I know about about this comes from different movies, so it was nice to actually see this for yourself. I’ll catch you up to speed real quick if you haven’t heard about these:
Basically it’s social organisations or societies which help you achieve some goal, like community service, professional advancement or scholastic achievement. Many of the organizations have some sort of niche or are founded for a special group (like Christians). The names of the societies are usually two or three Greek letters. These letters are usually initials of the society’s Greek motto. Many of the organizations are nationwide and have different chapters at different campuses. Continue reading for more info about the houses.
The Chapter Houses
In most Greek letter organizations, members live together in a large house or in a distinct part of the university’s dormitories. At UNO, at least two of the fraternities had their own houses where some of the members lived. We had a chance to visit them both during their introduction parties. One of the houses had been an old church and the other one we visited (seen in the pictures) had been an old nursery home before coming a frat-house. Interestingly enough, since the houses technically are part of the campus (which is weird since they are not even close to it), there is not supposed to be any drinking in the houses. Whether people actually drink in their own rooms I’ll let you figure out yourselves.
The Finnish guy
When visiting one of the frat-houses, we got told about a Finnish guy that was part of that fraternity last year. Apparently he had achieved some kind of high status thanks to his achievements. He was famous for being able to drink a whole lot, to often drink too much and also being naked very often. Supposedly this guy had naked pictures of him posted on Facebook and he didn’t seem to care. I also heard a story about him wanting his fellow brothers to waterboard him with beer. Obviously this guy is off his rocker 😀
One of the houses had a meeting room in the cellar.
The Process of Joining
As a international student I got to know that I, if I would like to, could have joined a fraternity here. They had a “rush week” in where you had the chance to learn about the organizations and where they could meet you. At the end of the week, the organizations would give invite who they saw most fit to their organizations. I decided not to try to join any of the organizations, since I didn’t want to commit to anything that would stop me from trying all the other things I want to try here.
The Toga Party
We actually had the chance to go to a toga-party arranged by one of the fraternities. Basically what it is is a costume party where you wear a toga. Usually it’s a makeshift toga from your bed sheet, or if you want to be more fancy, actually buy some kind of fabric. Usually you would play some kind of party games or have some other kind of entertainment, but this was more like a nightclub where everyone was dressed in togas. Oh, and we actually were able to drink alcohol at the party, as it was in a rented bar!