Pledging a fraternity can be an intimidating process and often a large deterrent for many college freshmen. I am sure you have seen processes getting out of hand in the news, or have heard tales of wild frat parties at your college or university. Pledging for a Greek fraternity is not something that should be mysterious or scary; in fact the pledging process will help you become stronger leaders and make friendships with the other pledge mates. I have read countless articles on why someone should not pledge for a fraternity; however the majority of these writers did not belong to a fraternity themselves. As a fraternity brother I want to clarify what actually goes on during pledging, and why it is not as bad as you have heard.
Before anyone can pledge for a fraternity you must attend rush events, which are designed for you to get to know the other members or brothers of the fraternity. At the end of rush if you decide you like a particular group of people then you will final sign for them, and hope for a bid. Waiting for a bid from your fraternity hopeful can be a nerve racking but exciting experience. Once you are awarded a bid then you official start as pledges. Pledging for a fraternity can last anywhere from 4 weeks to an entire semester, so be prepared to be patient.
When pledging starts you will be paired up with your pledge mates to do various tasks, which often include a fundraising project, and a community service project. Library hours and other random projects all part of the process and can actually help your grades go up, they also provide group bonding. Your pledge mates will become your best friends during this process since every argument and conflict has to be resolved between the small group in an adult manner. There will be fights since many of you will be stressed from personal life issues, school work, and the rigors of pledging for a fraternity. Pledging a fraternity will require many hours of dedication, but this time is fun and will make initiation so much better.
So what about hazing? This is the most common question asked by parents and students. Hazing is forbidden in almost all national fraternities and makes no logical sense anyway. Why would we haze you if we want to become your best friends at the end of the process? Hazing is dumb all around since we face serious lawsuits from parents and anyone injured in an act of hazing. You will be doing team building activities that can last for long periods at once, or asked to complete meaningful tasks, but being hazed is not part of the process.
The pledging process is meant for the initiates to learn the history of the organization and the basic understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable in the fraternity. This process takes as long as it takes the group to understand the material, which is why it is a group activity. Pledging is not supposed to be intimidating, and is not for everyone! Get all the facts before pledging a fraternity, but from firsthand experience it will be one of the best choices you make if you decide to go Greek!