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Random traditions persist like clockwork in my house. Year after year, we continue to partake in an inexplicable array of activities and events simply because we’ve “always done them.” I’ve found that one of the biggest aspects of fraternity life is not being able to explain why you do half of the shit that you do.
Until this past Saturday, I had absolutely no problem with this overly trusting way of life. However, the events of saturday night in particular have proven that it might be time to start asking a few more questions.
Every spring, for as long as any of us can remember, another school’s chapter of my fraternity has visited our house for one weekend in April. In the interest of protecting their anonymity, I will not be including the name of their school in this column. Let’s just say that their university begins with an “L” and it rhymes with “cream-pie.” Alright, fine, fuck, it’s Lehigh. Happy?
The appearance of this random group of dudes on our porch this past weekend was – as it usually is – a little suspect. They claimed to be our brothers, and seemed to be perfectly sociable. Still, a large group of men showing up at your house will inevitably result in some initial awkwardness. It’s hard to avoid.
Nobody really questioned the situation, though. Who are we to break with the time-honored tradition of blindly accepting traditions? We did what we always do and welcomed them into our house with open arms and stocked coolers.
It was implied that they were our brothers. Mostly because they told us that they were our bothers! There was no need for lengthy questioning at that point. We just smiled, clapped them on the back, and directed them towards the nearest refrigerator.
They drank our booze, socialized with our female guests, and educated their pledges rather publicly (interesting move in somebody else’s house, but, whatever), all under the guise of brotherhood. They seemed too confident to be full of shit. So, we all just kind of went with it.
That is, until one of our own guys performed a two second Google search on their chapter.
Turns out, they aren’t even in our fraternity. All it took was one light internet background check to prove that their chapter hasn’t existed for the past four fucking years. They were booted off of their campus back in 2014 for an indoor urination related incident (happens to the best of us).
After receiving an indefinite suspension from their school for the whole piss thing, they actually merged with another fraternity on their campus, adopted a different set of letters, and forfeited all of their former affiliations.
Even though a few of their seniors were around back when their chapter of our fraternity still existed, 90% of their members currently belong to a completely different organization. After this spring, that number will go up to a full blown 100%.
They just wanted a place to party for the night. A small part of me respects the hell out of them for that. It’s just such a bold move, especially considering how easy it was to disprove.
Underground/rogue iterations of your own fraternity are one thing. They’re actually kind of badass. Those guys have a sort of renegade allure that recognized chapters can only dream of achieving. That wasn’t the case here; these dudes were just straight up members of a different organization.
They essentially Trojan Horsed their way into our party on a packed Saturday night and drank all of our beer. A shitty, yet kind of brilliant move on their part.
Most of the guys in my house wanted to kick them out immediately, which was understandable. I was pretty indifferent on the matter. Despite being full of shit, they seemed like nice enough guys. Plus, it’s always fun to party with people from other universities. Trading war stories with guys from another school is a great way to learn new shit that might improve your house’s events in the future.
The resolution that I ultimately arrived at is this: If another school’s chapter of your organization gets booted off of their campus, or nationally de-recognized, they’re still your brothers. You should show them the utmost respect and hospitality and pray that the same shit doesn’t happen to you. However, once those same guys decide to jump ship, switch teams, and put on a new set of letters, then they can go fuck themselves. Problem solved..