The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam
New Student Edition - 9C
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom New Student Edition - 9C
Here's your disclaimer
-not everyone who
belongs to the following
fraternities fits the stereotype
of the house. But generaliza-
tions exist for a reason.
Sure, you're not technically
supposed togo into rush with pre-
conceived notions of each house,
but we're betting you'll realize
which houses are more academic,
athletic or party-oriented within
your first week here.
We took many of the follow-
ing descriptions from Michi-
gan's College On The Record
blog, written by a former stu-
dent using a pseudonym. Go
ahead and laugh. It's all in good
fun - and you'll understand
PHI KAPPA PSI
"The guys there enjoy wear-
ing sunglasses indoors, lifting
weights ... sporting plaid shorts
and owning every color of polo
"The biggest, richest, most
powerful house on campus. And
don't they know it. (They're best
known for) the Mudbowl game
they host every year where they
face off against another frat
which literally has to limp on
the field to play them."
"When going to class, they
wear $6 stained white t-shirts
and sweat pants, but when going
out for the night, they wear $300
Armani hand woven bptton-
ups. ... Their (baseball) hats are
always flat brimmed, tall and so
precariously perched you swear
you could blow it off their heads
if you breathe too hard in their
PI KAPPA ALPHA
"A siren song to many fresh-
men early on in their college
careers, both male and female.
If you get past the sick house
with a multi-level dance floor
full of hot girls, you're left with
a bunch of ex-lacrosse players in
pink Abercrombie button-ups."
ALPHA DELTA PHI
Known as "Shady Phi," it's
probably the most recognizable
house on campus - the white
one with the sand volleyball
court. The brothers there seem
to love standing on the balco-
ny, leaning over and shouting
things to passersby as a bunch
of shirtless guys show off their
subpar volleyball skills in the
PHI GAMMA DELTA
"I swear,' every time I see a
Fiji in his little Fiji hat, there's
a 50 percent chance he's on the
Diag, collecting money for can-
cer research at Mott Children's
Hospital. What the hell can I
make fun of there?"
SIGMA PHI EPSILON
They throw bottle caps
instead of ping-pong balls into
S beer cups. They don't believe in
pledge terms. Sig Ep is like that
kid in high school who everyone
made fun of for being weird but
who, in the end, was somehow
still kind of lovable.
ALPHA EPSILON PI.
Known for its constant, dis-
gusting displays of debauchery,
AEi is pretty much the Michi-
gan version of "Animal House."
But when the boys aren't par-
tying, they're studying - the
house has the highest overall
fraternity GPA on campus.
Maybe alcohol doesn't kill that
many brain cells after all.
"My quick first impressions
of the house were just a few B-
school dorks I knew from here
and there and then the various
awkward kids in class."
"A majority of the guys are
rather skuzzy and overall, quite,
let's say abrasive, but they've
never done anything to warrant
the 'bad boy' image ... they kind
of just hang out and play beer
- Descriptions in quotes
courtesy of College On The
Geeksgck to community
By ERICA GELLER
Date parties. Mixers. Loud fra-
At first mention of the Greeksys-
tem, all of the above might come to
mind. But when sorority and fra-
ternity members examine their let-
ters, they're thinking aboutanother
The charity projects adopted by
each chapter are often overlooked
but are extremelyvitalto the system.
With the large network that mem-
bership to the Greek system offers,
fraternity and sorority members put
their skills to use to help a variety of
local and national organizations.
GREEK WEEK: MAKING AN
The Greek system's main chari-
table event is Greek Week Inc., a
10-day fundraiser in the spring.
Last year, all four councils - the
Interfraternity Council, Panhel-
lenic Association, National Pan-
Hellenic Council and Multicultural
Greek Council - worked together
to raise more than $80,000 for
charities, including the American
Diabetes Association, the Ameri-
can Red Cross, Meals on Wheels
and the Ronald McDonald House
nities and sororities joined together
to form teams named for former
Olympic Games hosts, coinciding
with a theme modeled after the
Beijing Olympics. Individuals from
each team competed in events that
ranged from aluminum can build-
ing and spelling conteststo Capture
the Flag and Tug of War.
For the athletic, artistic and
enthusiastic, Greek Week offers a
wide variety of events. Even though
winners take pride in their accom-
plishments, the activities always
help to raise money for charitable
"The charity aspect of Greek
Week is really important," said Phi
Delta Theta member Alexander
Carrick VII, Greek Week Represen-
tative of the Year. "It's much bet-
ter to get the headlines about how
much money the Greek community
raised ... as opposed to the other
headlines we normally get."
Everyyear, Greek Week endswith
the Sing and Variety competition,
which is arguably the most popular
event of the week and features an a
cappella mix ofsongs and dance.
Pi Kappa Alpha, Alpha Delta Phi
and Delta Gamma, whose Team
Atlanta was the overall winner of
last year's Greek Week, won the
Sing event by blending together
songs full of American pride to
match their star-spangled outfits.
The funds generated from
T-shirt sales, Penny Wars, can
deposits and tickets to events like
Dancing with the Greeks, Mr. and
Ms. Greek Week and Sing and Vari-
ety were matched last year by TCF
Bank in Ann Arbor. The bank also
contributed a "wind booth," where
a representative from each team
could stand in the booth and try to
grab money to be dohated to char-
ity in the name of their team.
Some fraternities and sorori-
ties have taken advantage of Greek
Week hype by incorporating their
annual charity events into the
week's activities. Last year, Delta
Gamma ran its annual Anchors-
plash event during Greek Week.
The event, which is held at Canham
Natatorium and benefits the Kel-
relays, synchronized swimming,
and water contests. Though admis-
sion was free, the sorority raised
about $3,000 in donations.
"This year was the first year
we did two benefit nights to raise
money and awareness for the
event," said Delta Gamma Anchors-
plash coordinator Emily O'Connor.
"We also got our T-shirts earlier
this year with the date of the event
on the front so that Delta Gammas
could wear them around campus
beforehand to raise awareness."
PHILANTHROPY IS MORE
THAN A10-DAY COMMITMENT
In addition to participating in
Greek Week, individual houses also
work to make their events known
on campus and generate support
for their own charities.
During the FIJI/PIKE Rivalry
Run every November, the Univer-
sity of Michigan and Ohio State
University chapters of Phi Gamma
Delta and Pi Kappa Alpha run the
official Michigan/Ohio State game
During the festivities of Greek Week, the University's fraternities and sororities raised more than $80,000 for charity.
ball from the home stadium to the
Last year's 187-mile, 30-hour
run from Columbus to Ann Arbor
raised approximately $80,000 for
the Coach Carr Cancer Fund and
American Cancer Society.
This will be the sixth year of the
Rivalry Run and the second where
the Michigan and Ohio State chap-
ters of Phi Gamma Delta and Pi
Kappa Alpha have joined together
for the cause.
During the first three years, the
fraternities had separate relay runs
and raised a combined $210,000.
"While we all work together, we
motivate each other based on the
than every other chapter involved -
especially those in Ohio State," Phi
Gamma Delta philanthropy chair
Jeremy Kreisberg said via e-mail.
One of the most publicized events
on campus by a single fraternity is
the Pi Kappa Alpha Comedy Night,
which began in 2003. It currently
raises money for Michigan Reach
Out, an organization that pairs Uni-
versity students with children who
are behind in school.
Last year's program benefited
Scarlett Middle School in Ann
Arbor, which has a higher-than-.
county-average sex rate, rape rate
and illicit drug use rate.
Members of the Sigma Alpha
Mu fraternity and Sigma Delta Tau
sorority joined forces in Novem-
ber to launch "Pink Week," which
raised money for the , American
Cancer Society and the Susan G.
Komen Foundation. The two Greek
organizations rAised more than
$12,000 by selling more than 1,500
breast cancer awareness T-shirts
emblazoned with a "Go Blue, Think
Pink" logo and running pink lem-
onade stands. The week ended with
a "pink party" at Necto nightclub.
"The Greek community was a
huge help, with almost every soror-
ity having a 'Go Blue, Think Pink'
rep to help sell shirts," Sigma Alpha
Mu president Aaron Miller said.
"We're doing it all again this year
with more corporate sponsors and
activities on campus."
NOT EVERY CHARITY RAISES
THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
Many other fraternities and
sororities engage in smaller-scale
events. Last year, Delta Phi Epsi-
lon held a candlelight vigil on
the Diag and said a small prayer
for victims of anorexia nervosa.
Phi Delta Theta holds an annual
haunted house for a middle school
and charges an admission price to
raise money for a local charity. Chi
Omega attended a senior citizen
dance to support the elderly com-
munity in Ann Arbor.
Though no one would deny that
members of Greeks attend parties
and enjoy their social lives, that's
true for most college students.
But participating in a fraternity
or sorority can give a student the
opportunity to make an enormous
philanthropic impact in ways that
an unaffiliated student might not
always be ableto accomplish alone.
- Alex Prosperi and Courtney
Ratkowiak contributed to this report.
The good, bad and ugly of sorority rush
By ALLIE FOSTER - it's not binding. I knew several
On Sorority Rush people who ended up quitting half-
way through rush.
After only a few days on campus, one friend realized that the
the majority of incoming freshmen sorority life wasn't for her.
will find themselves becoming Another friend had her heart set
quite familiar with Greek letters. on one particular house and, after
Plotting out your Welcome not getting a bid from there, spent
Week nighttime agenda will most the majority of her night sitting
likely lead you to the evening'sbig- on the disgusting Markley carpet
gest fraternity party. and wailing about how she didn't
You'll probably play beer pong get a bid from the only sorority she
or possibly find yourself dancing could see herself joining.
on a table. It was after seeing her sobbing
You'll begin to learn the location that night that I promised myself
of every house. I'd keep all of my options open to
And as that week of no respon- guarantee I wouldn't experience
sibility comes to an end and you that same disappointment.
finally upload your sloppy photos I immediately noticed how eas-
to Facebook.com, it'll already be ily rush could interfere with my
time to decide whether or not you classwork. Most of the girls, myself
want to go Greek. included, were spending hours get-
I always knew I wanted to rush. ting ready for rush - shavingtheir
ButI found that alot of students legs in the gross dorm showers,
sort of stumble upon the idea using bottles of hairspray to guar-
- they hear about it from a friend antee that their hair wouldn't frizz
or feel that ifthey don't rush, up and carefully applying makeup
they'llbe the only one in their hall so that it wouldn't smear in the
not doing it. 90-degree weather. Girls in my
The first thing to know about hall ran around to borrow dresses,
rush is that you can always quit shoes and jewelry.
The entire thing seemed so
shallow, but we all knew that
appearance would be extremely
important. And it was.
As soon as I walked into the
first house, a girl walked up to me,
smiled and said, "Hey, cute dress!"
I'm notproud of it, butI defi-
nitely relaxed a little after that.
I had no idea what to expect
whenI first visited all of the houses.
I just followed my rush group to
Hill Street, Washtenaw Avenue, S.
Forest Street and Tappan Street,
fanning myself with the map I was
given that day. I was suddenly over-
whelmed, looking atall the houses.
And then I heard what sounded
like the Big House during a tied
Michigan vs. Ohio State game
- shouting and screaming from
the different houses. Each house
had a theme, chant and songthat,
unfortunately, I found myself still
humming days later.
I was surprised that the stereo-
typical Elle Woods sorority wasn't
all that was offered at Michigan.
It was comfortingthat I wouldn't
have to dye my dark brown hair
blonde in order to get a bid from
a house I liked (well, at least from
the majority ofthe houses).
The fact that I'm big on Jesus
naturally cut a few houses off of my
list, and by the second and third
sets, I was visiting houses that I
could actually see myself living in.
I was no longer questioning wheth-
er or not my breath smelled bad or
if my outfit made me look fat.
By the time of preference par-
ties (the last part of rush), the
initial mixers seemed-so long ago.
The conversations with the girls
became a little more intimate going
beyond "Sooo... what dorm are
you living in?" and "What's your
major?" I laughed at the thought of
myself rushing around Ann Arbor
in heels, trying to make it to every
house on my schedule. My feet
were throbbing and I hadblisters
in places I didn't know existed. But
in the end, Iended up in a house I
can now call home.
Chances are that, whether or
not you go Greek, youwill prob-
ably still find yourself dancing on
Pike's dance floor inthat skanky,
Halloween costume 400 other
girls are wearing. And the truth is
rushing a sorority does nothave
to limit you to leggings, Uggs, and
Longchampe bags, "crankin' dat
soldier boy" at one of the fraterni-
ties before the football games.
Not everyone who rushes has
their Greek letters printed on the
butt of her sweatpants and practi-
cally tattooed across her forehead.
Not everyone who rushes spends
hours at the Grad Library, binge
drinks on the weekends and only
hangs out with guys in plaid shorts
and popped-collared Polos.
If you decide to rush, pledge
because you believe in their phi-
lanthropy and because you enjoy
spending time with the girls. Don't
think that it'll make your social
life a lot better than someone who
didn't choose to rush. Most impor-
tantly, don'tlimityour friendships
to only people within the Greek
system - meet people outside of
the Greekbubble. Some of my clos-
est friends are those I've met out-
side of the Greek organization.
As a member of Greek Life at the
University, I could truly tell anyone
who says that I "pay for my friends"
that I certainly don'tpay enough.
Where intramurals are more than just a game
By ALEX PROSPERI ers may base their philosophies
On Greek Athletics around excelling in IM sports.
Being able to throw a football or
For most students, the begin- shoot a basketball well will never
ning of college symbolizes the end guarantee a spot in a fraternity,
of participating in competitive but being an accomplished high
sports. But for those in the Greek school athlete might help with
system, there is still the opportu- getting a bid - especially if that
nity for four more years of glory. will help the fraternity win a
Although the skill level, hours championship.
of preparation and nationwide Last year, the overall IM Cham-
importance pale in comparison pionship was determined by the
to intercollegiate athletics, Greek winner of the volleyball champi-
intramural sports at Michigan onship game. The game featured
serve as an outlet for those frater- two teams that are always at the
nity members who top of the IM
still have a drive to Championship
compete. rankings, Sigma
And there is def- Almost every Phi Epsilon and
initely no lack of Pi Kappa Alpha.
competition. ouse iS eager to In a three-
Winning the o set match, each
overall Intramural prove its ySu er J5 team exchanged
Championship is on the court. match point sev-
the ultimate ath- eral times before
letic accomplish- the winner was
ment for a house. decided.
The championship During the
is determined by the house that game, fans from both fraterni-
accumulates the most points dur- ties crowded the IM Building.
ing the fall and winter intramu- The passion each team had for
ral seasons, and points are given its respective house was the
based on the final standings of most impressive after the 2007
individual sports. 5-on-5 basketball championship
Almost every house is eager to at Crisler Arena, when fans and
prove its superiority on the court. players rushed the court after a
And although it's never the decid- close win.
ing factor during rush, athletic Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi
ability is one traita fraternity may Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi are
search for if it has a strong desire perennial frontrunners for the
for intramural achievement. IM Championship, which leads to
Though some fraternity houses intense rivalries.
aren't athletically inclined, oth- When I or my other fraternity
brothers see a member of one of
the other houses on our schedule,
we get the same feeling that we
did playing our cross-town rivals
in high school. The rivalry games
are definitely more physical than
the normal Greek IM sporting
And apart from traditional IM
sports, Greeks have proyen they
can play almost any sport at a very
One Saturday morning, my
friends dragged me out of bed to
run in the intramural 5K cross-
country meet. Along with frater-
nity members, a few Ann Arbor
residents also participated in the
race. I was the last guy to finish
- I even lost to someone who was
receiving Social Security.
But the most amazing part ofthe
race was that there were guys run-
ning the race in 18 minutes while I
finished in just under half an hour.
There are plenty of Greek athletes
who could easily play at a smaller
school, and many could have a
good chance of making a varsity
team at Michigan. For example,
former Michigan baseball player
Matt Fisher played Greek IM
sports before walking on to the
varsity team as a junior.
Whether or not a student is ath-
letically inclined, he can find his
niche in the Michigan Greek sys-
But for those who dream of their
glory days back in high school,
playing IM sports with a fraterni-
ty can help bring those memories
Fraternities at the 'U compete annually for the overall Intramural Championship.