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6C - Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Michigan Daity - michigandaily.com

6C - Tuesday, September 8, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

What it means
to go Greek

Find your niche with'U' clubs

Daily StaffReporter
Going Greek - What exactly
does that mean? Meeting for
an omelette and hashbrowns at
Mr. Greek's State Street? Maybe
around 1 pm on a Sunday. A new
immersive study abroad program?
Eh, I don't think so. But, as hot
Indian summer afternoon turns
into crisp earlyfall evening, going
Greek means choosing more than
omelet ingredients.
Commonly the term going
Greek is used to describe a choice
made by freshmen each school
year at Universities across the
country. At larger schools like
the University of Michigan, it
is often a popular way to find a
smaller niche in a seemingly end-
less expanse of students and their
groups. Additionally, joining a
sorority or fraternity definitely
relieves the pressure of finding
housing for sophomore year.
There are a few different paths
to becoming a member of the Uni-
versity's Greek system. While the
"traditional" ways consist of join-
ing one of the sixteen sororities
of the Pan-Hellenic association
or the thirty fraternities of the
Interfraternity Council, potential
members also have the option of
joining co-ed fraternities tailored
to specific interests like business
or law. There are also the Multi-
cultural fraternities and sorori-

ties, which allow students to join
based on different ethnicites.
Some like to mark Interfrater-
nity fraternities and Pan-Hellenic
sororities as excessive drinkers,
the bastions of party animals and
the terrorizers of an otherwise
quiet campus life. But in all seri-
ousness, many might argue that
Welcome Week wouldn't exist
without a blowout PIKE party and
those football Saturdays wouldn't
be as much fun without making
stops at various fraternity out-
posts with the ritual trek down
State Street.
Rushing a sorority can be
overwhelming. Women who
are already members spend
countless hours preparing for
rush. While many houses have
impressive decorations and great
snacks, rushees are reminded to
remember where they feel most
comfortable and to see through
the virtual blockade of stream-
ers and curled ribbon. Addition-
ally, houses come with their own
stereotypes. While some girls do
fit roles espoused by Greeks and
non-Greeks alike it is important
to assess each house in its own
right. But some do get caught up
in the hype, hoping to be associ-
ated with the best label they can.
These groups sure know how to
throw down for a party, and join-
ing a group gives a new freshman
an immediate network of friends
from across the country.

Daily StaffReporter
Contrary to what you may have
been told, you won't always be
burning the midnight oil at the
closest library multiple nights in
a row. Chances are, you'll find
yourself with a bit of free time
on your hands and no idea what
to do with it. The University
offers plenty of options for you to
choose from that will provide you
with the needed distraction from
your quality library time.
Given that the University is
so large, you are bound to find
at least a few people that share a
common interest or hobby with

you. No matter how abstract or
unique your interest is, at the
University those hobbies have
been turned into clubs and groups
that easily can be joined.
For instance, if you find
squirrels, especially the fuzzy
and chubby Ann Arbor ones, to be
incredibly cute and entertaining,
there's a group you could join
for that. Or perhaps fitness is
more of an interest to you -
there are running clubs, rock
climbing groups and martial arts
organizations. Then again, maybe
dancing is more of your thing;
there are groups that range from
ballroom dancing to Latin to even
classical dance. Even if you are

more interested in professional or
academic hobbies, such as foreign
language speaking, writing
for a journal or newspaper,
engineering, entrepreneurship or
even robotics, there are groups
for those as well. There are even
groups for political affiliations
andbeliefs.Allthese examples are
merely just scratching the surface
of the hundreds of organizations
the University offers, and if by
the off chance you don't find
what you're looking for, you can
always be the founder of a new
one. The point is, no matter what
it is you have a passion for, you'll
most likely find it here.
Though all the groups that

exist are very different in nature,
they all have one important thing
in common: once you become a
part of the group, the members
start to feel like family to you.
This can be especially great if
the University's size scares you
or you start feeling a little home-
sick. Being part of such a group
will allow you to have a small
community feel with people that
share the same interests that you
Also, having them will help you
get through those nights when
you actually do need to stay in
the library until very late hours
studying for a midterm or writing
a paper you have yet to finish.

Relive the glory days with IM sports


Daily Sports Writer
Just when you thought your ath-
letic career was over, think again.
OK, so maybe you lost a step, can't
jump quite as high as you once
could and you're carrying around
a few extra pounds, but intramural
sports at The University of Michi-
gan offer everyone the chance to
stay competitive on the court, on
the field and even on the rink.
The U-M Department of Rec-
reational Sports offers nearly 30
different sports for Michigan stu-
dents, ranging from the popular
flag football and basketball, to the
more obscure innertube water
polo and broomball (hockey on
ice). With six different groups -
co-recreation, fraternity, gradu-
ate faculty staff, independent men,
independent women and residence
hall - IM sports offer every stu-
dent a chance to play sports in col-
The skilllevel, mental and physi-
cal preparation and stakes aren't as
high as you're used to, but IM can
be just as competitive. This is most
evident in the fraternity league,
where rivalries between houses

have been going on for years. Fin-
ishing atop the IM standings is a
huge goal for some houses, and
when Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp),
Pi Kappa Phi (Pi Kapps), Pi Kappa
Alpha (PIKE) or Phi Gamma Delta
(FIJI) meet up, you can expect the
same type of intensity from your
high school days. And in every
other league, expect to see plenty
of Division III-type athletes who
decided that a big school was their
better fit.
The one advantage to play-
ing IM sports instead of a varsity
sport is your interaction with the
referees. I know some of you read-
ing this don't care much for poor
officiating, but you had to bite your
tongue in high school. Well, wel-
come to college, where freedom of
speech is encouraged - just don't
cost your team sportsmanship
Maybe - no - the best part of IM
sports has nothing to do with the
games or the competition. When
you come to Michigan, it's all about
the coveted championship t-shirts.
Each year, Rec Sports comes up
with a different style t-shirt, and
aside from doing well in school,
seeing a football team that finishes

2008-2009 INTRAMURAL
3-on-3 Basketball Basketball
Soccer Inner Tube Water Polo
Softball Mini Soccer
Team Tennis Badminton
Cross Country "Foxtrot" Swim and Dive Meet
Golf Table Tennis
Ultimate Frisbee BroombalL
Sand Volleyball Volleyball
Track and Field Dodgeball
Broomball Racquetball
Flag Football Bouldering Competition
Bouldering Competition
Wrestling Meet
3-on-3 BasketbalL 3-on-3 Basketball
4-on-4 Basketball Sand Volleyball
Sand Volleyball Softball
above .500 and turning 21, collect- IM sports gives you're the
ingIM championship shirts should opportunity to stay competitive
be your main goal for the next four and active while meeting new
years. When you can walk into people in a new place. Make an IM
class donning one of those, you're team with your friends and bring
on top of the world. 'home abrand-new t-shirt.

Here's your disclaimer - not everyone who belongsto the following
fraternities fits the stereotyp of the house. But generalizations exist for
a reason.
Sure, you're not technically supposed to go into rush with
preconceived notions of each house, but we're betting you'll realize
which houses are more academic, atheletic, or party-oriented within
your first week here.
We took many of the following descriptionsfrom Michigan's College
On The Record blog, written by a former student using a pseudonym.
Go ahead and laugh. It's all in good fun - and you'll understand soon

point & counterpoint on: GREEK LIFE

'The guys there enjoy wearing
sunglasses indoors, lifting
weights...sporting plaid shorts
and owning every color of polo
shirt imaginable."
"The biggest, richest, most
powerful house on campus.
And they don't even know.
(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 button-
ups ... Their (baseball) hats are
always flat brimmed, tail, and so
precariously perched you swear
you could blow it off their heads
if you breathe too hard in their
"A siren song to many
freshmen 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."
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 balcony,
leaning over and shouting
to things to passersby as a
bunch of shirtless guys show
off their subpar volleyball
skills in the front "yard."

"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 moeny
for cancer research at Mott
Children's Hospital. What the
hell can I make fun of there?"
They throw bottle caps
instead of ping-pong balls
into 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.
Known for its constant,
disgusting displays of
debauchery, AEPi is pretty
much the Michgian version of
"Animal House." But when the
boys aren't partying, they're
studying - the house has
the highest GPA on campus.
Maybe alcohol doesn't kill that
man 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 kind-of-alright-
but-slightly-awkward kids
in class."
'A majority of 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 pong."
- This article orignally ran in
the 2008 New Student Edition.
Descriptions in quotes courtesy
of College On The Record: http://
of michigan/michigan-greek


control theyears afteryougraduate
from college and start living in the
realworld, you can controlthe next
four years with one decision -join
the Greek system.
Becoming a member of a
fraternity was the best decision I
made during my freshman year in
Ann Arbor. And to be honest, it's
not because of the crazy parties
fraternities throw (but those are
sweet, too).
The best part of Greek Life
is the relationships you develop
with the people in your house. It's
possible to make friends by going
to random parties, by meeting
people in your dorms and classes.
But there is no other organization
on campus that offers freshman
as many quality opportunities to
meet new people, develop fresh
relationships and become a partof
something that is bigger than the
individual like the Greek system.
There is an old saying: It's not
what you know, but who you know
in order to meet distinguished
alumni who are already making
huge strides outside of college and
who can help you in the future.
And by being a part of a group that
ranges from freshman to seniors
to alumni, you have a wide variety
of people to model yourself after,
as well as countless connections
to work with.
Moreover, you will become
lifelongfriends with people that are
knowledgeable and experienced
over such helpful things as campus
life. From parties to brotherhood
or sisterhood events, there is rarely
a dull weekend on campus because
of Greek Life. And sometimes

it's impossible to get into a party COLLEGE LIFE without
without your Greek ID - only social activities isn't college
attainable through being part of life. But there are ways besides
the Greek system. the Greek system to save over-
I cannot imagine my life at caffeinated students from
Michigan without being in a spending every Friday night in
fraternity. But at the same time, I the library constantly checking
had more than a fair share of fears CTools.
about joining the Greek system. College is the first time we step
I wasn't sure if I wanted to away from our home - and our
commit to such a big institution, protective moms and dads - to
I was worried about the pressure venture out on our own. It is the
to drink, and I was very confused time to learn how adults conduct
on how much time I would have themselves in the classroom,
to devote. But as time went by, I business and bar settings.
developed a deep sense of pride for It is at the University that we
my house. I wanted to be known learn how to manage our time
as a member of a fraternity, and effectively. We learn to refine the
I wanted to spend a lot of time at balance between hours devoted
the house, too. The pressure to to studying and hours spent in a
drink differs from house to house, slightly more inebriated state.
but if you're still worried about the The Greek system hinders
expectations of drinking while in our ability to find the right
a house, I can honestly say that balance during our college
I didn't take a sip of alcohol my year. While becoming an adult
entire freshman year. includes learning how to have
My feelings on Greek Life are a good time - and perhaps
not unique. This is the consensus occasionally indulging in excess
among members of the Greek - it also is the time to step up
system. to the responsibilities of life and
If you want to rush a house, do seriously prepare for the future.
it. The state of many fraternity
If you are hesitant, there's houses is a prime example of how
nothing wrong with checking out the Greek system often ignores
houses during rush in order to gain the simplest of responsibilities:
a better understanding of how the cleaning. Greek houses might
Greek system works. We all know look beautiful from the outside
Greek Life isn't for everyone, but if in terms of architecture, but on
you are even thinking aboutjoining the inside, they are complete
a house, give it some deep thought. shit holes. To be fair, not all frat
Most importantly, particularly houses are disgusting and most
in fall rush because if you want sorority houses are actually quite
to make the best of your four clean. But the frats most popular
at Michigan - you've got to go for parties are some of the most
Greek. dank and dirty buildings around.
-ALEX PROSPERI The disproportionate
emphasis on drinking in many
fraternities is also a problem
the Interfraternity Council -
the umbrella organization that

oversees fraternity chapters at
the University - has mishandled.
You just have to have a few friends
involved in Greek Life to know
the many loopholes there are in
the council's drinking regulations
and how central drinking is to a
frat boy's life.
Have you ever been to a frat
party where someone draws
something on your hand, even if
you didn't bring your own beer?
That's just one example of the
party loopholes in council's rules:
Everyone is supposed to BYOB,
but instead the frat provides the
booze and just makes a mark on
your hand to correspond to what
you brought - err, didn't bring.
That's not to say that there
aren't a few good academic
fraternities around. This sector of
the Greek system focuses on the
academic aspect of college life.
Often these frats will focus on
one specific subject, such as math
or business. But these fraternities
also promote an unbalanced
approach to college life. All work
and no play makes, well, you
The key to a successful and
enjoyable college experience is
moderation. Go out and be wild
Friday and Saturday. Maybe even
Thursday night if the first few
days ofthe week were particularly
stressful; But be ready for class
on Monday, the protest on
Tuesday and the Model United
Nations meeting on Wednesday;
be ready to do something more
than indulge yourself during your
college experience.
If you are looking for a lot
of drinking and nothing else,
you should head straight to the
nearest frat or sorority. If not,
steer clear of Greek Life.



- This article originally ran in the 2007 New Student Edition.

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