So, why didn't YOU join a fraternity or sorority in college?

At a recent cocktail party, a couple of friends asked why I didn’t join a frat in college. FWIW, most of my college buddies belonged to major national frats or sororities. I went to enough Greek parties to know they held nothing for me and have since done well enough with my career and social life to confirm that impression.

What I recall bothering me most was the frat indoctrination process–of pledges willingly surrendering their individuality, marching in lockstep and adopting that annoying Steve Dallas frat-boy persona. The cultish group think weirded the hell out of me, as did the unabashed elitism and unenlightened attitude toward women.

Admittedly, I’m talking about the national frats at an “elite” (cough) southern school. Not sure how this applies to the rest.
What about you?

At my first college there were only two fraternities, the social one and the service one. The service one was dead boring and I could go to pretty much any of the social one’s parties that I wanted to without joining. Additionally, I was extremely overweight and closeted and unhappy about it. The former would have worked against me in getting into the social frat and the latter coupled with the low self-esteem that went with it prevented me from pursuing it.

I transferred when I was a sophomore/junior, in the middle of the school year. I was too busy settling in during my first semester to think about anything like a fraternity and in the course of that semester became the Campus Queer so even if I had been interested in pledging (which I wasn’t in the slightest) it’s doubtful any frats would have pledged me.

My school didn’t have any. There were what were called Final Clubs, but they were by invitation only (no pledging), open to only about 2% of the student body, and didn’t provide living quarters for members. And even those weren’t officially affiliated with the school.

There were 12 upperclassmen dorms, and most social life revolved around those, or around the various clubs and other activities.

Go Quincy House.

They just weren’t a big thing at my school. We had a couple local fraternities and one sorority. We were only slightly aware of them. Once in a while they’d have a fund raiser or something and we’d realize that they were still around.

I went to Tulane in New Orleans and it was about 50% Greek. You didn’t exactly need to be in a fraternity to have partying options. The city was the last holdout for an 18 year old drinking age while I was there from '91 - '95. It was a city where you could literally go to a different bar every night of your college career and never go to the same one twice. In addition, Tulane had a rule that many fraternity party’s had to be open to all students (with a $4 cover or so). I partied in all the frat houses and was responsible for none. The fraternities subsidized a lot of this. My now wife and my roommate were in the Greek system. I got plenty of that without joining myself. Plus, I had three jobs and made mostly A’s. There wasn’t a lot of extra time. I am not a joiner either so that would never be my bag.

First of all, I’m a girl, but I hated frats. They got everything in our college. i was part of the South Asian Students’ Association, and literally, if we reserved something first that was for all of the associations and then the frats wanted it, they could just take it. I remember at least three events where we had reserved one of the buses and they took them last-minute, causing us to scurry to try to get rides for everyone. One time we had to cancel the event. :rolleyes: They were arrogant, stuck-up, and total assholes.

Why didn’t I join a sorority? I didn’t like the types of girls that joined. I am extremely independent and tend to march to a different drummer anyway…how could I join a group where everyone did the same thing? And the girls were horrible…rude and bitchy. And sluts.

Major disclaimer: I don’t wish to make it seem like every frat or sorority is bad in my eyes. I just had a lot of bad experiences with the ones at my college. They were terrible! But then I went to a school that was big on them.

There are no frats or sororities at my school. Also, generally, all students have to live on campus up until their senior year, so it’s not like there’s much chance to get out of living in the dorms anyway. Go Grinnell.

When I was looking for schools it was a big plus for me if they didn’t have any frats (or if the frats were a very minor part of the social life). In retrospect I’m not entirely sure why I was so against it; I’m not naturally a joiner, which is part of it, but I guess I had some stereotyped ideas that at schools that had frats there was big pressure to join or you were a social outcast. And I just didn’t want to deal with that. Also, I wasn’t a big partier at the time, so the parties weren’t of interest to me.

So I ended up going to two schools that didn’t have any frats. What I discovered was that such places tend to end up with default fraternities anyways – usually a “cool” dorm where the wild parties take place, that had what I imagined a frat feel to it.

Somewhat surprisingly, since I’ve graduated I’ve sometimes wished I had been in a fraternity after all. I didn’t have too happy a college experience, and I wonder if being part of a fraternity would have helped – pulled me out of my loner tendancies a bit, led to better friendships, whatever. I don’t think I would ever have liked living in an Animal House type situation, but a more mild fraternity might have been good for me.

Wasn’t asked.

I didn’t like the idea of the pledging process and hell week. Plus the fraternity parties were open to all students, but the brothers were the ones paying for everything and having to do all the work before and after the parties. They also had to spend weekends doing maintenance on their houses. Who wants to be required to do all that work? I was much happier as an independent.

My college was way too small for a Greek system, not to mention being a Catholic, liberal arts school. Plus, it was mostly commuters: of the ~1000 undergrads, maybe 250 lived on campus. Hell, we didn’t even have a football team (and they got lacrosse the year after I graduated, the bastards!). There are more students these days, but still no football team or Greek system.

Yep, that would have been “House 7” at my college. :smiley:

Unless they were kept a secret there weren’t any fraternities or sororities at the U.S. Military Academy. So no opportunity to join one would be my reason.

I served four years in the military before I started college. I was older than my classmates and would have felt silly getting involved in frat type activities.

I didn’t really know anything about fraternities going in to college, so I missed my window. I haven’t seen anything in the intervening four years that makes me think I missed out on a lot, though.k

I’m not a joiner, at all. I’ve tried to join organizations that sounded interesting from time to time, and every time I realize I’m miserable and end up dropping out. Message boards are the closest I’ve ever been to staying with an organization, and I don’t go to any face-to-face outings for them either (like Dopefests.) So I didn’t even waste my time with a sorority. I couldn’t even figure out what their purpose was.

I never really had an interest in joining. At my school, frats are a side-thought. In first year, all you knew is that they had keggers where the beer would run out by 11:00 or it would be busted up by the cops before then. Also, I had a bad experience in first year with some people in my dorm who were prime frat material.

In fact, I can’t think of anyone in a frat. Then again, I’m guessing most engineers are too busy drinking with each other to need an outside organization to plan it for us.

Don’t have any at my school. For one, we’re just not big enough to have any Greek life (one of the smallest schools in the country), and even if we were, it wouldn’t ‘fit’ the school’s culture*.

I actually don’t think I even applied to any schools with any Greek life. It was just never appealing to me. In high school, the only two groups I really embraced being a member of were the GSA and “those weird kids no one talks to”. I’ve never been into group identities at all.

*[size=2]We’re all geeks. Serious, serious book geeks. Some college rankings recently declared us something like fifth on the list of “students never stop studying”, and at the same spot on the list for “happiest students”. Geek power!

They didn’t exist at my uni. They still don’t as far as I know. I think that’s the case for most Australian unis.

I disliked fraternities, and they weren’t interested in me.

Now that I’m older and I’m off my high horse (“Fraternities are so conformist! Full of moronic sheep!” etc.) and a little more self-confident, I don’t resent the Greek system the way I used to.

If I had it to do over again? I still wouldn’t join, and I still think my little college (2200 students, 50% Greek) would have been better off without Greeks at all. But I’d try to spend more quality time in sorority houses anyway. :wink:

I think there were some frats, but I never heard of them except when a frat house burned down from an overturned hookah. I think that’s also the only frat house I ever noticed on the street.

I think my brother attended a frat party once, but I never did. On the other hand, my university was 20,000 people, with only a fraction of first-years living on campus, in a big city. I certainly didn’t miss it.