From inside a fraternity

opinion
November 23, 2017
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

By: Alex Bak

Through the various “frat” Instagram accounts that often boast drunk endeavours and the typical mishaps of college students and the advertisements of beer paraphernalia, it became apparent that fraternity life has been coined into a lifestyle brand for college student.

What people often forget in the midst of all the advertisements and representations on social media is that these secret Greek letter societies were formed for the betterment of bonds between the respective brothers and sisters in the community.

The jaded view that fraternities often get at McMaster as a boisterous pack of mindless partygoers does not do their other pillars justice. I hope this piece can shed some light on the growing impact that fraternities have in the McMaster and Hamilton community and destigmatize the image of Greek life.

In my journey as an active member of the Mu Delta chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, I have witnessed numerous achievements by the efforts of the brothers that have changed my view on the supposed lifestyle of fraternities.

Through the various challenges that disguises the true intent of PiKA, the yearly chart-topping fundraising in support of the McMaster Relay for Life and the pints of blood donated for the McMaster Stem Cell Drive, I have been proud to be a part of the phenomenal support that a student organization can give to other student initiatives.

Even in the next few weeks there will be brothers shaving their heads for the Shave for a Cure initiative. This does not go to say that only one Greek life society is attributed to this cause. The growing Greek life at McMaster is responsible for a good portion of the unseen volunteer environment.

In my journey as an active member of the Mu Delta chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, I have witnessed numerous achievements by the efforts of the brothers that have changed my view on the supposed lifestyle of fraternities.

Imbued by a sense of collective ownership of the university and as stakeholders of the community’s growth, even more students will participate in these determinations of their peers as the brothers have done.

In a seemingly unnaturally inclusive environment, the status of faculty or years become irrelevant leading to a bridging of a gap between lower and upper years that wouldn’t occur in any other typical, post-secondary situation.

This leads to a unique environment, in which both seniors and freshmen are able to benefit and empower each other and push each other to strive for more than they could individually. The group not only works to empower those within the fraternity, but also seeks out the best interest of others in the community by dedicating their time to extracurricular charity work.

My time as a brother has helped me learn that university is so much more than a degree. When your kids ask you about your time at McMaster and wonder about the university experience on day, will you be stumped in trying to remember what you did here, or will you be able to flaunt your involvement with the McMaster community with pride?

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