Nobody likes stereotypes, and over the years, Fraternity men have been caricatured, lampooned, and portrayed in an unflattering manner by movies and television. This is not to say that members of the Fraternity community have not committed heinous offenses against their peers; they have. Yet, when the number of students committing these acts is viewed in the context of the American Fraternal system, they represent less than one-one-hundredth of one percent of the total membership. The media does not play up the positive values of Fraternity groups because they do not perceive these values to have “entertainment value,” but those ideals are much more characteristic of Fraternity life than is the “Animal House” caricature. Fraternities at DU, with the support of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, are committed to member education programs which instill commitment and pride in the organization, as opposed to the fear and negativity often associated with hazing and alcohol abuse.
The social life of fraternity men can be very rich and rewarding, with friendships made that can last a lifetime, and the development of social skills which will be useful to any adult. Fraternities provide activities which sharpen conversation techniques, conflict resolution skills, and promote poise and a sense of social grace. All of the Fraternity letter organizations at DU advocate the legal, responsible use of alcohol by members, and both they and their national organizations, as well as the Fraternity and Sorority Life staff, work to ensure that this responsibility is taken seriously.
It is important that each student who considers joining be aware of the expenses of both initially joining a group, and maintaining membership. Each chapter is self-supporting, funded largely by membership dues and some fundraising. Costs vary depending on individual national dues, insurance premiums, social fees, and house expenses, where applicable. Most chapters will provide a payment plans and reduced dues for members with special needs. Your student and you are strongly encouraged to ask about membership financial obligations.
Scholarships are also available through the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation.
First of all, be supportive of that decision and encourage your student to find out as much as they can about ZBT. Consult with your student as you feel comfortable about this decision, but in the end, let him or her make the choice for their membership. After that decision is made, talk with your daughter or son periodically and ask them about their Fraternity experience. Feel free to contact our Advisor, Stephen Ehrlich, or our Academic Advisor, Greg Grauberger, at email@example.com, and Greg.Grauberger@du.edu.