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Boise State Greek life is not an animal house

Boise State Greek life does not hold closely to the stereotype of plastered frat parties and sexualized sorority socializing. Alpha Gamma Delta and Sigma Chi are striving to change stereotypical perceptions of Boise State Greek life.

“It’s too bad people get that view,” said Miranda Allen, senior Alpha Gamma Delta member. “That’s the last thing we want; that’s why we’re doing our best and working against the stereotypical Greek life.”

Allen went on to explain the sense of community in Greek life.

“We want to be the Greek life that people see around the community, see as a positive and I think we’ve proven ourselves and done a good job at it so far; I’m interested to see where it goes after I’m gone,” Allen said.

Boise State’s Greek life seems pretty tame compared to universities across the country. Unlike Boise State, U of I’s Greek life has been negatively mentioned in recent news.

In a February 2014 Atlantic article, about a dozen recent Greek life related accidents were described in shocking detail: blown out sphincters as a result of ass bottle rockets, serious paralyzing falls from fourth- story decks and physical or emotional trauma from hazing initiations. At U of I, a sorority student went up to a third-floor “sleeping porch,” with one of the brothers, rolled to the side of the bed and fell 25 feet to the cement ground, suffering serious brain damage.

John Rhoda, senior Sigma Chi member, said while Sigma Chi does not haze their pledges, he is aware of other fraternities across the country who do. Rhoda said hazing takes away from brotherhood and the experience of being in a fraternity. One argument for hazing Rhoda addressed was hazing building comradery among the pledges and the active members in a fraternity (or sorority). Rhoda said he does not believe that at all.

Rhoda highlighted hazing in Greek life.

“One of them was my best friend and he went to a southern school and he joined a different fraternity; he was telling (me) some of the things he had to do and that he didn’t consider it hazing, like he said he had to do 100 pushups every time that he failed a test. He’s like ‘Well that’s not hazing; that’s conditioning’ …one of the arguments I’ve heard coming up has been that hazing will draw your pledge class together and it’s something that (they) can unite in… that you’re all going through some terrible event together,” Rhoda said.

For Rhoda, hazing and its negativity should be countered with ‘why can’t you build comradery in a positive fashion?’

According to Allen and Rhoda, one potential reason for Boise State Greek life’s lack of legal trouble is due to many of the sororities and fraternities being newly established on campus.

Rhoda said one characteristic of “animal house-like” fraternities is their older establishment on their campuses. These ancient established Greek life houses could also explain traditions of hazing initiations.

Rhoda hasn’t been to U of I, but doesn’t think the Greek life is the same.

“I think that maybe because the fraternity and sorority life up there has been ingrained there for a hundred years and people back in the 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s got into a groove of ‘this is what happens in a fraternity’ or a sorority,” Rhoda said. “I think that because the Greek life at Boise State is so young and we’re still able to mold it we’re able to turn it into what we want and I can tell you that personally, I don’t want that, I don’t want the ‘frat life’ and happily we’re able to pass that on to the younger guys.”

With this past initiation week, it is hoped these new brothers and sisters will continue to uphold values of leadership, merit and higher standards of academic and Greek life.