A Brief History of Fraternities, Sororities and Ethnicity

December 17th, 2012
College Students

Fraternities, Sororities and Ethnicity

If you visit almost any college campus, you are almost guaranteed to see some evidence of Greek life. This can be in the form of colors or symbols that represents the various sororities and fraternities or even a sign advertising a program that is sponsored by an organization. The organizations are made up of a group of young adults that are as diverse as the colors that are used to represent them.

History tells us that these fraternities and sororities have not always been as diverse as we know them to be today. The first fraternities were established as early as the 1820’s and the members where young Caucasian males Kappa Alpha was established in 1825 and it is the oldest fraternity that is still active. It was not until about thirty years later in 1852 that women established their own sororities. While the organizations continued to gain popularity and grow to various other college campuses, they still lacked variety because members were only allowed to join if they were of Caucasian decent.

After slavery ended, African-Americans and other ethnic groups began to explore their options when it came to receiving an education. While some were allowed to attend universities, discrimination was still a relevant issue and they were not allowed to join many of the groups and activities on campus, including joining fraternities and sororities. Because of this discrimination, minorities were inspired to start their own organizations for members of their race to join and become a part of.

The first African-American fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, was established in 1906 on the campus of Cornell University, which is in Ithaca, New York. The women quickly followed suit and the first African-American sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, was established in 1908. After these organizations were established, other young, ethnic students from all over were inspired to follow suit on various other college campuses.

In 1930, the oldest Latino fraternity, Phi Iota Alpha, was established to connect men who have the common goal of furthering the Latin American community. Unlike other fraternities, membership into this organization is open to everyone, regardless of race or creed. Almost fifty years later, diversity on college campuses changed again with an influx of Latin American citizens entering the college scene. In 1975, the first Latina Sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha, was established on the campus of Kean University.

Although not as old as other Greek organizations, Asian American fraternities and sororities have a definite place in the various Greek life communities. alpha Kappa Delta Phi is the first Asian American sorority to be recognized by the College Panhellenic Association in 1990. Following after, in 1999, 13 young women of Indian descent founded the sorority Delta Kappa Delta.

Today, diversity is much more accepted in Greek organizations. It is easier now for students of all ethnicities to find organizations that represent their common goals and beliefs. On an average college campus you can find various Greek organizations whose members reflect many different ethnicities, creeds and beliefs. Some may still remain segregated in the way of race, however the discrimination that was once a common practice is no longer an issue.

Not your ordinary gift?

December 12th, 2012

You might not be aware, but Greek Nation has gift for even the most eccentric friend this holiday season.  Not sure what to get someone that has everything?  Maybe we can help?

Men's Belt Buckle

Men's Belt Buckle

Got a little cowboy in ya?  This buckle fulfills form, fit and function!

  • Die Cast
  • 3 Dimensional Detail
  • High Relief Pewter Finish
  • Accommodates up to 1 3/4″ belts
  • Find it here: Belt Buckle

    Wool Knit Hat

    Knit Hat

    Snowboarding anyone?
  • 80/20 wool/nylon
  • 100% polyester fleece lining
  • Find it here: Knit Hat

    Ogio Backpack

    Ogio Backpack

    How about something for the avid adventurist?
  • 100% poly
  • Large main compartment with two mesh pockets
  • Organizer panel with pen loops, key fob and room for gadgets
  • Side mesh water bottle pocket
  • Mesh padded shoulder straps
  • Air mesh padded back panel
  • Laptop sleeve: 16.25″h x 11.5″w x 1.75″d; fits most 16″ laptops
  • Dimensions: 18.5″h x 11.5″w x 7″d
  • Find it here: OGIO Backpack
    Still stumped?  visit Greek Nation for even more ideas!

    Why pledge a Fraternity or Sorority?

    December 6th, 2012
    Fraternity Brothers

    Fraternity Brothers Bonding

    When you have the opportunity to pledge a fraternity or sorority, you have the chance to change your life. The friends you make can last a lifetime, and they can become business references as you graduate college and go out into the world.

    You should look at some of the reasons for joining the Greek system at school, so you can make a decision about the way you want to associate with others during your college years. Your fraternity or sorority can be the foundation of a brand new lifestyle for you.

    Networking and Friendships
    One reason to pledge a fraternity or sorority is the instant friendships you gain. You already have something in common with other pledges and members, and you belong to the larger community of fraternities and sororities on campus. Even people you don’t know well become part of your network.

    Academics
    When you pledge, you gain access to academic help that can enable you to be successful in your college years. You can receive mentoring, study advice and eligibility for scholarships. Fraternity and sorority members tend to outperform students who are not in the Greek system.

    Leadership Skills

    You can begin learning the leadership skills you will need for the rest of your life. Fraternities and sororities offer opportunities to head projects that improve the community and the school. You can become an officer in your chapter and learn how to run your organization, and you can initiate projects that others will participate in under your leadership.

    Social Activities
    You will receive numerous invitations to social activities. Fraternities and sororities maintain a full social schedule, and you will meet many new friends through these events.

    Drawbacks
    Those are some of the positive reasons to pledge. You could encounter drawbacks, however. One of the biggest ones is you may not be the fraternity or sorority type. If you don’t enjoy socializing and being part of a team, Greek life may not be for you.

    In addition, you have to accept the hierarchy in a fraternity or sorority. As a new pledge, you won’t have much influence or authority, and you may have to follow some orders you don’t like.

    Finally, you have to like the people in your fraternity or sorority house. This is not a place to harbor grudges or participate in on ongoing dispute.

    Your Decision
    Taken all together, the pluses and minuses of Greek life come down to this: Do you want to try to improve the rest of your life? As a successful pledge, you can make lifelong friends, develop habits of success and learn to be a leader, if you can overcome any negatives that come your way.

    If you’re the type of person who can look on the bright side and do the things today that can help you tomorrow, you may want to consider pledging.

    If you get an invitation, consider it carefully. It’s a life-changing decision you are about to make.

    All About Homecoming

    October 18th, 2012

    Everyone knows that Homecoming is something we all look forward too. You get to hang out with friends and represent your school. During homecoming it is a tradition to wear your school’s color or any type of school paraphernalia. Did you know that you can customize any of your school paraphernalia through Greek Nation? Stand out this homecoming with something that no one else at you school has. Check out Greek Nation’s college section U of Nation. Hurry!!!! Homecoming will be over before you know it. Order your college paraphernalia today!!!

    Fraternity offers Valentine’s Day serenades

    February 13th, 2012

    Originally posted at http://www.alligator.org/news/campus/article_753dff36-1468-11df-bf18-001cc4c03286.html

    This Valentine’s Day, the brothers of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, an honorary music fraternity for men, want students to give the gift of song.

    The Sinfonians travel in groups of about 12 and perform a cappella renditions of popular and classic love songs.

    Pricing starts at $40 Feb. 12 and 13 and increases by $5 for appointments between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Feb. 14. There is a student discount.

    “We’re twice as good but half the price of a barbershop quartet” said senior anthropology major and Phi Mu Alpha member Joe Uong.

    Curtis Viselli, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s musical director, said the Valentine’s Day serenades have been ingrained in the fraternity’s tradition for several years.

    “It’s a really big part of what we do [in the fraternity],” said Viselli, a music and physics junior. “Singing is the thing that we all do together.”

    Although the Sinfonians perform in the Music Building every week, Valentine’s Day is their big event, Viselli said.

    Last year the fraternity made more than $2,000 by performing all around the city and showing up at dorms, classrooms and restaurants.

    “We went to the woods one time,” Viselli said. “We’ll go anywhere [in Gainesville].”

    Fraternity members gathered in front of the Reitz Union between classes Wednesday to advertise the serenades by performing songs from their repertoire, including “My Girl,” “Happy Together,” “Stand By Me” and the fraternity’s signature tune, “A Serenade to a Girl.”

    Applied physiology and kinesiology freshman Danielle Davis, who was passing by, was surprised when the Sinfonians personally serenaded her.

    “I think that people will like that,” she said. “I definitely enjoyed it.”

    The Sinfonians are available for hire Feb. 12 through 14. Packages include three songs and a rose.

    For more information or to schedule a serenade, send an e-mail to ufphimualpha@gmail.com.

    Stereotypes don’t sum up all sororities

    February 8th, 2012

    Originally posted at:

    http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/blog/stereotypes-dont-sum-up-all-sororities

    After four years of sorority life, I have pretty much heard it all.

    I’ve been assimilated to many of those awful stereotypes, such as promiscuous, wild, and ill-virtued.

    But EVERY sorority is different. In an effort to explain the strange traditions and sisterly bond, I will share my story.

    I was not exactly prepared for college life as an incoming freshman. With twelve years of Catholic school behind me and a core group of girlfriends who were too caught up in extracurriculars to party, I was naïve to say the least.

    … And then came college.

    I decided to attend Bryant University, a small private institution in New England. I wanted to be “close enough” to home but still have my space. I’m sure we’ve all considered that option. Bryant offered my major, a beautiful campus and a President, “Prez Machtley”—as the students don him—who was warm and welcoming. It quickly became my home.

    First semester, I became a member of four organizations and started volunteering.  I was even on Dean’s List. I met Danielle, a girl who lived down the hall and was just like me. She and I could make each other laugh to tears, and we would always find ourselves in harmless mischief on the weekends. We quickly became best friends.

    But sometimes that harmless mischief took a turn. We Partied. Skipped class. And made mistakes.
    Second semester, Danielle convinced me to attend National Pan-Hellenic sorority formal recruitment. At Formal Recruitment, on campus sororities host events where those interested learn more about the organizations. It is a lengthy process, but by the end the sororities have a list of bids to give to recruits. (It is as militant as it sounds).

    At recruitment the girls seemed nice, but I had no intention of joining because I held the same stereotypical views that books like Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities, by Alexandra Robbins, help promote.

    Then I met Amy.

    She was President of Sigma Sigma Sigma,  a business major, beautiful and witty.

    That’s when I realized those girls were not promiscuous. They were reserved, intelligent and compassionate.
    With their awards of “Highest GPA” and “Most Philanthropic Organization”, I was no longer joining for a frat party.  I was hoping to join the elite ranks of the most determined, educated and motivated women on campus.
    My plans were set. However, my parents, being extremely traditional, were less than thrilled when they heard my decision to join a sorority, but it was MY decision.

    (Yes, they were providing me the opportunity of a lifetime by sending me to Bryant, but I was growing, by making my own decision and paving the way of my independence. Even if they did not agree or understand it, they supported me.)

    It was the best decision we both could have made.

    Greek life held the stigma of campus troublemakers. The Greek Life hall was always trashed and hazing was still relevant. Yes, Greek Life had its issues but what angered its members was how other organizations including the cheerleading squad and football team’s use of hazing or fighting were never addressed. Greek life, as a whole, was an outlet to blame for campus troubles.

    Is there still hazing? Yes.

    Is there Binge Drinking? Yes.

    Is there sexual assault? Yes.

    But that’s not Greek Life.

    It is a combination of a college campus, alcohol and irresponsible students. In college it is more important than ever to be responsible. Be responsible for your actions. Be aware. And do not let anyone take advantage of you, your situation or circumstances. I can nearly guarantee, you will make mistakes but by making responsible choices they will be limited.

    Over my sorority tenure, I learned the drags of recruiting, the depth of involvement and the importance of time management, but I also learned the bonds that last a lifetime, gained a commitment to the community and the feeling of accomplishment.

    My “sisters” have fostered who I have become and what I have accomplished. I was recently selected as one of three candidates from a class of 1,000 students to interview for the Recent Alumni Trustee position.

    Take life on. Cherish bonds that will last a lifetime. Help the community. Join a Sorority.

    Wall Street Hazing

    February 7th, 2012

    Originally Posted in the New York Times

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406EEDA1739F932A15752C0A9649D8B63&ref=fraternitiesandsororities&pagewanted=all

    The chandelier-filled ballroom was teeming with 200 men in tuxedos – and a smattering of women – whose daily decisions can collectively make or break the global financial markets. Most were picking over a lavish dinner that included rack of lamb and creme brulee. Others were preparing to sing bawdy show tunes.

    Kappa Beta Phi, an exclusive Wall Street fraternity whose members include big-name bankers, hedge fund billionaires and private equity titans, met at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan on Thursday night for its 80th annual black-tie dinner and induction ceremony.

    As always, the event was held in strict secrecy, with members being told that ”what happens at the St. Regis stays at the St. Regis.”

    A reporter, however, was able to walk in unquestioned and observe the proceedings.

    Neither a rough year in the financial markets nor the animus of the Occupy Wall Street movement was enough to dampen spirits at this year’s dinner, which was attended by members like Alan C. Greenberg, known as Ace, the former chairman of Bear Stearns; Robert H. Benmosche, the chairman of the American International Group; Meredith Whitney of the Whitney Advisory Group; and Martin Lipton, founding partner of the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

    The Occupy movement was fodder for several after-dinner skits. In one, a documentary filmed during the protests, James Lebenthal, a bond specialist, joked with a protester whose face was appeared to be tattooed.

    ”Go home, wash that off your face, and get back to work,” Mr. Lebenthal told the protester.

    Reached through his daughter on Friday, Mr. Lebenthal declined to comment.

    In another skit, William Mulrow , a senior managing director at the Blackstone Group, put on raggedy clothes to play the part of an Occupy protester. Emil W. Henry Jr., a managing partner at Tiger Infrastructure Partners and a fellow new Kappa, joined him dressed as a wealthy baron.

    ”Bill, look at you! You’re pathetic, you liberal! You need a bath!” Mr. Henry said, voice full of mock indignation.

    ”You callow, insensitive Republican!” Mr. Mulrow said. ”Don’t you know we need to create jobs?”

    A Blackstone spokesman declined to comment on Mr. Mulrow’s behalf. Mr. Henry was not immediately available for comment.

    The night’s agenda was twofold: install officers for the coming year and haze incoming members by having them don wigs, gold-sequined skirts and skin-tight tops and put on a comedic variety show for the enjoyment of other members.

    Among the 21 inductees featured in the variety show were Marc Lasry, the billionaire founder of the Avenue Capital Group, Warren Stephens, the chief of Stephens Inc. and Ted Virtue, the chief executive of MidOcean Partners.

    Kappa Beta Phi, which started in 1929 as a group of Wall Street bigwigs whose social club was named as a send-up of Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society, has become a sort of upper-crust Friar’s Club roast.

    The group’s leadership consists of a ”Grand Swipe,” ”Grand Smudge,” ”Grand Loaf,” and a ”Master-at-Arms.”

    Some members wear the group’s insignia, which consists of a beer stein, a Champagne glass, a pointing hand and five stars. The group’s Latin motto, ”Dum vivamus edimus et biberimus,” roughly translates as ”While we live, we eat and drink.”

    Members pay $475 a year in dues for the invitation-only group, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Absent from this year’s gathering were Wall Street exiles like Richard S. Fuld Jr., the former chief executive of Lehman Brothers; James E. Cayne, the former chief of Bear Stearns; and Jon S. Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs head who presided over the failed brokerage firm MF Global. All are still listed in the group’s member directory, though the men are said not to have attended in a few years.

    Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the billionaire investor who served as this year’s Grand Swipe, acknowledged the foibles of those prominent Kappas.

    ”We have members from every firm that has failed, as well as members from those that will fail in the future,” he said to loud laughter.

    After Mr. Ross’s opening remarks and a presentation by representatives from the group’s Los Angeles chapter, the inductees broke into their variety acts.

    Some jokes took aim at industry outsiders like Representative Barney Frank, the Democrat of Massachusetts who has been an advocate of financial regulation. But most Kappas roasted fellow financiers.

    Mr. Corzine, the latest of the prominent Kappas to fall from grace, proved an inviting target. Two initiates did a comedy act lampooning Mr. Corzine and Steven A. Cohen, a prominent hedge fund manager whose firm, SAC Capital Advisors, has had some former employees who have been ensnared in recent insider-trading investigations. (Neither Mr. Cohen, who is not a Kappa, nor Mr. Corzine has been accused of any wrongdoing.)

    ”What do Steve Cohen and Jon Corzine have in common?” the joke went. ”They’re future cellmates!”

    The bulk of the entertainment came in the form of musical spoofs.

    Inductees sang Wall Street-themed versions of ”Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” (replacing ”cowboys” with ”traders”) and Abba’s ”Dancing Queen” (which was retitled ”Bailout King”). Mr. Lasry, along with two other inductees, dressed as a member of the Village People for a financial rendition of ”Y.M.C.A.” Mr. Lasry declined to comment.

    As is customary during Kappa events, some audience members threw objects at performers on stage, including petit fours and napkins dipped in wine.

    Kappa Beta Phi’s gatherings have become divisive among members in recent years. Some Wall Street executives, wary of taking part in an event that could be construed as tone-deaf to the economic woes facing the country, are choosing not to attend.

    ”The skits can be offensive and I don’t want to sit through it,” said one fraternity member who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    Mr. Ross defended Kappa Beta Phi on the grounds that the same freedom of speech rights afforded to Occupy Wall Street should be extended to the group’s members.

    ”This is not a political convention,” he said by telephone on Friday. ”It’s a group of people that are friendly with each other trying to have an enjoyable evening, mostly at each others’ expense.”

    While they may not want to attract attention publicly, the members of Kappa Beta Phi are privately finding humor in their vilification. As the night’s musical finale, the entire group of inductees changed into white dress shirts and dark ties to sing a parody of ”I Believe,” a song from the hit Broadway show ”The Book of Mormon.”

    In the original version of the song, a down-and-out Mormon missionary offers a passionate defense of his faith. On this night, though, the financiers turned it into a playful paean to their industry. (”I believe that the Lord God created Wall Street. I believe he got his only son a job at Goldman Sachs.”)

    Off-key and raucous, the financiers raised their voices once more.

    ”I work on Wall Street. And Wall Street just believes.”

    Susanne Craig contributed reporting.

    This is a more complete version of the story than the one that appeared in print.

    The Greek Life

    February 3rd, 2012

    Originally posted at http://www.collegeview.com/articles/article/the-greek-life

    She may be an Omega Sweetheart or the dream girl of A-Phi-A. She may wear a Kappa diamond, or her love may a Sigma be; but if she wears the Delta symbol, then her first love is DST. These words symbolize my first encounter with Greek life as an undergraduate student at Tennessee State University. As a young woman from a small suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, I knew very little about Black Greek organizations (with the exception of my godmother being an AKA) and did not have a clear understanding of what Greek life entailed.

    During the first couple of days of new student orientation, there was excitement radiating from my classmates as to which organization they desired to join and what their plans were when they became members. As for myself, I did not know where to begin. Questions began to race through my head. Should I get as excited as my classmates? Should I go and greet the women that I heard singing? Should I reject this Greek notion and focus solely on my academics; that is why I am here, right? As these questions surfaced, I began to confuse myself even more because I really did not have much background knowledge about Greek life on which to base my decision. As you are reading this article, you may be in a similar situation, or you may come from a long line of Greek members in your family. Whatever the case, it is my desire to provide you with a crash course regarding some of the basics of Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs).

    Why were Black Greek Letter Organizations founded?

    First and foremost, it is important for you to understand why these organizations exist. During the time in which the first BGLO was established, African Americans across the country were faced with the harsh realities of race-related discrimination. Repercussions from slavery were well saturated in the fabric of the American culture, and due to situations resulting from these discriminatory practices, various organizations established by the African American community began to surface and some of them were Black Greek Letter Organizations. Since 1906—the founding year of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.—nine fraternities and sororities (affectionately known as the Divine Nine) have had the privilege of developing and establishing chapters throughout the United States and the world. These organizations provided a common ground for a common purpose. The establishment of these brotherhoods and sisterhoods brought together men and women who were passionate about the goals and ideals of their organization and made a commitment to work together to make a difference in the world in which they lived.

    What is the purpose of these organizations?

    If you were to research the initiatives of each Black Greek Letter Organization, you would discover programs ranging from voter registration drives and economic empowerment programs to campus clean-up initiatives and beyond. Underneath the surface of most nationally recognized activities implemented by these organizations lies the desire to enhance the local and international community. Community service plays a significant role in the foundation of all BGLOs. For example, the first public service initiative completed by the newly founded Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was the 1913 Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, DC. Members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. also showed a unique interest in women’s rights during the early stages of their organization’s existence. Early interests of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., founded in 1914, also heavily focused on the enhancement of the world in which we live. Their interests included anti-lynching laws and international issues occurring in the Republic of Haiti. As you can see, the scope of these organizations does not solely lie on each respective college or university campus, and their impact is evident worldwide.

    What are the benefits of joining a Black Greek Letter Organization?

    By reading this article, it shows that either you or someone you know is interested not only in Black Greek Letter Organizations but also in learning more about attending college. Just by attending college, you will have the world at your disposal. There are so many opportunities that can arise from just stepping foot into a classroom. Imagine the experiences and knowledge that each person brings with them and consider the opportunities that lie before each student after graduation.

    The benefits of joining a BGLO are endless. For many, one of the greatest benefits is the opportunity to network. Networking is essential in today’s society. Now consider being a member of a BGLO. All BGLOs have at least 100,000 members worldwide. Instantly, that classroom of 25 grows. Membership provides a common bond not only among fraternity brothers or sorors, but also within the Greek community as a whole. Even more important than networking is having the ability to serve your community in the name of your organization. There is power in numbers, and when the world has the opportunity to witness a group of individuals working together for the common good of the community, more and more people will want to become involved. This is one reason that the legacies of Black Greek Organizations have continued over so many years.

    There is also a social advantage to becoming Greek. I am sure that you have heard numerous times that the most important thing to get out of your college experience is a quality education, and I agree. However, you should also take time to enjoy yourself. Becoming involved in organizations on campus can help you to gain a greater sense of ownership of your college or university. So, if you think Greek life may be something you are interested in, check it out; I am certain that you will cherish your experiences in the organization for the rest of your life.

    How do I know which Black Greek Letter Organization to join?

    Research! Research! Research! It is very important that you know what you are getting yourself into when you decide to join anything. Although all BGLOs have similar missions, there are many aspects that make them unique. I would encourage you to observe how various Greek organizations interact on your campus among themselves and with other campus organizations; however, do not solely base your decision on observation alone. Read their national Web sites and read books published about the organization(s). Once you have done your research and feel that you are comfortable with the information that you have learned, begin narrowing your options. Attend events sponsored by the organization(s) so that you will have the opportunity to interact with members on your campus; it is important that they know who you are in order for them to feel comfortable to vote you into their organization. Remember, these are individuals that you are likely to spend a lot of time with during your membership intake process and beyond, so make sure that you have examined all sides before making your final commitment to one organization. As women in my beloved sorority often state, “Membership is a lifetime commitment!”

    All BGLOs require that you be a student with a good academic standing. Therefore, acquiring a quality education should be a priority over making a commitment to become a member of a Greek organization. Those who came before you left large shoes to fill; it is up to you to carry on the legacy that these individuals have begun.

    Gamma Phi Omega & Delta Psi Chi

    January 18th, 2011

    We’ve added shop by group sections for Gamma Phi Omega and Delta Psi Chi. Check them out today!

    http://www.greeknation.com/Delta-Psi-Chi

    http://www.greeknation.com/Gamma-Phi-Omega

    Shop By Group

    January 11th, 2011

    Shop by Group is now available for 21 different organizations!

    What is shop by group? Shop by group is a special section on our website that shows more products with your organization in mind. These sections do not include ALL of our products, just some of the more popular items. You can still find our full selection as usual.

    Check out Shop By Group today!