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  1. I was in a fraternity at Auburn. And the thing I always liked about Auburn was that there was greek life, but it wasn’t the all-consuming, mandatory institution it is at other colleges. I think when I was there, which was only 6 years ago obviously, only 13% of the student body was greek. Places like Ole Miss and Alabama it is a lot higher, and therefore I have always heard it is a lot more a necessity to one’s social life. But we had a huge contingent of guys that hung out at our house who were not brothers for whatever reason, but they still partied with us, brought women and booze to the house, and occasionally fought the neighboring fraternities with us. And that is who we almost always fought with whenever we fought, not a GDI but someone from the fraternity house next door because it was Friday night and we were drinking and they were drinking and no one had a job where it mattered if you came in with a black eye on Monday. Plus, they were d bags who were about due for a good ass kicking. It is the run of the mill prolonged male adolescence that our expanded middle class American culture has spawned. It was just about being young and dumb and bulletproof, not about being superior to anybody.

  2. Not sure I get the point. I’ll admit to being immediately biased as I was in a fraternity and I assumed this was a hit job from the start so I was waiting for the point where you say that we’re all pitiful and you don’t hate us but you feel sorry for us.

    So while I want to say that not every frat is Beta, or Sigma Nu, or Lambda Chi, I’m not sure that you’re even arguing that any of them are necessarily bad.

    So what are you saying?

  3. I like it. I can totally relate to the divergent life-plan line of thought. Except I know why I didn’t go Greek.

    For anybody who went to the NCG, how crazy was that culture difference? I’m from Oregon so I knew what to expect, but it was still a trip to see Auburn fans dressed in near-uniform consistency right next to Oregon fans in their best rave gear.

  4. As an independent at Auburn who had many frat friends and attended quite a few frat parties, I would say the Greek life offers a clear but not mandatory path to douche-dom.

  5. @Blake W.: Ha ha! Yeah, even on TV, it looked like most of the Oregon fans’ clothes would look great in some blacklight.

    Having attended Auburn as an “independent” and now living here, I’ve always thought it was funny how the supposed non-conformists have as much of a uniform as anyone else. And that’s not unique to Auburn. It’s that way all over the country, if not world. Take the girl who wrote the “scathing” article in The Plainsman about how all sorority girls wear tights with shorts over them. She was essentially saying, “Don’t dress the same…dress the way I’m telling you to dress.” Other than the fact that the Greek system is more organized, all college students are the same. They all want to be part of some larger group, desperately looking for some sort of validation (often by disparaging some other group) while at the same time claiming how individual and open-minded they are. Then, more often than not, political and/or religious affiliation becomes the adult version of this same social dynamic. So we’re all doomed! 🙂

  6. I don’t have an issue with conformist nature of frats. I just note that in my personal experience, the % of d-bags within a fraternity is higher than within the independent crowd. Then a d-bag bloc is likely to form within a fraternity.

    But really, anyone who reads this article and wears orange with 87K other people to watch strangers play football is about as conformist as it gets here on planet earth.

  7. I don’t care for frats and was not in one or associated with them while I was in school at Auburn, but luckily Auburn isn’t UAT where frats are a way of life. I just don’t fit in with that crowd. More power for the folks that do.

  8. Loved the greek life at AU even though I wasn’t in a sorority. To me, the d-bag percentage was equal among greek and non-greek students at Auburn. The difference for me was, more frat guys drank more at games, thus making their d-baggedness more pronounced at that particular time.

    For the Oregon guy – I did notice one peculiarity about the Duck fans at the BCSNCG – their air of superiority stank up the place until about a minute left in the game, no matter what anyone was wearing.

    I think Ben makes a great point – all AU fans are the same at the end. Orange and blue ranks over greek letters. War Eagle.

  9. I was president of my fraternity when I was at AU. That opened a lot of doors on campus that really allowed me to build my resume, which helped me get into grad school, which helped me be a proferssional success. I keep up with 1 person from that fraternity today, 20 years later, and haven’t been back to “the house” in over a decade despite the fact that I’m on campus frequently. The fraternity was something I did while I was in school. It wasn’t who I was. I hate Greek bashing. I was relieved this article didn’t go there. Interesting read.

  10. I’m currently an auburn student and I am an independent. For me, when I first got up here during my freshman year and I looked around at all the frat guys and pledges, it was kind of like culture shock. I thought “What’s up with all these narrow minded conformists.” But you know, after the initial shock wore off, I realized that everybody just has their different ways of living their lives. I realized it is just as douchebaggy to be a pompous frat guy as it is to be a hoighty-toighty GDI. I even have some friends that are greek. I don’t relate to them very well, but they are certainly cool people. You’ve just got to live and let live.

  11. DUDE! Willie’s Class of ’98…
    @ SWI non-greeks use frat like you use GDI

    I wasn’t in a fraternity, but made lots of friends in college. Some in frats, others not. I just did what I enjoyed doing and met alot of cool people along the way that shared common interests with me. Dreads, tattoos, khakis, visors…it didn’t matter to me. I’d try to be friends with anyone. The ones whose company I enjoyed I’d continue to hang around. The ones that treated me indifferently or like crap (greek or not) I had no use for and didn’t try to pursue their friendship. There are too many good and nice people in the world for me to waste my time trying to get you to like me by changing who I am. A’holes are A’holes no matter what kind of clothes they wear.

  12. Willies Wings were awesome. Western Subs were too. I remember that if you ordered right before closing time, they would punish you by making your wings almost unbearably hot.

    And… I was in a fraternity. There were d-bags but mostly normal guys who all like similar stuff. I also knew some d-bag GDIs. I was/am not a d-bag.

    That is all.

  13. I’m not really sure what you’re trying to accomplish by writing this article, and I’m almost certain that this isn’t the place for it.

    It seems that deep down, you are interested in greek life and want to be a part of it, but because you aren’t you feel obligated to hate it, because it just seems like that’s what independents do.

    It’s good to have opinions, but I would advise against forming (and publicly voicing) one about thousands of individuals based on your limited interaction with some of them at a football game or while delivering late-night food to them.

  14. So,
    you verbally accosted a stranger at a FB game, cursed him, told him to shut up, called him an idiot, flipped him off- and he is the bad guy?
    What the hell else was the point of this? College guys wear shorts and t-shirts?
    You sound like the biggest d-bag on campus. And you have the nerve to accuse someone else of (supposedly) feeling superior?!?
    I curse you for the 3-4 minutes of my life I will never get back.

  15. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you for promoting the “everyone is a person; what you are or what you aren’t doesn’t necessarily define who you are” thing. Regardless of what some commenters may say (as I have refrained from reading comments so I don’t become angry, as many times they make me furious), it’s sometimes just really refreshing to read about someone else’s perspective, even if the reader doesn’t fully grasp a point, or even if the writer doesn’t necessarily have one. War Eagle.

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