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Boat Shoes & Fratty Light

You may have seen guys walking around campus looking as if they are off to see the races, (horse
races that is) all decked out in pastels, khakis, Sperrys and eighties Ray Bans. On their most casual day, they’ll pair their regular regalia with a North Face fleece and a backwards hat, usually with some Greek lettering on it. That’s right. I’m talking about frat boys. With the recent phenomenon of the website known as TotalFratMove.com, the sometimes uglier side of these men has been revealed and begs a question to be asked. Are all frat boys really the same? Do they have this unalterable ego the size of Jupiter and care only about whether tonight’s frat party will have enough Fratty Light to chug? Here begins my investigation! 
           
Many of the guys who post on TotalFratMove.comboast about their female conquests or how much money they have and it left me wondering, “Do girls really find these guys attractive? Frat boys can’t all be this way…” To answer my question, I decided to ask a couple of JMU female students about what they had to say on the subject. First things first—when I hear the word “fratty” I immediately have an image in my mind much like the one I’ve already described. I wanted to find out if I was alone in this. I found that I wasn’t at all; all the responses I got painted the very same picture. However, despite their arrogance, as Samantha Tomfohr put it, “Their good looks and sometimes chivalrous nature makes them someone you hate to love and love to hate.” Let me explain what she’s getting at here.
           

Due to stereotypical portrayals in the media as well as some evidentiary behavior displayed by various members of fraternities on campus, it is no secret that frat guys have gotten a bad reputation. Most of the time you will be underdressed in comparison when going to class, if you aren’t involved in Greek life you may have no idea what he’s talking about half the time or understand why it’s so important to him, the constant theme parties for no reason may get a bit old, and the arrogance some guys display when wearing their letters may make you want to ball up your fists in frustration. Many girls on campus can’t and won’t entertain this kind of personality, but does that mean that we girls are guilty of stereotyping due to a guy’s appearance? Have you even talked to that frat guy sitting two rows down from you in COB300 or are you just making assumptions based on a couple of letters on his shirt?
           
With an astounding 15 fraternities on campus and a range of 30 to 200 members in each, I find it
hard to believe that every single one of those guys is “fratty.” Yes, some of those fraternities are social ones among others which are service or honors focused, but all of them have the same core values in common. Brotherhood, leadership, service, community, and gentleman-like behavior are all things these guys hold dearly. If you ask me, those are pretty admirable things to aspire to! Sabrina Egan, a senior, and Jaime Grove, a junior, both agree that the whole caring about their appearance thing is also a big plus. Most of us girls are suckers for guys in button down shirts and nicely groomed hair; we worry so much about looking nice for guys, why can’t they look nice for us?! Another plus for some of you party girls is you’ll never be without a party to go to—hope you’re creative!
           
In the end, nobody likes to be stereotyped. Unfortunately, those frat guys who possess the qualities not worth mentioning somehow get all the media and that’s not fair. There are the few who fulfill the stereotype with no question but before you pass judgment, take the time to befriend your Greek co-ed. He could surprise you!
 

Campus Publicity Correspondent - My Campus JMU Rachel Petersen (JMU '11) is from a wonderful place called Virginia Beach. She has lived almost half of her life there and the other half in Germany due to being an Army brat. She's had the blessing of being able to travel to many different countries and experience tons of new things at a young age. Rachel loves to go to the beach, read tons of books (anything by Agatha Christie, Dan Brown, and Nicholas Sparks will do), sing, write, drink caramel chai lattes, eat her dad's spaghetti, play with Rico -- her 20 pound cat, and spend time with her fiancé , friends, and family. In addition to working as a student employee at the on campus mailroom and planning her July 2011 wedding, Rachel is in the process of obtaining a BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice and hopes to eventually become a psychologist in the legal system.
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