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FRAT: A “Frat” Boy’s Advice on Gentlemanly Behavior

 

I am not in a frat. I am in the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, and it really pisses me off every time someone asks me, “What’s the name of your frat, again?” We are not a “frat.” The concept of a frat can sometimes gives off the impression of binge drinking, disrespecting women, and not caring about school. I’m not saying that we’re perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we are here to bring back the idea of fraternity. The definition of fraternity is “A male students’ society at a university or college” and is synonymous with brotherhood, friendship, and sodality. When I think of a fraternity, I think of a group of young men coming together to achieve common goals, holding sacred the ideals of friendship, scholarship, and leadership, and I believe that all fraternities are based on these principles.

When I told my parents I was going to join a fraternity, they were open to it. However, they had their doubts and fears, just as any parents would, considering the picture that the media paints of frats across the nation. After I decided to join, I began to tell my friends back home about the decision I had made, and, sure enough, many of my friends were disappointed. Several of my close friends feared that I had become “one of those guys,” and several popular girls from high school giddily said that they had never pinned me for a “frat boy.”

This was not the image that I wanted those close to me to think of when they thought of fraternity, and this definitely was not the impression that I wanted them to get about my fraternity, in particular.

Ideally, the interaction between a fraternity and a sorority is one where there is fellowship, fun times, and the potential for romance, but always respect. This could be the respect for one’s choices/boundaries or respect for one’s character for the way they carry themselves, as an individual and as a part of an organization.

I think that something unfortunate has happened between the time that this was the standard and today, and I think that women at these universities have been conditioned to expect these fraternity men to behave more like frat boys. To me, this is a shame, because the expectations in college should be much higher, and we should continue to be held to that same standard that our forefathers instituted those many years before us. Things haven’t changed so much in that men shouldn’t be able to treat women in a way that is not only unprofessional, but also at times downright heinous. I think that it is time for women to demand this type of gentlemanly behavior from their friends, significant others, and strangers passing by. I do not think it should matter the context, but it should be second nature for these university men of class to both rid themselves of the image that they have inherited as well as exemplify the old, yet new image of these organizations that we represent. I love my fraternity and all of those sororities with whom we interact with on so many occasions, and I know that every other fraternity on this campus is made up of truly genuine gentlemen, though we all need to do our best to show this to be the case, rather than supporting the stereotypes.

Hey, I'm Chris Baker and I just began writing for HerCampus at Pitt. I love God, my family and friends, sports, and my amazing fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. I love to talk, write, and engage with people, in particular, I like to argue, haha. I love Pitt so if you go here and don't already know me, you should find me and get to know me! Contact me anytime at cbb17@pitt.edu,Thanks for reading!
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