Frat life is a huge part of my life… except I’m a girl.
That’s right — I’m in a fraternity. I’m a brother of Alpha Chi Sigma, a chemical sciences fraternity. We’re a professional fraternity, which means that aim to promote the professional lives of our brothers through what we do. We also aim to promote chemistry through outreach and also make lasting bonds with our brothers. To be completely honest, it doesn’t really feel like a professional fraternity. It just feels like a group of friends that occasionally have to come together for chapter.
So you may be thinking, how is there a girl in a fraternity? Well — it’s a coed fraternity. It started off as all boys, but then they started letting girls in a while after.
You may have some questions about what my experiences are being in a fraternity, and I’m here to give you the answers.
Why did you join a fraternity? Why not a sorority?
Well, I really had no idea what a sorority was until I got here. It wasn’t until I started seeing people on Facebook post about their sorority that I found out what it was. Once I did, I realized that being in a sorority was not for me. Also, I never liked having a friend group that is all girls. I always got weirded out at the thought of it, which is why when I tried rushing a multicultural sorority this past semester, I always had an uncomfortable feeling because of the amount of girls I’d be surrounding myself with. That’s why I chose a coed fraternity.
The main reason why I joined Greek life was because I just wanted to find a group of friends in college so that it would be easier for me to transition to life as a college student. I also wanted to find a good support system, which made joining a Greek organization seem good to me.
Why are you a brother of the fraternity and not a sister?
It originally started out as a boys only fraternity, but then someone had a great idea to make it coed. Because of this, members are called “brothers,” and I am perfectly okay with that. I like being called a brother because it means that I am a part of an organization that allows both genders. I just feel it is more empowering.
Also, a tangent related to this — we have a running joke in our chapter where there are more girls than guys in Beta Iota, to the point where we’re basically a sorority. This makes calling ourselves brothers even better.
If you’re in a fraternity, do you all do socials and service events? What about big/little?
Yes! Like I said before, it feels more like a social group instead of a professional one. We hang out, do social events, eat lunch together and hang out nearly all the time. It is one of our objectives as a fraternity after all. Another objective is to promote chemistry, and we do this through outreach. We do demonstrations at our school and within the community, like the one we did at a daycare.
We also have a big/little system. I gained my big during a bonding event, which was nice because she gave me a lot of candy. I also got a little during my freshman spring (I wanted to be the first freshman with a little in our chapter, and I got blessed with my adorable little) and another one this semester too (he’s also adorable)! You can have multiple littles in our fraternity, and I love getting them because that means I get to make my family bigger and also help someone in their pledging process.
It’s a chemistry fraternity, so are you all just a bunch of nerds?
Yes…and no. I say that we suck at chem all the time, mainly because of how much we complain about it. But truthfully, a lot of the members in there are amazing students. Many are involved in research, some are earning masters or doctorates and some seniors even gain admission into great graduate programs. Honestly, I am proud to be a part of a group with such great members.
As for being a nerd, I feel like we kinda are based on how many memes we make. We even have a group chat solely filled with memes.
Is it even worth rushing a non-panhellenic/IFC group?
Yes! One great benefit is that it’s way cheaper than pan/IFC groups. I only pay $40 a semester as a brother. Also, we’re not as strict when it comes to rules. We don’t have point requirements, and we have many restrictions against any form of hazing. Our rush process is not super intense, either. You just go to events and show that you actually want to join! Pledging is actually fun. You have to take exams, and go to events, which allows for bonds to form between your pledge class brothers. If I had joined a panhellenic and not AXS, I don’t think I would have made it due to the stress.
How do I join?
We have a rush at the beginning of every semester, and the only requirements to join is that you a 2.5 or above GPA and have at least taken one chemistry course. You don’t even have to be a chem major! I’m actually a materials science and engineering major. You can join even if you are already in another Greek organization! For more information, check us out at https://www.facebook.com/AXS.BI.UF/.