Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Greek Way: Fraternities at Duke, 1989-1990

This is kind of random; I'm trying to incrementally declutter my house, which in this case means reluctantly going through things I haven't touched in over 25 years (like I said, incremental), when I found something that I've had since my p-frosh days. (Incidentally, it seems that "p-frosh" is a Duke-exclusive take on "pre-frosh.")

Actually, I don't remember if I received this before setting foot on campus or after, but that's not important. It's a booklet entitled, The Greek Way - Fraternities at Duke, 1989-1990, and it was given to all the freshman males to introduce them to the fraternity system at Duke, the rush and pledging policies, and descriptions of all the fraternities.

I never rushed, so I don't know why I kept it all these years (lie: pack rat), but I decided to scan it and share it so I could throw out the hard copy. It's a forty-page PDF file, complete with advertisements, embedded for your perusal:

Consider it an artifact for the archives, a historical document in an era before Facebook, Snapchat, and email. The pictures in the scan are only slightly more terrible than the actual photos in the booklet (such was the state of printing back then).

I didn't really read for detail, but the most interesting part was the fraternity descriptions, submitted by the fraternities themselves. Some play it straight and dull; others go wacky; some try for a bit of edge. A plurality bemoan the impossibility of capturing the diverse, mold-breaking, stereotype-defying essence of their fraternity in words (so come by kegs, meet some of the brothers, and judge for yourself etc.)

And then there's the stuff that would never fly today (at least not in a publication that features an introduction from the Dean of Students), the standout being this little tidbit from Delta Kappa Epsilon in response to the question, "What is the best thing about being a Deke?" "Beautiful little sisters with no tolerance." (Page 12.)

Anyway, now I can throw out the hard copy. Yay for infinite bits!

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