Inside Fraternities and Sororities: 30 Revealing Facts

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1Fraternity GPA Impact Study

Fraternity GPA Impact Study

A study conducted by Union College in 2019 revealed that students who joined a fraternity during college experienced a decrease in their GPA by 0.25 points while concurrently witnessing a notable 36% increase in their future income.

2. The smoot, a unit of measurement, owes its origins to Oliver R. Smoot, an MIT student who, as part of a fraternity initiation, was tasked with measuring the Harvard Bridge using his own body. A smoot is defined as equivalent to five feet and seven inches.

3. When Janis Joplin was a student at UT Austin, fraternity members jokingly crowned her the "Ugliest Man on Campus."

4. Dartmouth's campus hosts a fraternity known as Kappa Kappa Kappa (KKK), which predates the more notorious KKK by 24 years.

5. Teller, one half of the duo Penn & Teller, adopted silence as part of his performance routine while entertaining college fraternities during his youth. He discovered that maintaining silence diverted attention away from disruptive behavior, such as beer throwing, allowing the audience to focus on his act.

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6Elon Musk's Fraternity Nightclub

Elon Musk's Fraternity Nightclub

During his tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Elon Musk purchased and transformed a ten-bedroom fraternity house into a nightclub.

7. Actor Jon Hamm, renowned for his role in "Mad Men," faced consequences when his fraternity was disbanded after a hazing incident involving the torture of a pledge's genitals with fire and a hammer. According to reports, the pledge's failure to address Hamm as "MC Hammer" was what precipitated this brutal act.

8. An overwhelming majority of Fortune 500 CEOs, nearly all U.S. presidents since 1825, and a significant portion of U.S. senators have affiliations with either sororities or fraternities, constituting approximately 85% of these prominent figures.

9. Historically, certain black sororities and fraternities enforced discriminatory practices such as the "brown paper bag test," which prohibited individuals with skin darker than a paper bag from joining.

10. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, an American college fraternity, has been associated with at least nine deaths linked to hazing, excessive drinking, or drug use since 2006.

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11Monopoly Marathon Record Breakers

Monopoly Marathon Record Breakers

A University of Pittsburgh fraternity set the record for the longest Monopoly marathon, which lasted five days. On the fourth day of the game, the bank ran out of money, prompting the fraternity to request assistance from Parker Brothers. In response, the company sent over $1,000,000 in Monopoly money via Air Express.

12. During the Marcos regime in the Philippines, the son of a political journalist endured brutal torture and was subsequently dropped from a helicopter to his death. Police investigators concluded that his demise stemmed from fraternity hazing, leading to the sentencing to death of implicated fraternity members.

13. Inspired by the movie "Revenge of the Nerds," the fictional fraternity Lambda Lambda Lambda transitioned into a real-life fraternity, establishing at least six different chapter locations.

14. Zach Galifianakis was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, an African-American fraternity, during his time at North Carolina State University.

15. Will Ferrell remains affiliated with the Delta Tau Delta fraternity to this day.

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16Debunking Sorority House Myths

Debunking Sorority House Myths

Contrary to a popular belief in some college towns, the notion that sorority houses are banned due to archaic laws regarding multiple women living together being viewed as a brothel is a myth. While zoning laws may exist concerning unrelated individuals residing together, none explicitly mention brothels.

17. Ted Bundy infamously escaped from prison and perpetrated the murder of two sorority girls within a sorority house, reminiscent of scenes from a B horror movie.

18. In 2014, California State University, Fullerton, imposed severe sanctions on a sorority for organizing a recruitment event themed around "Taco Tuesday."

19. During his college years, Mark Cuban supplemented his income by offering disco dancing lessons to sorority girls.

20. According to a survey, students who participated in fraternities and sororities were more likely to report a sense of purpose at work, strong connections to friends and family, and satisfaction with their living situation. Despite their negative reputation, the fraternity and sorority experience proves positive for many students.

21Origins of Greek Letter Usage

Origins of Greek Letter Usage

The utilization of Greek letters by North American fraternities and sororities stems from their founder's esteemed reputation as the foremost Greek scholar in college.

22. The song "Let's Go Fly a Kite" found its inspiration from Walt Disney's daughters, who were members of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, identified by the symbol of a kite.

23. The phenomenon known as the 'Cheerleader Effect' (or alternately the 'Bridesmaids Paradox' or 'Sorority Girl Syndrome') posits that individuals appear more attractive when observed within a group. It does have some truth to it, as when humans visually take in a group of people, we average facial features by averaging facial features when viewed collectively.

24. In 2003, a fire erupted at the Sigma Phi chapter house at the University of Wisconsin. Despite the urgency, fraternity members declined to disclose the fire's location, as it was situated within a secluded chapter room accessible only to members.

25. A controversial incident occurred in 2006 when members of the Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Nebraska burned a cross and donned Confederate uniforms as part of a ritual.

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