Information for Students & Parents

This month's hot topic is myths regarding fraternities. So here are the top 4 myths surrounding fraternity life:

Myth 1: fraternities = Animal House

The "Animal House" stigma is still prevalent among fraternities.

FACT: In the 1980's, the movie "Animal House," starring John Belushi, became a smash hit. The movie was a satire designed to depict the wild side of fraternity life. The binge drinking, wide-spread hazing, sexual harassment, toga parties, open drug use, and substandard living conditions became the American public's perception of Greek life. As the movie grew in popularity, some current fraternity members believed the movie gave them permission to act the same way as the movie depicted.

If you are looking for an experience like the one depicted in Animal House then you will find you efforts to be in vain.  Chapters that perpetuate those behaviors seen in the movies find very quickly that they are operating not as a fraternity but rather a drinking club.  Inter/National organizations, college and university campuses, and individual chapters all take very seriously the ideals upon which fraternities were founded.  The international fraternity movement is enjoying growth today because of the efforts of so many to move away from the scenes of Animal House.

Myth 2: bad academics

Joining a Greek organization inhibits academic performance.

FACT: Fraternities have moved away from their roots of purely academic organizations such as literary societies. However, academics are at the core of a fraternity's mission.  You will find that graduation rates, retention, and GPA's are higher among those who seek to make fraternity part of their college experience.  This speaks to the type of man who joins and to the importance of academic success within the chapter.  As a student, your number one priority is to graduate and to get a job. As a fraternity man, your academic success is remains #1.

Myth 3: hazing

Hazing is simply a reality among fraternities.

FACT: First, a definition. Hazing is "any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce or that causes mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule."

Hazing is the most dangerous and destructive practice that an organization can take part in. Although many people automatically associate the term "hazing" with the idea of mistreating or abusing pledges or new members, any member can actually be a victim of hazing. NIC Fraternities have committed themselves to doing everything in their power to stop hazing and to keep it out of their member chapters.  Chapter that haze are not only operating outside of the law and their national policies but they are also to giving a false representation of the true meaning of fraternity.

If you or someone you know is a victim of hazing, in any of its forms, you are encouraged to report it immediately.  There are numerous avenues you can take, an anonymous way to report hazing is to call 1-888-not-haze, or 1-888-668-4293.

For resources related to the prevention and education efforts of the NIC and its member fraternities visit

Myth 4: binge drinking & drug use

Greek chapters encourage binge drinking and drug use among their members.

FACT: Social problems such as binge drinking and drug use occur in nearly every facet of society, but their presence is magnified in fraternities.  NIC member organizations have dedicated countless hours, millions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers to efforts focusing on educating members about the risks associated with alcohol and drugs.

Tragedies occur and accidents happen, these incidents are used to teach, to learn, and to strengthen our efforts toward creating organizations that are safer and better prepared to make good men better.

The fact is, these behaviors are NOT what we are about.  You may find that some of these practices are occurring on your campus.  If that is the case then you should be aware that these practices are occurring outside of the knowledge of the national organization. Chapters that choose to partake in activities which are illegal or unethical are not only exposing themselves to dangerous repercussions, but also potential legal consequences.