One of the most stereotyped and stigmatized groups on any university or college campus are the fraternities.

Unless you’re part of one, you don’t really understand their true purpose. Most students, especially Trent University students, know them as the groups that throw the best keggers, but what they don’t know is that they also have respectable foundations of brotherhood, leadership, community development, and charity work. It is through the foundation of charity work that I got the opportunity to meet with the fraternity, help them get their name out as doing valuable work in the community, and to help diminish the stigma of fraternities here at Trent.

However, as a Trent student, and as someone who had attended one of the frat keggers, I was slightly confused. The stigma they were trying to break of partying hard, and trying to replace it with the image of being solely good community members, puzzled me. It made me question the frat boys, “How do you expect the students at Trent to understand the image you want them to, (of being good community members), with this conflicting aspect of hosting parties all the time?”

They had no comment to this question, and continued to state, “We don’t endorse it.” When I consulted them about writing this article, they insisted on reviewing it before it got published, or otherwise having it cancelled. To this behaviour, one might ask, “What are you trying to hide? And what are you worried about getting out there?” Everyone knows that the famous first-year keggers are hosted by the fraternity. But are they really? If the fraternity is stating they don’t endorse these parties, maybe they don’t. But isn’t it kind of interesting that the parties are run completely by members of the fraternity, some even wearing their frat sweaters? That being said, isn’t someone who works hard, is a leader in the community, and helps others – all fundamental beliefs of the frat – while also having fun and partying the definition of being a university student and, in all honesty, nothing to be ashamed of?

If they are ashamed of this behaviour, and, by their lack of comment, I’m assuming they are, then maybe they should consider not hosting those keggers anymore. Since they “don’t endorse them,” maybe they should tell those members who run the parties to stop, as it gives the entire frat a reputation they don’t want and are not willing to live up to. If the identity they want their fellow students to know them by is for charity work they do, and only that, then they have a long way to go in order to change their image here at Trent.