For as long as anyone can remember, the Greek scene has been a large part of student involvement on campus. There are currently 31 fraternities and sororities at Fresno State, and all of them emphasize brotherhood and sisterhood, community service, and leadership. This fall, a new fraternity will join the Greek Life on campus: Phi Delta Theta.
Phi Delta Theta is a fraternity that prides itself on being â€œThe Gentlemanâ€™s Fraternity.â€ The organization caters to five types of young men: the young leader, the future businessman, the academically focused, the service minded and the athletically involved.
I understand that for most fraternities, college is all about learning how to â€œparty hardy.â€ Most students know that the main party nights around here are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And if you live in the dorms, word about whoâ€™s having the biggest party that night travels fast. It seems that at some point every semester, you hear the name of every fraternity when they throw their â€œbiggest party of the year.â€
For new fraternities like Phi Delta Theta, though, a return to traditional values is a fundamental aspect of why their organizations exist and are also values that leaders of the fledgling organization are looking for in new pledges. While Phi Delta Theta isnâ€™t considered a full chapter yet by their national organization, they are expected to attain that status in April of next year.
â€œYou can kind of see a lot of other fraternities are based on great principles, which is a positive thing and does their organizations proud. But Phi Delta Theta tries to break the barrier through which some people view fraternities,â€ Steven Curtright, a leadership consultant for Ph.Dâ€™s national office said. â€œWe want to make a positive impact on the Fresno community.â€
The concept of â€œThe Gentlemanâ€™s Fraternityâ€ is something that a lot of students appreciate. Girls in particular like the idea of stumbling across a frat boy who, by todayâ€™s standards, doesnâ€™t fit the stereotypical description of a frat boy.
â€œI think most girls here will appreciate a new kind of fraternity. These guys sound like they will probably have better values than most frat boys because theyâ€™re more focused on brotherhood. After hearing about everything theyâ€™re based on, it sounds like theyâ€™re really well-rounded,â€ said Alexia Silva, a sophomore food sciences major.
While most fraternities say they have academic standards in place as well as a certain number of community service hours, Phi Delta Theta has the facts to prove they hold their brothers to a high standard. They have the fastest growing GPA rate in the country, as well as a â€œdry houseâ€ policy nationwide. Thatâ€™s right; no drinks, no drugs, none of that stuff. So we obviously wonâ€™t be seeing any raging, alcohol-fueled parties in the Phi Delta Theta house. When they get one.
For most Fresno State students, this means a refreshing change in the way we view fraternities on campus. For those that like to â€œparty hardy,â€ rock on. For those who donâ€™t, maybe the changes that Phi Delta Theta will bring to our campus will be a positive influence. Friendship, sound learning, and moral rectitude are great things to stand on. Letâ€™s see if these boys are up to the challenge.