Fraternities Defined: Differing Views

Before diving into the topic of fraternities, it is important to understand what a fraternity is.

Fraternity is defined as:

1. A body of people associated for a common purpose or interest, such as a guild.
2. A group of people joined by similar backgrounds, occupations, interests, or tastes: the fraternity of bird watchers.
3. A chiefly social organization of men students at a college or university, usually designated by Greek letters.
4. Roman Catholic Church A sodality.
5. The quality or condition of being brothers; brotherliness.
In the following exhibits, I will be referring solely to the types of fraternities that is described in the third definition. Although, more important than the dictionary definition of the word is the multiple different ways people in the 1970’s personally defined fraternities. In other words, what did the increasing number of fraternities in Harrisonburg mean to to people? Members of the fraternities may have defined themselves as philanthropic organizations who knew how to have a good time. Non-Greeks might have defined them as a group of men without individuality who had to buy their friends. (McDaniels) Cantankerous community members may define them as unwelcome partying parasites on family-centric neighborhoods. Possibly the entity with the most accurate “definition” of fraternities would be the Carrier Administration. Based on their policies and treatment of fraternities throughout the 1970’s, the Carrier Administration would have possibly simply defined fraternities as organizations that were simultaneously both a major liability as well as a huge asset.
Works Cited
McDaniels, John: Oral Interview