Rethinking fraternity life

By Sofia Syed, Arts & Life Writer

For many people, the term “frat” brings images of drunken, reckless parties and dangerous hazing to mind. The UA chapter of Theta Chi is dedicated to changing that image.

“The term ‘frat’ is actually considered derogatory,” said James Torok, recruitment chair for Theta Chi. “It conjures up the ideas of “Animal House” and the unfortunate incidents that happened at the University of Virginia recently. We do not stand for any of that.”

Torok is referencing recent events at The University of Virginia, which included allegations of sexual assault among other matters that were later discredited.

Instead of “frat,” the UA chapter of Theta Chi prefers the term “fraternity.” One way they try to exemplify the best of Greek life is by making sure all those who participate in their events are safe.

“Our chapter is actively taking part in a program aimed at ending violence and sexual harassment towards women,” Torok said.

On a national level, Theta Chi has implemented the Sacred Purpose Initiative: a movement to improve the health, safety and overall well-being of its members. According to The Sacred Purpose website, its mission is to inspire a better brotherhood—a deeper level of mutual caring for one another.

Theta Chi also confronts the binge-drinking, party-animal stereotype. Their semi-annual event, The Dew Games, shows UA students that they can have fun without alcohol.

“We take the traditional drinking games and play them with Mountain Dew,” Torok said. “That way, people get the experience with Mountain Dew. It’s not harmful.”

“We try and get out there and show with our individual members that we are all quality men,” said Torok. “We have a 15-hour service requirement for each of our members and we are pushing academics like no other this semester, providing all the help our members might need. If anyone comes to us, we will provide all the help we can.”

Students who want to participate in this semester’s Dew Games can head to the Theta Chi House at 493 Vine St. on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m.

“Anybody is welcome to come,” Torok said. “We especially encourage anyone looking for information about Greek Life and about Theta Chi specifically.”