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In defense of fraternity men, a member of Alpha Tau Omega speaks out

 Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. raised $800 for the Susan G. Komen foundation this past October with a philanthropy powder puff game.

provided by Christopher Murdock

Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. raised $800 for the Susan G. Komen foundation this past October with a philanthropy powder puff game.

Christopher Murdock, Contributing Writer

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A fraternity man. What thoughts come to mind when reading those words? Let me guess Total Frat Move, drinking, drugs, exclusivity — all of the above and more. Society makes it seem as if fraternities are only a realm for mischief but what they seem to hide from the masses are the positives of being a Greek man. Statistics show 40 of 47 U.S. Supreme Court justices since 1910 were fraternity men. Seventy six percent of all congressmen and senators belong to a fraternity. Every U.S. President and Vice President, except two in each office, born since the first social fraternity was founded in 1825 have been members of fraternities. In addition, 50 percent of the Top 10 Fortune 500 CEOs are fraternity men; 15 percent of Fortune 100 CEOs are Greek.

Among these leaders, many attribute their fraternity as one of the main reasons for their aspirations towards becoming a leader in the world today. I am a testament to that statement. I came to Mercer University not wanting to join a Greek organization and deferred to rush until the spring semester of my freshman year. Seeing the effect that Greek life had on various men that I saw as leaders piqued my interest. Steel sharpens steel; I lacked understanding of my full leadership potential until being initiated in the Greek community. Being in a fraternity transforms an 18-year-old boy into a 22-year-old man by the time he graduates. Skills are acquired in how to communicate, be a public figure, planning and so much more.

In 2013-2014 alone, fraternities collected over 3.8 million philanthropy hours and raised over $20.3 million dollars for various causes. The ethos of helping the community is humbling, and the value is limitless. One of the greatest characteristics of a successful person is that they give back to the environment that created them. As a college student, learning the lesson of humility is an important value to have before entering the “real world.”

Brotherhood. It is a word that appears long and when truly experienced carries it value in tons. People commonly believe brotherhood is just an excuse to hang out with a group that is homogenous, an excuse to pay for your friends, etc. But is it really, or is that all just a facade? I mentioned the phrase “steel sharpens steel,” my reasoning for getting involved in Mercer University’s campus life was because of brothers being honest and confronting me on what I could become. Personally, the brothers in my fraternity have pushed me to be involved in organizations such as SGA, Mercer Ambassadors, Omicron Delta Kappa, etc. I firmly believed that I would have stayed in my shell of being a wrestler and student if it were not for that mentorship. I’m not saying that my fraternity makes me who I am, but the skills I have gained from my fraternity have unlocked the potential I never thought was there.

Christopher Murdock

A Mercerian, an African-American, IFC Fraternity Man

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In defense of fraternity men, a member of Alpha Tau Omega speaks out