Wannabe Fraternities

Here’s a clip from a Phi Beta Chi society meeting at BJU. I witnessed similar scenes of stupidity in my “collegian” at PCC where the chief form of entertainment was making this guy drink root beer until he threw up.

This is the college that would blank out all the commercials during the evening news (one of the few times the televisions in the lobbies were turned on) lest someone see an advertisement for beer or hear rock music. But making someone puke up two liters of soda? That’s just good clean fun.

I usually sat in the back and tried to do homework.

48 thoughts on “Wannabe Fraternities”

  1. I’m pretty sure we would have gotten in trouble for that one at PCC, but it looks pretty fun compared to the dumb balloon stomp game we played in Omega Kappa Delta. As collegian secretary, it was my job to come up with alternative names and descriptions for activities that we could get in trouble for.

  2. I find it humorous that Phi Beta got picked as an example–because they were one of the more legitimately fun societies at BJ. My society–for which I was the editor of the newsletter, which was an absolute blast (until the administration more or less shut it down)–tended to use Friday meetings as tryouts for future chapel speakers.

  3. Collegian was a good 45 minute study session. My first two years we had an AWESOME chaplain, but once she left, collegian was very much a waste of time.

  4. As I recall, Phi Beta was one of the rowdier societies at BJ. This one probably didn’t make it on Youtube, but I’m told a bunch of Phi Beta guys were socialed a few years back after a few of them put on a skit in which the dean of students gave the dean of men a lap dance.

  5. Hey … that was my society!! Go Bulldogs! Looks like those guys are still putting the fun in fundamentalism!

  6. I was so glad I turned 23 my freshman year and was able to skip most collegian meetings. I hung out in the Palms Grill studying in mixed groups most of the time. 🙂

  7. IMO, Societies/Collegians were just a waste of time. You were required to participate, but then basically said you couldn’t do anything fun because of noise/property damage/puritan stoicism

  8. The only thing good from my BJU society was a cool extension I hooked into – doing puppet shows at a children’s hospital. Of course, we were supposed to go around after the show and “share the gospel” with the kids, but most of us went around and talked to the kids and prayed with them, which, come to think of it, is much better than trying to do a hard close for a decision with a sick kid.

    I would have LOVED to see the lap dance. Interestingly, a lot of the BJU men’s societies antics would be considered hazing by many state laws.

    My BJA society was a total waste. We had a deaf chaplain who didn’t speak very well and, with a few exceptions, the faculty kids were brats.

  9. At last! The secret Skull and Bones initiation ceremony revealed! I knew Alexandra Robbins got it wrong!

  10. If I could’ve skipped collegian meetings, I would. Hands down. They were a complete waste of time and were never fun. Wish I could’ve been hanging out in the PG with the other twenty-somethings!

  11. Is that poor young man wearing a dress!? But isn’t that shameful of a man!?

    Wow. I’ve heard stories from the IFB college that I ALMOST attended. Basically, the two dorm halls for guys were divided amongst the rowdies vs. the studiers. And oh the stories I heard about that rowdy hall! Ice cream throwing fights between the two (until a dean got hit or something). Using mattresses as slides down steps. Filling tennis balls with match heads then throwing them. Oh it went on and on.

  12. In case anyone needed proof that IFB colleges often are nothing more than glorified youth group or summer camp, here you go. Ugh.

    1. Really? In the same way that a lot of other colleges are drunken beer fests? I hardly think a single video of some late teen/early twenty-somethings horsing around (shocker!) is proof of overarching mark of the school. There is plenty to legitimate criticisms that can be leveled against Bob Jones U and other “IFB colleges,” but the fact that the students occasionally enjoy themselves in juvenile ways that us “mature folks” would never do really isn’t one of them.

      1. It’s fine and dandy if you want to act asinine, but my beef is that membership in these stupid societies is required. So not only is it a waste of time, but you are forced to participate in juvenile (and often injurious) activities so you can be better “socialized.” HUH?

      2. No, my conclusion was based upon my four years at an IFB Bible college, where that *was* the mentality of the administration and a lot of the students. A lot of other people from a variety of institutions have said the same thing, too. The mentality is in the way students are treated as children, not as competent adults. It’s in the way the “Bible classes” are little more than Sunday school lessons. It’s in the promotional materials. It’s in the way traveling singing/drama groups present their schools. There’s nothing (necessarily) wrong with having fun and being immature every once in a while. That’s entirely beside the point. My point is that it’s systemic. It’s a mentality that is promoted by the administration of a lot of these schools. I didn’t form that conclusion by watching this video. It’s just icing on the cake.

        About the drunk beer fest thing: I just spent five years at a mid-size state university, one of those years living on campus, and never saw any of that. I’m not saying that those parties don’t exist; I’m merely saying that state universities are hardly the dens of iniquity that some would portray them as being.

        @Camille: Thanks! 🙂

        1. Amanda said: “About the drunk beer fest thing: I just spent five years at a mid-size state university, one of those years living on campus, and never saw any of that. I’m not saying that those parties don’t exist; I’m merely saying that state universities are hardly the dens of iniquity that some would portray them as being.”

          That was exactly my point.

        2. “About the drunk beer fest thing: I just spent five years at a mid-size state university, one of those years living on campus, and never saw any of that. ”

          I’ve seen it. U of I had Unofficial St. Patricks day. Well it wasn’t an official U of I sanctioned event, but every bar on campus would hold it on the same day. The year before I came to work on campus they had several riots in classrooms and tons of vandalism break out because students would show up to class completely drunk. Eventually the town passed a law that no drinking could start until after 10. By 12 you already had people drunk all over campus. I lived right on campus and on my walk home you’d see random people just passed out on the side walk or grass.

          Of course that really doesn’t matter. Kids do juvenile things at all colleges. I still tend to agree with Amanda that IFB schools end up being like year long camps codling the kids. This type of behavior is somewhat encouraged so that kids think they are having fun and aren’t missing out on anything. But then they get to control every other aspect of your life. Take the fact that most IFB colleges *require* that you live in the dorm with rare and few exceptions until magically reach age x or graduate with your undergrad. Suddenly at that time you’ve earned your adulthood or something like that. Kind of weird if you ask me.

        3. Yeah… I agree Mark that that stuff goes on in state schools–not with their condoning.

          And–Of COURSE it does. Of COURSE! That’s called “life.” BJU tries to say that introducing your kids to “life” is somehow wrong. NO.it’s.not. They are going to see that stuff wherever they go…whether it’s in the business arena or whatever. The goal is to help our kids see that getting involved in that is not good for them…and could potentially wreck their lives.

          And…contrast a secular school, with a regionally accredited evangelical school and the “BJU argumentation” is completely irrelevant. And that fact is? BJU would still say going to an evangelical school is “wrong.”

          BJU treats their students like children…so they just act accordingly. If BJU relaxed their rules, the students would find “grown-up” ways to have fun.

  13. Honestly though, that doesn’t seem much stupider than what actual sororities/fraternities are about.

  14. Makes me wonder how all other institutions were deemed ‘of the devil’. At HAC we’d have what I called ‘forced fun’, where everyone would be required to watch a bunch of out-of-shape guys play basketball worse than third graders. Oh, and about the out-of-shape. If drinking and smoking were bad because they harmed the body, why was it okay to stuff your mouth full of fatty foods?

  15. Though I do admit I got offended when an unmarried employee told me that I should stop doing pushups because they were making my arms too ‘masculine’.

    1. You should’ve told them you were building up your baby-hoisting arms. Then I’m sure it would have been okay. 😎

  16. I was in the Tri Epsilon “Pirates” when I was at BJU and we almost always had fun at our meetings.

  17. Ah, Jordan, I feel your pain. You came too late for this, but I do remember an extemporaneous speech titled “Charlie Brown as the Quintessential Manifestation of Kierkegaardian Existentialism.” But yeah, as the years went on it became a little more chapel-y. Probably why I was nominated for every office for two years running and never elected – they knew if any TW guys got in there that they would suffer a return to normalcy, and can’t have that. 😉

  18. For me the video isn’t that surprising. I think it looks like fun. My society ended up just being geeks and heady types. Didn’t bother me too much, but what can you do. You show up and they make you decide in 1 week which society you’ll be stuck with your whole 4 years. And during that week they preach to you the importance of this one decision and how all of your friends will likely come from society. I keep up with many of my society friends, but none of my close friends came from there. Oh well.

  19. I remember a hilarious dig at our society to the tune of the Hannukah (sp?) song. Unfortunately, the guy got in a bunch of trouble for not getting the song “checked” first.

    I do agree that it is a problem when college students are constantly treated like children.

  20. Saran wrapping the guy isn’t a good thing. They may think it’s funny, but it’s not right to do that to another human- even in the name of fun.

  21. I was laughing so hard at that video I almost had soda come out of my nose (that’s painful)! They guy that appears at about 0:26 to pick the human ball up and throw him back in (in the white shirt) is actually the society president for that year. I know because he lived in the room next door to me. He was my Prayer Captain my senior year when I was Assistant Prayer Captain for two awesome freshmen. Great guy. Great society. One of my Haitian friends that I practiced French and Creole with is in that one, too. On one occasion we (me and the president of their society) were talking about a few dorm counselors and he basically said that he’d rather talk to a ‘woman of the night’ about lust issues rather than talking to one specific counselor who happens to have an uncle that pastors a particularly important church in town and who was made a counselor his senior year (he hadn’t even graduated yet). Minnick for those of you who know who I’m talking about. His candor was, for me, amazing since he was spotlighting a general meme in Brokenshire 2nd floor that year. Very few people felt that that dorm counselor (and he was and is my friend – we sat next to each other in Greek book classes) could reach out to them. Just the last name said it all. The general consensus was that family ties made him a resident assistant as a sophomore (and the rumor flew that they had to stop him and, more recently, his brother from giving demerits because they were so good at finding infractions) and a counselor as a senior. It pays to be ‘in’ some families in that environment. Identity apart from them (if you’re born into it) is severely discouraged. It’s what I’ve seen time and again. With this particular counselor, I can vouch for his genuine spirit and I can say that I actually leaned on him at times and he gave me advice that has lasted me. Because of the reputation that preceded him (and probably also because of a relative ignorance of the rumors circulating about him), he was painted into a corner. It’s a microcosm of what happens so often there. It can’t be overstated what a lack of grace does in an organization like BJU or any Christian school.

    And I agree with Amanda and Camille. The roughhousing is a given since it’s a guy’s society on a college campus. But the idea is definitely there that this is an extended bible camp. The same rules apply and the same kinds of activities. I was in the Vikings and I still have great friends from there that I love, but I have to say that society was a great and fulfilling thing while I was there and that (had it not been for the added pressure of having to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ à la Wilds Christian Camp), I would have felt like I was actually at college. Regional accreditation sure would have helped, too. LOL! 😀

  22. I was in a BJU society and in a state school fraternity. Yeah, there was a lot of junk to join the frat, but, once in, the brotherhood was much better than anything I experienced at the BOB. We sponsored choir and band festivals, raised a ton of money, brought in nationally-renowned music composers, etc. The societies at the BOB are pointless, mindless groups designed for more control over a student body that is already too heavily controlled.

  23. I went to school with a few of those guys. Want to know two-faced-fundamentalist-Church power abusing- favoritism at its best? Those guys were at the peak of it. They could do literally anything and not get in trouble. Looks like Bob Jones uses the same direction that my school did.
    “Let us show the love of Jesus, shall we? We can wrap this kid up, toss him around, humiliate him, but it’s okay, I’m a preacher boy and I get to pastor a church some day.”

  24. I almost hesitate to even respond to any of the comments regarding this video because I know that it will fall on deaf ears…

    I was in Phi Beta. Yes, we did a number of things that would certainly be classified as immature (like the skit about the deans and the lap dance that has been mentioned a few times, I was a part of that…)but can anyone look back and say that they were at their peak of maturity when they were 18 to 22 years of age?

    To start things off with, the title “Wannabe Fraternities” is ridiculous. I don’t think that anyone coming into our society thought to themselves that this was anything like a frat. I enjoyed my time in my society and 6 years later, still have a number of friends that I keep in touch with and visit with on a regular basis. Do we still wrap each other in saran wrap and shove each other around? Nope. It was fun then, but now we prefer BBQ’s, volleyball and catching up.

    It’s interesting to see who has responded to this video post and frequent this site most. Some are former classmates, old friends and even one is my “campus mom” at another college that I attended… Hi Jocelyn.

    I think that people out there really need to find a better hobby then criticizing every little thing that they don’t care for. Get over it kids, seriously. Yes, I went to a christian highschool, 2 different christian colleges, worked at a christian camp, traveled with a christian evangelist, and so on, so I know a little bit about your distaste with the IFB stuff because I see it as well. Some of you at one point were not only drinking the sugary Kool-aid, but were also the ones mixing up the next batch, but that doesn’t give anyone free reign to criticize ridiculous little things like this.

    I’m not always pleased with the shelter approach that many institutions take and agree that if they treated everyone like adults until those students proved that they need to be treated like kids instead of the other way around, we might see a different group of people emerge from these institutions.

    Working as a manager for the last couple of years, I hire a number of college age students from secular universities and colleges around the area in NH and I have listened to their stories about their parties, activities, and what they do for fun while at college and whoever thinks that there isn’t a lot of drinking, sex, drugs going on there a great majority of the time is ignorant. Straight up ignorant.

    If you look at any institution, organization or program – secular, private, christian – you will find flaws and imperfections. Everyone is entitled to express your opinions, but some of you need to stop for a moment, pull your head out of your butt and realize that your opinion is just that… possibly not wrong, but probably not right.

    I realize that with all of this being said, it’s like slapping a bee hive with all the comments that will come after this, but that’s the way it goes. Everyone has something to say. The nice part is, is that I’m not the one who will be camping out on this blog waiting to see who responds because I have better things to do then spend every waking moment on this thing hiding behind a keyboard.

    I hope that everyone will take an extra moment and realize that there are bigger issues that need to be addressed out there then what you find in this 60 second video clip. Can we all agree on that?

  25. That was a pretty good response, Phil. Yes, the saran wrapping was pretty silly, but compared to what goes on at a lot of parties on secular campuses, it was awfully tame. And the guy being wrapped didn’t seem to mind, so who cares? Whatever happened to “live and let live”? My only beef is that you were required to join a society. I think it should be voluntary. Also, as a side note: did that song and chant actually check??? It’s hard to imagine!

  26. Back in the mid 90’s I was in a club (Characters off of 385, around 500 people) in Greenville during the summer. The DJ started asking how many people we had from what college. He yelled “Clemson?” smattering of applause “Furman?” smattering of applause, “Bob Jones?” half the place went nuts. Actually, I spent quite a few summers in the mid 90’s in bars and clubs in Greenville. I can tell you that most of the town/faculty kids I saw in church on Sunday, were in the clubs on Saturday night. So the whole “people in regular college stay drunk and party all the time” applies to anybody at BJU that gets the chance. Trust me.

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