Underground Fraternities & Sororities

Underground Fraternities & Sororities

Fraternities and sororities have been a part of college life for centuries. They offer students the chance to make friends, develop leadership skills, and become involved in their communities. But not all fraternities and sororities are created equal. In some cases, underground fraternities or unrecognized groups may exist off campus which can lead to dangerous situations for students who join them without realizing the risks. 

What Are Fraternities and Sororities?

Fraternities and sororities are “groups of people associated or formally organized for a common purpose, interest, or pleasure.” Some colleges have underground or unrecognized fraternities and sororities that can be dangerous if you join without knowing the risks.

What to Look Out For on Campus

When searching for a legitimate fraternity or sorority on campus, it is important to make sure that the organization is recognized by the university. This can be done by visiting the school’s website and looking up the list of officially recognized organizations. It is also important to research any fraternities or sororities that may exist on and off campus before joining them.

How Underground Fraternities and Sororities Come About 

Underground fraternities and sororities can come about in a couple of ways. They either start as recognized organizations at the school or university, but their status was revoked for numerous reasons including hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, risk management violations, and failure to comply with University policies – which in almost all of these cases, they also had their charter suspended by their national/international organization because they were not upholding the organization’s values – or they are created by students who hadn’t previously had a relationship with a Greek letter organization. 

How Underground Fraternities and Sororities Work

Underground fraternities and sororities operate much like they would if they still had campus and national recognition, but without having to worry about the rules and regulations put into place by the school or national fraternity or sorority.  

Why These Groups Are Dangerous

Underground fraternities and sororities are dangerous for a variety of reasons. Aside from the dangers of being unregulated, underground fraternities and sororities lack the financial resources that recognized organizations do. For example, fraternities and fraternity houses are covered by personal liability insurance provided by the national chapter. Without that coverage, any accident, injury, or death could be financially devastating to members. Additionally, underground groups are not recognized by universities, or their national chapter,  meaning that neither the school nor the national chapter has jurisdiction over the organization or its members. As such, there is no guarantee of safety or accountability within underground fraternities and sororities. 

Ways to Avoid Being Involved with Underground Fraternities and Sororities

  1. Do your research before joining a fraternity or sorority – make sure that it is an officially recognized group by the university;
  2. Ask friends and other students about underground fraternities and sororities on campus;
  3. Avoid attending underground parties or events, as these can be dangerous situations; and
  4. If you are approached with an invitation to join an underground fraternity or sorority, politely decline and report the incident to school authorities if necessary.

Say “No” to Underground Greek Life

While recognized fraternities and sororities can be as dangerous as underground organizations, rogue fraternities, and sororities have no affiliation with an external oversight group and no structure of accountability. Without the adult oversight of the university and national chapter, underground groups tend to engage in a lot of extreme behavior without regulation or consequences; i.e. hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, and physical violence.

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