Being part of a fraternity means being part of a brotherhood, according to Pat Boone, a former Kinesiology student at UOIT, and current Zeta Psi fraternity member.
“The frat is a group of men you can rely on no matter what,” he says.
Boone says once you’re a brother, you’re a brother for life.
Zeta Psi was the first fraternity to come to Canada and, in 2005, it came to UOIT. The name of the chapter is Tau Theta.
Boone says Zeta Psi only accepts university pledges.
“The fraternity was started in universities, so it’s continued to be in universities. They didn’t want just anybody; they wanted the best of the best. University is considered to be a more disciplined academic endeavor,” says Boone.
But he says there is more to a frat than just school.
Zeta Psi likes to balance its hard work with a good time, says Boone.
“A party is a great place to find pledges,” he says. “We are inviting people in 24/7.”
While pledging, men are subjected to history lessons about the fraternity during historical time periods, such as First World War, and they are then tested. This is done by international headquarters. Boone says there is also a $400 insurance fee paid once a year to cover the costs of any accidents that happen on fraternity property.
According to Zeta Psi policies, hazing is degrading and humiliating and any form of hazing is prohibited.
“We don’t believe in that barbaric thing. It’s a thing of the past and not what we’re about,” says Boone.
He says the frat boys are out in the community as much as possible doing fundraisers and volunteering.
“Contrary to popular belief, we are not a cult,” says Boone.
According to the fraternity website, Zeta Psi was founded in 1847 by John Bradt Yates Sommer, John Moon Skillman, and William Henry Dayton at New York University.
Out of 85 chapters, 46 are still active.
Zeta Psi members have raised money for breast cancer and Heart and Stroke, held canned food drives and participated in Relay for Life.
In Canada, Greek life isn’t recognized by universities.
There is no definitive answer as to why this is the case.
As part of the frat, students may apply for scholarships for school. According to the website, candidates are judged on academics, activities, financial need, and references.
Non-Greek life students may think Greek life separates people, but Tau Theta is always interacting with people, including other fraternities, Boone says.
“We’re not rivals, we’re friends,” he says.
Tau Theta has won awards for friendliness and contributions and is aiming for the Bill Comstock award.
The Bill Comstock award represents the chapter being strong, and involved with other chapters.
It shows the boys have gone out of their way to establish better relations with the fraternity.