Southern Fratters

rojo

Super Member
Actually I recognize two Cavalier traditions. One is the tradition of ethics and gentlemanly conduct embodied among other places in the honor code at Washington & Lee University and in what my great-great-grandfather called "our plantation manners in Virginia." That Cavalier tradition, idea, and ideal was and is very real.

The other Cavalier tradition is the notion that anyone with 17th century Virginia tidewater ancestry is descended from royalists (the Cavaliers) who fled England and took refuge in Virginia after Charles I was executed in 1649, and further, that these exiles were noblemen. The writer above, Sherman McCoy, seems to buy into that mythology when he says "The real ones have pedigrees that tie them to the English gentry and nobility." Such Cavaliers apparently did come to Virginia, but their numbers were a tiny fraction of the total population there. Colonial Virginia genealogy has been a hobby of mine for 15 years. If Sherman McCoy has such a pedigree, I'd like to see it and the documentation to support it.
 

Spooter

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
tom22 said:
but really, all that counts is some money. the places I know only care about the fees. and I don't want to belong to any goofy place that cares about much else.

Surely, if that goofy place cares not a whit about anything except fees, then your going to get some of those residents of the apartment bulding, which you now so deride, aren't you?

--Spooter
 

jamgood

Elite Member
Master Of The Universe ?

"Sherman McCoy" is the name of the main character in BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES by Tommy Wolfe, from up Richmond way. SM is a smug, arrogant "Master Of The Universe" in the book. This Sherman McCoy may have had tongue planted firmly in cheek. Or? I waited for someone else to comment about the literary SM. Ya'll coulda been "had". Much ado....?
 

Untilted

Honors Member
There are two kinds of greek organizations:

"frats": these are fraternities that are like the one in animal house--filthy house, cheap beer, dangerous drinking.

and

"fraternities": composed of classy and responsible greek men.
 

Untilted

Honors Member
The very concept of "top house" has always confused me. It's definitely something people always ask me. What makes a house a "top house"? money/endowment? history? Architecture? toughest pledging process? Gets the most girls? Most famous alums? Every house at UVa believes in a unique set of values and has a unique personality as well. To say one kind of character/personality is superior to the other is not very logical, as people should find the houses that "fit" them best. Nevertheless, to answer your question, the most common answer would be (as seen on fratty.net forum before it was banned for racist remarks):

Kappa Alpha (i don't know if it's KA society or KA order)
St. Anthony's Hall
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Zeta Psi

The above four do share some similarities: Southern, wealthy, WFS/St.Christopher/St. Albans alums, predominantly FFVs (first families of Virginia).
 
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I_Should_Be_Working

Senior Member
Untilted said:
There are two kinds of greek organizations:

"frats": these are fraternities that are like the one in animal house--filthy house, cheap beer, dangerous drinking.

and

"fraternities": composed of classy and responsible greek men.


Can't say I have EVER heard of anyone identify with the other fraternity in Animal House.

"Frats" were something for guys who really should have just stayed in the dorm, hanging out at the student union bowling and playing video games.
 

Literide

Super Member
Do we really need a new name/label/category for upper/upper middle class college educated Anglo-saxons who dress/live somewhat traditionally and may have belonged to fraternities?
 

321WCameron

New Member
I rather enjoyed the read! I also lament that the author decided to use a derivative of the word "frat", but I'm willing to forgive him. Although I'm not from a certified "old-South" family, I do enjoy meeting people who send their kids to Woodberry because of the great academics and family tradition, and who drive an old truck because it still runs great and there's plenty of room for the dog.

As for the style of the fraternity men on campus (UNC alum), a fraternity brother of mine brilliantly observed that the objective seems to be to own the best clothing, only to make them look as wrinkled and hole-filled as possible.
 

Rocker

Senior Member
Untilted said:
There are two kinds of greek organizations:

"frats": these are fraternities that are like the one in animal house--filthy house, cheap beer, dangerous drinking.

and

"fraternities": composed of classy and responsible greek men.

Oh please.
 

Financier

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
several college franternities use the term "fratter" in place of the word brother, although they would never use "frat" in place of fraternity. In other words, in some organizations, "fratter" is the proper term.
 

rojo

Super Member
Frater is indeed the Latin word for brother, and frater is also in my Webster's New World Dictionary as an English word meaning "comrade or fraternity brother."

"Fratter" is pidgin English and just because it might be in common use among undergraduates does not make it proper.
 

I_Should_Be_Working

Senior Member
rojo said:
Frater is indeed the Latin word for brother, and frater is also in my Webster's New World Dictionary as an English word meaning "comrade or fraternity brother."

"Fratter" is pidgin English and just because it might be in common use among undergraduates does not make it proper.


Agreed. The thread title, 'Southern Fratters', might make one think of a breakfast side item before associating it with a members of a collegiate fraternity.
 

maddox

New Member
Untilted said:
The very concept of "top house" has always confused me. It's definitely something people always ask me. What makes a house a "top house"? money/endowment? history? Architecture? toughest pledging process? Gets the most girls? Most famous alums? Every house at UVa believes in a unique set of values and has a unique personality as well. To say one kind of character/personality is superior to the other is not very logical, as people should find the houses that "fit" them best. Nevertheless, to answer your question, the most common answer would be (as seen on fratty.net forum before it was banned for racist remarks):

Kappa Alpha (i don't know if it's KA society or KA order)
St. Anthony's Hall
Delta Kappa Epsilon
Zeta Psi

The above four do share some similarities: Southern, wealthy, WFS/St.Christopher/St. Albans alums, predominantly FFVs (first families of Virginia).

At schools like UVA and Vanderbilt where there is an influx of northerners, I think the definition of what was a top house would be considered different. I would consider the houses that had the most popular, but also refined southerners to be the best (I was in one of the afformentioned fraternities at UVA) but in terms of who had the best parties and who got the best looking (though not necessarily classiest) girls, there would be a different answer.

At much more southern schools like Ole Miss or Alabama, all the points you made about money, establishment etc. go hand and hand with everything else.

I felt dumber after reading that essay. My family's was poor in the 19th century. We're pretty well off now, but I don't have a trust fund or anything like that. I went to a private school with a lot of the FFV types and so I pledged a fraternity with my friends. I never got an inkling of the pretentiousness in that description among my brothers.
 
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