Post Classifieds

New website adds to Greek mystique

By Adam Troxtell
On April 14, 2011

From the movie "Animal House" to shows like "Greek", the way fraternities and sororities are presented in pop culture is fairly uniform: a bunch of partiers that take any chance they can to haze or humiliate the pledges. When a fairly new website called opened up a page dedicated to gossip about secret rituals and hazing stories from Greek organizations across the country, it only added to the fervor.

The website – apparently run by someone only known as Lauren – has a section called Greek Spin, where stories, or "myths," about initiation ceremonies for fraternities and sororities across the nation are posted in a lengthy list. It also caught the attention of Greek organizations on campus, according to Coordinator of Greek Life Amber VanLue Johnston.

"We started to talk about it in Panhellenic once we found out it was out there and just made the blanket statement of don't respond," she said. "Sometimes what we feel is when someone tries to knock us down, did they not get in to the organization they wanted to? Do they not like Greek life whatsoever because of what's out in Hollywood or what's on TV? There are so many factors that go into sites like this being created."

One of the more predominant rumors posted on the website is about the various Chi Omega Fraternity chapters' initiation ceremonies. Multiple posts describe pledges being placed in a coffin, some with dead owls in them, and being "reborn" as a Chi Omega. The national headquarters for Chi Omega declined to comment about the website.

Johnston said that, upon viewing the site, she felt was "child's play."

"It's just one more way to slander each other," she said. "I was looking through there, and I didn't see too many things about the secrets of our rituals and things like that. You can, sadly, buy ritual books on eBay. That just deals with people who don't know or understand about Greek life finding these items and putting them somewhere, or they have a grudge against someone and they are like ‘Well, I'm going to try and ruin you.'"

She also said that any sort of hazing allegation is "taken seriously." There are plans in place to deal with accusations, and investigations are launched into such matters that could take from minutes to an entire semester to sort out. Johnston said these plans were in place because the issue cannot be ignored.

"Hazing is very real, no one is immune to it," she said. "It doesn't happen in all of our organizations, but there is that potential that is there, and that is why we have so many risk management events, that's why we talk about hazing a lot. You have that one bad member that gets in and ruins it for everybody."

Because of this possibility, Johnston said she thinks anyone joining an organization should look into the history and find out just what it is they are getting into.

"Do your research before you join an organization and ask those questions," she said. "So, fabulous, I think everybody should do it. I think everybody should do it before they join SGA, before they join CAB, before they join any of our student organizations. Find out what is out there."

The supposed creator of did not respond to e-mails as of press time, so it is not known whether the posts on Greek Spin are screened. But, the fact remains that some things Greek organizations would like to keep secret are being revealed on this website as well as others. Johnston said secrets, while sometimes petty, are a significant part of Greek Life.

"The more we look into it and the older I get, I'm realizing and trying to share with the students here that, if we look at our founders' missions and the values in our organizations, they are all pretty much the same," she said. "What we do is create variances of what that is to create our secrets. Some of the secrets are unnecessary, and younger members tend to think that some things aren't allowed to be shared. I think the secrecy still kind of plays into what our make up is."

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