The Little Things That Let You Know You’re in a Fraternity House

A fraternity house is one of the most interesting places you can encounter. While each fratcastle is different, ranging in quality from dingy crack house to palatial mansion, there are certain things a person is liable to find no matter where they go. It’s these unique traits that give fraternity houses that special “Lord of the Flies” meets “The Beverly Hillbillies” feel. There are the obvious ones like composites, paddles, stolen sorority memorabilia, and half-eaten plates of baked goods that random slams brought over. But what about the things that subtly remind you that you are in a place with few rules and almost as little accountability as a Penn State coaching staff? Don’t they deserve to be highlighted too? So, like a GDI who has nothing significant to cherish, let’s take a minute to appreciate the little things.

The Broken Flat Screen

In a fraternity house, things break. As surely as something that goes up must come down, something that is bought must be broke (eventually). A normal person would say “this is why we can’t have nice things,” however in a fraternity that common phrase is slightly altered to “fuck it, we’ll get some new nice things.” The flat screen TV is a perfect example of this. It’s expensive but not irreplaceable. What this means is that given the right circumstances, like say catching the 3:00am Sportscenter highlight of your school’s kicker losing you the “Game of the Century,” that TV might fall victim to a barrage of Sperrys and half-full beer cans. Either that or the remote’s batteries died while a drunken brother was flipping channels and he got stuck on Rachel Maddow, causing him to punch the TV to death.

Old Porn

Most fraternity houses have been lived in for decades. When people move out things get lost or left behind. This includes porn. Old porn can be found anywhere. Sometimes it is as simple as a Playboy that has been the house’s third floor toilet reading for over twenty years. Why hasn’t it been thrown out? Because the 1990 “Girls of the SEC” is a classic goddammit! That’s why! And if you get tired of pre-Desert Storm bush there’s always that enthralling Axl Rose interview. Other times the porn is far darker, like a video tape of “Somewhere Under the Rainbow” that the pledges find while cleaning out the bowels of the secluded house storage closet. If said video tape is found, watch it, you won’t be able to look away. The movie is like a porno car accident. And don’t be afraid of the title, it is not gay porn, although I am actually not sure how to classify it. Its genre probably falls somewhere between statutory bestiality and erotic “Willow” fan fiction. There is also always the chance that you might find some Cold War era intimate snapshots of an old house sweetheart. Beware if you’re a legacy though, because it’s probably your mom.

Schizophrenic Bathrooms

What I mean by this is bathrooms that are either third world filthy or hypochondriac levels of clean, and never anything in between. Unfortunately, the bathrooms tend to be more the former than the latter, usually only changing form for things like game day or alumni events. While suffering through these bathrooms on a daily basis does serve as something of a cure-all vaccination, they are still awful. No one knows this better than the pledges who are forced to routinely clean messes that would make the janitor at a Guatemalan prison vomit and cry.

Half-Assed Evacuation Plans

In many college towns, fraternity houses are considered student housing or some other form of general housing. What this basically means is that fraternity houses in these towns/cities have to meet certain safety standards that structures such as dorms or apartment buildings would also have to meet. This includes posting evacuation and safety plans for disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires. The task of drawing up an evacuation plan for your fraternity house may be simple, but it is also incredibly useless, and often treated as such. Everyone who lives there knows that if the house goes up in flames they need to get the fuck out, and the brothers definitely know where the exits are. Here’s a hypothetical example I drew up, using MS Paint for realism.

As you can see the escape plan is pretty obvious. Leave your room, go downstairs, and get the fuck out. Women and actives first, naturally. You may also note the simulated vandalism, because as we all know any piece of paper hanging up in a fraternity house is liable to be fucked with. I actually like to imagine that the evacuation plan’s crude additions were meant to be there though. “In case of a fire leave your room and head downstairs. Meanwhile a disembodied penis will be jizzing on the school’s rival mascot in one room while a slam named Sally S. will be having butt sex in another.” At least the Fire Marshall will get a good laugh before he writes you up.

  1. Fratiator

    Sweet pictures.. this is totally put together in a well thought out manner. Nice job intern

    13 years ago at 9:12 pm
    1. Fraturnalia

      Ha i think there was a broken flatscreen in our house every semester i was there

      13 years ago at 9:46 am
    2. sds

      fixed the flatscreen problem with a projector. Throw shit at the screen all day, its just a wall.

      13 years ago at 12:56 pm
  2. KAvu

    The porn statement us true. At least 4 bathrooms in our house have a stack of playboy.

    13 years ago at 9:15 pm
  3. Donald_Draper

    The whole “jizzing on your school’s rival mascot” thing might be funny if you didn’t, you know, forfeit the rivalry.

    13 years ago at 9:16 pm
    1. Donald_Draper

      Also, you’re saying “Schizophrenic”, but you mean “Bipolar”. Nice attempt at big words, kid. Why don’t you go punch yourself in the dick ’til you pass out?

      13 years ago at 9:31 pm
    2. DeltaChiOrDie

      KU is actually the one who started the talks about not being able to continue the rivalry, which is the second oldest in the country.

      Jokes on them.

      13 years ago at 2:14 pm
    3. Fraternity Man

      Nah, Mizzou is going to finish about the same in the SEC as the Big XII. They’re like a new South Carolina in football. Once they figure out Haith sucks, they’ll regularly contend for basketball championships. And they’re usually formidable in baseball too. While I don’t like that they’re leaving (I don’t think ditching schools you’ve been with for over 100 years is a good thing), I think they’ll survive. The SEC is not the end all be all, despite this site’s leanings.

      13 years ago at 3:29 pm
    4. Fraternity Man

      Sure I do. In football this season, you’ve got the penthouse (LSU and Bama), teams skating on the SEC’s powerhouse reputation it deservedly earned in the late 2000s (despite the fact that they really aren’t that good–Arkansas and South Carolina), teams that have won it all recently but are coming/have come back down to earth (Florida and Auburn), then dogshit. And no, Georgia is not a good team this year…they have lost their only moderately difficult games. While Mizzou is rebuilding this year, Pinkel has actually built a legitimate program. They’ll be a fine member and will help academically to boot. Now, as for A&M under the Shermanator…yikes.

      13 years ago at 9:41 pm
    1. TheFrattersonEpisode

      I don’t know her either, but if she is not a 10 then someone should be peeing on the fire and not in her butt.

      13 years ago at 9:31 pm
  4. Brooks Brothers

    not quite on point. It does not really sound like you were actually ever in a frat

    13 years ago at 9:25 pm
  5. Brooks Brothers

    anyone that ever briefly walked through a frat house could name all of this.

    13 years ago at 9:26 pm