Fraternities turn stereotype on its head

Instead of fighting their stereotype as drinkers, Northern Kentucky University fraternities are embracing it.

The Interfraternity Council took a symbol of partying and turned it into an opportunity for education with this year’s “Red Cup Campaign,” which kicked off rush week for the fraternities.

“We used something that brings us down and turned it into a positive,” said Mark Gallondorn, president of the IFC.

It was an idea that spawned after ABC released its TV series “Greek,” a teen drama series that follows a college freshman who tries to leave behind his high school geek reputation by joining a fraternity, according to the network’s site.

The TV show’s symbol is the notorious red cup, which is what inspired Gallondorn and Kim Vance, assistant director for Student Life, to use for the Rush Week promotion.

Rush Week began Sept. 9 with about 125 students registered, which is the amount of bids Gallondorn said will be issued. Though the number is consistent with last year’s totals, it is double the amount of prospective fraternity members two years ago.

The crowd is more diversified too, he said.

“There aren’t 100 of the same guys in a room this year,” he said. The red cup symbol helped spread the word to a variety of international students as well as those who don’t fit the “jock” stereotype, Gallondorn said.

“Our image is a lot more than partying,” he said. “We’ve used our stereotype.”

Fraternity members will announce their bids from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sept. 13 in the University Center. The event will kick off with an informational session on hazing, and how NKU opposes it. Pledges will run out to be greeted on the UC plaza starting at 5 p.m.