It’s weird to know that our parents used to be in Greek life just like we are now, doing the same type things that we do now. They were just as crazy or even crazier than we are.
Back in the olden days of the late 70’s and early 80’s they partied, drank, had social events, the whole nine yards. The parties were incredible. The fact that the drinking age was 18 back then played a huge factor in this aspect. The themes were just as crazy back then as they are now, except for the fact that the toga party was the most famous and used theme of them all.
They would hold parties in the streets between the houses as well as in the houses making it one enormous party. You didn't have to know someone in the fraternity or be a football player to get into the different parties if you were a guy either. Everyone was welcome everywhere making the Greek life back then so much more social and unified than now. Dancing also played a huge role in parties back then as well. Now at parties there are either drinking games you can play or you just socialize a drink. A very small percentage of party goers actually dance at parties anymore.
The mixers that they had back then were also slightly different. They still all had themes and were at the different fraternity houses, but each member of the fraternity or sorority would be required to stay there for at least an hour. They were also required to go to a certain amount of mixers each semester to ensure that they would get to know each other. Another huge difference is that they were able to call them mixers as well. Now we must call them get togethers or meet and greets due to the fact that the word “mixer” is very closely associated with the idea of alcohol. Aside from those few details mixers are generally the same now as when our parents were meeting each other at them.
The initiation of pledges back then was also slightly different. They had a lot fewer restrictions. Hazing was illegal back then just as it is now, but the universities and colleges would tolerate it more. The forms of initiation are very similar as to what the pledges endure now. It was the basic cleaning the floors, putting together parties, and making paddles. A huge difference however is the fact that sorority girls had to do embarrassing things just like the boys had to. It wasn't required of the girls but many of them enjoyed participating in the embarrassing events to help form bonds with their sisters.
Greek life was also much cheaper back then as well. Our parents would have been paying between $30-$50 just to be in their organization, compared to our $6,000-$10,000 dues. This meant that they couldn't have any incredible builds or get t-shirts every week for any event that took place, but it was much easier for everyone to join because you didn't have to get a job just to be Greek.
They also had very few restrictions on what they could and could not do for parties. The noise restrictions were much easier to get around. The party themes never had to be politically correct. The drinking was legal because the age was 18. So overall due to the fewer restrictions, they were able to have some of the most legendary parties that some universities have ever seen. Our parent’s generation of Greeks were the crazy college kids that inspired movies like Animal House. And those are the movies that inspired us to go into Greek life.
In conclusion, it would be amazing to have witnessed a fraternity party back in the 70’s or 80’s just to see how much more freedom they truly had. Seeing how insane our parents were would also be quite interesting. We aren't missing out on too much however since we get to enjoy the intricate builds each fraternity creates for parties. Greek life is something that will forever link groups of people together because it will never change the way it is run or the meaning that it brings to each of us college students.