by Kiana Contreras
When you search Pitzer and the rest of the 5Cs on “College Prowler”, a website with information about colleges, the section about Greek life is non-existent. Here at the Claremont Colleges, we don’t have to worry about getting into frat parties or rushing for the right sorority, but are we missing an essential part of the college experience.
Pomona is the only one of the 5Cs to even nominally partake in the Greek system. There have previously been 3 Greek organizations there: the Kappa Delta, Sigma Tau, and Nu Alpha Phi fraternities.
The “Nappies”, as members of Nu Alpha Phi are called, are probably the most well known across the campuses. Nu Alpha Phi opened their doors to women in the 80s and the “fratority” continues to extend its borders to all students of the Claremont Colleges today. However, without residential houses or national charters, many do not consider these to be Greek institutions.
In an article about the presence of fraternities on Pomona’s campus from 2001, the president of Kappa Delta said, “If you were looking for that big-school fraternity experience you obviously are not going to find that at Pomona.”
The lack of a Greek system on the rest of the 5Cs, however, does not seem to disappoint many.
“There is no social hierarchy and people don’t feel obligated to associate with a certain group of people,” Pitzer junior Shira Feifer said.
Feifer maintains that the culture here does not really lend itself to sorority/fraternity culture perhaps because Greek life divides the student population into stark gender binaries.
The Pomona fratority is an exception to this however. In the same 2001 article about the “Nappies”, Nate Johnson reported that along with women, Nu Alpha Phi now welcomes individuals that depart from the traditional gender binaries. In this way, the “Nappies” successfully embody some of the important values at Pitzer and across the Claremont Colleges.
In the process of researching for this article, I realized there is very little information to be found about Greek life at the 5Cs. The fact that the only literature available was from 2001 proved to me just how little Greek life matters to the students here.
I don’t think that serves as a loss. As a first-year student, I appreciate not having to climb the ranks of a social ladder riddled with sorority etiquette or frat-hazing horror stories. Maybe it’s better we limit the Greek influence at the Claremont Colleges to Socrates and Pythagoras.
Additional source: Source: http://www.pomona.edu/magazine/PCMSP01/frats.shtml