Published in The Voice, Bloomsburg University's student newspaper,
on May 3, 1988.
The Non-Frat Is Where It's At
Recently several people have come to me and said, ďYa know, we really would like to learn how to become individuals, but we just donít know how to do it. We donít know how to socialize very well and we donít have many friends, plus weíd like to do some valuable service to the community. What can we do?Ē
I thought over this for a while. I realized that I too would like to learn how to be an individual. Finally I said, ďLetís join a group!Ē
We looked at all the different Greek organizations on campus, but didnít see anything that suited our needs and desires. Some of us didnít like the drinking that was an important part of some groups. Others didnít like the hazing that goes on is some fraternities and sororities, despite the new anti-hazing laws. My personal fear was that Iíd have to wear one of those silly green hats.
In the end, we decided that we didnít want to join a fraternity, so instead we formed a non-fraternity. This was the birth of Beta Beta Beta Beta Beta, or Beta^5 for short.
We wanted to have a non-organization that had no tedius meetings, required no dues, included no hazing, and allowed its non-members to travel about in groups of less than twelve people.
Naturally we knew we would not be accepted by the Inter-Fraternity Council, so we formed our own assembly, the NCTDN (the Non-Council That Does Nothing). Since Beta^5 is the only non-organization currently in NCTDN, our goals tend to be predominant in the decision making.
The local non-chapter of Beta^5 is the VHS non-chapter. Our symbol is the Invisible Man, chosen because heís easy to draw.
Non-pledges to Beta^5 must go through a vigorous series of tests to prove their apathy. First, the prospective non-brother or non-sister must find the non-fraternity house. This seemingly impossible task is but the least of the Three Things.
Second, the non-pledge must recite all three verses of ďIím a LumberjackĒ while sitting in a chair.
Finally, the person seeking admission to Beta^5 must come up with three uses for a Macintosh computer. This final test is where most non-pledges fail.
If the non-pledge succeeds in each of the Three Things and someone notices, he or she is admitted into the non-fraternity in the Sacred Wearing of the Vulcan Ears ceremony. Once this is over and the floor swept, the new non-brother or non-sister is awarded with their new name: John.
We wanted to have non-fraternity names, just like the Greek organizations, but it turned out everyone wanted the name John. Somebody figured out that this would save a lot of money on printing nametags, so it became tradition.
If you would like to join Beta^5, the meetings are not held in an undisclosed location on campus at a time and date that hasnít been decided upon yet. Ten people are non-members as of this writing, and several more have expressed disinterest towards joining.
Beta^5 has an official policy of discriminating against anyone who is a member of any race, religion, color, sex, creed, nationality, species, or sports team. In actuality we donít care and weíll accept anybody.
Finally, Iíd like to close by sending a personal message to my little, John: youíre about the most average, dull person Iíve ever met. To the first non-pledge class of Beta Beta Beta Beta Beta, Iíd like to leave these encouraging words: well, who cares.
The content on this page was written in 1988.
Last updated: June 11, 2016