Koreans and Frats

Disclaimer: The author does not have the knowledge to speak authoritatively on the following subject. So he’ll just speak on the following subject.

South Korean universities don’t have fraternities or sororities. Neither do North Korean universities. Actually, I can’t guarantee the accuracy of that statement regarding North Korean universities, but I assume Greek societies represent the worst of decadent Western capitalism, so naturally, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would not allow their finest youth to engage in such morally corrupting activities. But the thing is, Koreans are unfamiliar with the concept of fraternities.

At least, not the traditional Kappa Kappa Kappa sort of Greek societies. But that’s not because Korean college students don’t like to party. Au contraire, Koreans love to party. It’s just that they have different organizations for partying. I believe they’re called ‘majors’. Yes, I think you’d think twice before declaring as a Political Science major if you knew that you’d be hanging out with math majors at most parties and events. You’d probably do something cool, like be an International Relations major or something. Yes, the basic social unit in college is the major, one of the things I admire about the Korean university system. International Relations majors are cool.

Since a major is largely an academic construct, you’d think that Korean students don’t party a lot within their majors, right? Wrong. When you apply to college, you also apply to (read: rush) a specific major. Yes, you’re supposed to know what your major is before you enter college. That’s called initiative. Anyway, once you enter college, you and your fellow students of the same major go on a trip called an MT, or Membership Training (read: pledging). There you are subject to drinking copius amounts of alcohol and having a good/bad time. Or so I’ve heard. Sometimes you even go with your adviser/professor person. That would actually be pretty awesome. I’d like to do that.

So in short, frat = major, and American universities should seriously consider the whole “bring your adviser along on a booze trip” concept. Sounds like fun.


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