A Discourse Community in College

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Phi Gamma Delta at the University of Oklahoma
In general when someone talks about men in Phi Gamma Delta they think of loud obnoxious guys, who would rather think about the next big party than their next test or homework assignment. But when they take a deeper look into the fraternity you see men who are dedicated to their morals, service, and friendship. “A fraternity is an association of men, selected in their college days by a democratic process, because of their adherence to common ideals and aspirations. Out of their association arises a personal relationship which makes them unselfishly seek to advance on another in the arts of life and to add, to the formal instruction of the college curriculum, the culture, and the character which men acquire by contact with great personalities, or when admitted to partnership in great traditions”(Newton D Baker). Through exploring the history, power structure, slang words, rushing process, membership obligation, the way Phi Gamma Delta members dress, and how students who are not in a fraternity see the members. We will see how this discourse community can seem bias to outsiders. Phi Gamma Delta was founded on May 1, 1848 by six men who graduated from Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. The Phi Gamma Delta Chapter, nicknamed Fiji or Phi Gam by the members, has a hundred and thirteen chapters, and eighteen colonies scattered across the United States of America and Canada. The Oklahoma chapter, named the Nu Omega chapter, was founded on December 29, 1916. The Nu Omega chapter recently built a brand new 6 million dollar chapter house that can be an indicator that Fiji is a money orientated community. The house was bought and built by graduated brothers from the Nu Omega chapter that wanted to give back to the Phi Gam chapter because of the great memories they acquired there. Phi Gamma Delta's power is quite similar to how our country's executive branch is set up. At the top of the Nu Omega, there is a chapter president who over see's the house and relays information that alumni and the University of Oklahoma give him. Under him are other chapter chairs which include treasurer, recording secretary, historian, scholarship, intramural, and philanthropy. These chairs are giving specific responsibilities. The treasure collects membership dues, the recording secretary takes care of written records of the house, the historian makes sure the alumni are kept in touch with, the intramural tells everyone the houses sport schedule, and philanthropy chair sets up events with sororities. The lowest members are the pledges; this is a nickname for new members who have not yet been initiated. There are four members, who are assigned to be pledge trainers, they are in charge of teaching all of the pledges the history and conduct rules involved with pledging. Fiji uses many slang words that would only be understood by other members. Some of these slang words are Fiji islander, rush, formal rush week, GDI, getting iced, frating hard, blacked, bid, and frat castle. Fiji islander is a huge party that Fiji has every year where they rent out a field, have live bands, and invite a bunch of sororities. Rush and formal rush week is where the members of Fiji get to meet students who are interested in joining Fiji, and they decide whether they would be a good fit with the group or not. GDI is an expression used for people who are not in a fraternity or sorority. Getting iced happens when someone hides a Smirnoff ice. If you find it, then you have to chug it on one knee. Frating hard is when a member does something that a typical frat guy would do. Blacked is when a new member is asked to leave a fraternity because they are not keeping up with their responsibilities. Bid is when a fraternity officially asks you to become a new member. A frat castle is a nickname for a fraternity house. To someone who is not part of a house, it can seem strange and even stupid to hear these words and not know...
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