If there’s anything I could have wished for when I was an underclassman looking to have some coed fun, it would have been a guide on navigating the MIT “frat scene.” As a historically women’s college with no fraternities, no sororities, and only the Tower Steps to rely on, it’s no surprise that Wellesley’s partying is outsourced to the various Boston schools.
Despite the polarizing opinions surrounding MIT fraternities, I must admit that they are convenient, economical and sometimes the only option if you are not yet 21. But most importantly and somewhat paradoxically, they are also the most fun. It is the land where beer pong and discussions about quantum error correction combine, giving those of us who love to let loose of everything except our superiority complexes, the best of both worlds. So, as a retired frat frequenter who has seen one too many YikYaks from first-years looking for a party, here is a guide and some opinions on the MIT frats.
What all the college themed movies tricked us into believing is that as a girl, you can walk into any party. By reason of that, I am sure many of us were viciously humbled on our first MIT frat outing when we discovered the ever-elusive guest list. Fortunately, Tinder works as a great way to form initial connections as most of these frat guys are on the app for the sole purpose of inviting girls to their parties.
Start off the year by matching with some brothers and asking them to add you and your friends to their list. Once at the party, be nice to the person who invited you but never feel obligated to be any nicer than what you’re comfortable with. It could be in your best interest, however, to casually keep in touch with one or two brothers at the frats you like. Think of this as networking, nothing will prepare you better for corporate world schmoozing.
While most of us do not know the Greek alphabet, there is no better way to learn it than familiarizing yourselves with fraternities. In honor of that, here are some of Emma and my opinions about a few select MIT frats.
Phi Beta Epsilon (PBE)
M: PBE is the frat of soccer and football players. I have yet to figure out why they are so exclusive but they have a notoriously hard door. When the line gets long, even being on the guest list will not help you. The brothers do, however, have wristbands that they give to friends and other friendly acquaintances that get you in like a VIP pass. How those wristbands are attained, I will leave it to your imagination. Personally, I recommend just being on the guest list and showing up at 10 p.m. on the dot before the line forms. Overall: a nice house with unsanitary jungle juice but a decent number of cute brunettes for your flirting needs.
E: Formerly a hotel, PBE is definitely the Ritz-Carlton of all the frats. Not only are their rooftop parties a spectacular way to see the Boston skyline while dancing to very bad music, but you can also see all the first-year girls waiting in line … and getting declined. Their five-star rating makes it almost impossible to get in and can honestly be the most degrading experience. But at this point, being stuck outside PBE is a rite of passage. It is on the MIT side of the Charles, so you can get off at the 77 Massachusetts Ave. stop and take a quick walk over.
M: Apparently Chi Phi is also known as the land of coke and whippets, which explains why they play so much EDM. Although the house is gorgeous architecturally, the lack of upkeep is just sad and the bathrooms are always out of toilet paper. Here, I have seen the most sapphic sights out of all the frats, the most memorable being two girls aggressively finger-banging one another on the dance floor. A close second was when I saw someone put up a sign written “Lesbian” in the middle of the dance floor, and a hoard of girls consolidated around her within the next second.
E: I have never been, but I heard that they have the highest number of lacrosse players,and a couple cute ones at that.
Delta Tau Delta (Delts)
M: Delts is where you will get the quintessential frat basement experience: sticky bodies, sticky floors and a thick layer of sweaty fog when you walk in. It’s not really for me but I still hold them in higher regard than Chi Phi because their bathrooms are always fully stocked with toilet paper and a pledge once made me a really good gin and tonic. The brothers always seem to be more interested in dancing with one another than the girls.
E: One of my favorites simply because of the music …Taylor Swift fans anyone… Although the parties are usually thrown in the increasingly musty basement, after a couple of Bud Lights or so, you forget, becoming easily distracted by men in togas dancing with one another.
Phi Sigma Kappa
M: Never been, but I’ve heard about the cages.
E: I lost my frat virginity to Phi Sig and I have some regrets. Their theme was, “Phi Sig Uncaged,” and upon entering the house I was astounded to see a literal cage in the middle of the room with girls straddling themselves onto the metal rods. Unironically, “Come Get Her,” was blasting through the speakers to which all the brothers were chanting the lyrics loud and clear. If you are unfamiliar with the song, it goes a little something like this, “somebody come get her, she’s dancing like a stripper.” Overall, this experience did not sit well with me and I will not be returning.
Phi Kappa Sigma (Skullhouse):
M: They’re called Skullhouse not because they are into punk and heavy metal but because the founders were neuroscientists. The good Skulls parties I’ve been to are the ones in the basement where multiple games of “beer pong and die” are going on at one huge table and Puerto Rican music is blasting. Unfortunately, when the party is upstairs, it’s not worth staying for.
E: My personal favorite, but I’m biased because I’m friends with most of the brothers who are Puerto Rican like me. It is the only frat that plays reggaetón, which is probably why they attract so much of the Latinx community. Honestly, there is no better way to spend Friday nights than “perreando” to Bad Bunny and drinking endless amounts of Medallas with your friends.
Now that I have written this article, I can suitably say that all of my experience at frats was simply research in the spirit of journalism. My partying days are well over, and I now find that there is nothing more enjoyable than a wine and cheese night with my closest friends. A realization that we all eventually accept is that frats are overrated and you do not always have to go. But if you see me at PBE next weekend, don’t say anything.