Each pledge is given a slight glimmer of hope throughout their semester of hell. While a pledge and his pledge class will become unified in their position against the brotherhood, a small group of brothers will serve as allies for the youngsters. A big brother is a much-needed ally for each pledge. Within the first few weeks of pledgeship, each pledge is given (or chooses) a big brother. While there are a few rules to go along with the process, the theory is priceless. Your big brother will help you along the way. We all know a pledge needs all the help he can get. Once your big brother is chosen, the shit-show of all shit-shows occurs. That’s what we call Big Brother Night.
The Selection Process
Let’s get this straight. Every fraternity goes through a different process when it comes to assigning big brothers. Some houses assign a big brother to each pledge without any input from the pledges. Other houses let the pledges hand-select who they want to be their big brother. Sometimes there’s a mix of the two. If a pledge chooses his top 5, the brotherhood then selects the best brother on the list for each pledge.
Your big brother is your ally. The brotherhood will give you a big brother that will legitimately help you along the way. The closer you are with your big brother, the better your pledgeship and overall fraternity experience will be. If you get to decide, choose wisely. Find the brother who you believe will bend over backwards for you. Atleast a brother who seems to care…
In most cases, the pledges choose the brother who they knew from their hometown. In other cases, it’s the brother who hasn’t been the #4 asshole of the brotherhood. Or atleast the brother who hasn’t fucked with you yet.
The irony of the situation involves certain brothers who are trying to get little brothers. There’s a handful of brothers who will be especially nice to you at the beginning of the year to hopefully grab a little bro. Some brothers just want to haze balls; don’t even consider them (for obvious reasons).
Big Brother Night
When all is said and done, you’ve got to celebrate. Each big bro and little bro team up to take part in one of the greatest party nights you’ll ever experience. In some houses, your entire pledge class will party with the big brothers. In other cases, each pledge will party with his big bro, along with his big bro. It’s a generation pledge class thing… tough to explain. Either way, no matter how it’s done, there’s a party. Remember,#33 pledgeship is always a party. Some will make it to the bars, others to a strip club. Some kill a 24-pack, and others kill a fifth of liquor. Each fraternity and each house has their own tradition.
The entire night is made to remind the pledges that there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel. More than anything, big brother night builds trust between a pledge and his big brother. It’s going to be a long road ahead. You’re going to have to trust your big brother at times.
Big brother night is the symbolic night in which a pledge gives his big brother a paddle. We’ll talk about this in detail another time…
The Long Run
In the long run, your big brother might be the guy you stay closest to years after graduation. In most cases, your big brother is the first brother you met in the fraternity. He’s the guy who will help you through the hardest semester of your life. At a time when boys are suppossed to become men, your big brother will serve as a hybrid father figure. Because he’s been through pledgeship already, you’ll trust his advice over anybody else. The entire big brother process is priceless. A few years after pledgeship, you might have the rare opportunity to haze your big brother through #26 brother hazing. But hey, just remember everything he did for you. It’s a tradition that makes the system go-round every single semester.
Cheers to big brothers. If you know a #49 future frat-star, then start talking to him about the greatest brotherhood on earth. Who knows, he could be your little bro one day. When it comes to big brothers, consider it an honor if you’re ever chosen to be one.
It’s not hazing. It’s brotherhood.