By Ivo Dimitrov, in collaboration with Willem van Geel
We had barely set foot on our beloved campus after a long summer, and we already witnessed the latest UCU mystery. Dark posters only featuring three Greek letters quickly had everyone in anticipation. Welcome to Alfa Beta Phi – the latest addition to UCU’s Greek life. The Boomerang met with the founders of the new fratority to ask the questions that are on everyone’s mind.
Who would want to join a fratority? Will this be a successful project or will it fall apart within weeks? Many were skeptical or at least curious about the arrival of Alfa Beta Phi. Previous attempts to form a fratority on campus had failed, the most recent attempt being a fratority called “Felix”. Just like Felix, Alpha tries to differentiate itself from the existing fraternities and sororities. The slogan ‘We celebrate personality’ suggests a non-conformist approach and openness for alternative views, challenging the status quo of other fraternities and sororities.
However, opposing any of the other frats was never the intention of the founders, Amanda Lans, Bert Bouwmeister, and Felix Freitag. They simply felt that a mixed social group was missing on campus. “Some people prefer to hang out with [either] guys or girls, to us it doesn’t matter.” This sentiment is also reflected in the name of the fratority, which is not only a reference to the founders’ first initials, but also has a deeper meaning: Alpha stands for male, Beta for female and Phi for the perfect ratio.
But does the desire for mixed interaction justify starting up a whole new fratority? “What we want is to create a group of people that will fit together, meet weekly, share their ideas and have a great time,” says Freitag. He appreciates the atmosphere of everyone just being themselves, without having to conform to anything. “And on a more organizational level, you cannot meet with everyone,” adds Amanda. “It has to be a bit more personal.”
The reaction on campus has been positive so far. Many visited the open borrels and indicated that they would like to join. According to Amanda, you could even see a closer group of friends starting to form during the closed borrels. However, it remains unclear what the selection procedure will be, as there are no criteria by which potential members will be judged yet. The founders are still in the process of figuring this out, while certain about one thing: there will be an initiation.
“Our goal is for the group to become official. We would like to go off campus, burst the bubble and celebrate our personality outside UCU,” concludes Bert. When asked about their preferred table in Dining hall, he jokingly answers that they are still considering the options. The founders’ enthusiasm is more than evident in their answers, and seems to be shared by many on campus. But little is set in stone without a definitive group of members. No one knows how this fratority will develop and whether or not it will become part of our campus culture. The test for Alpha Beta Phi has only just begun.