Mission statement: “The Eclectic Society is a coeducational society composed of House Members and Associate Members scattered about the community. While many house members are involved in artistic, political, and musical endeavors, there is no definition of what an Eclectic member actually is or does. This contributes to what is the only truly static attribute of the society: change.”
The Eclectic Society, originally Phi Nu Theta, was established at Wesleyan in 1837. It later lost its Greek affiliation and is now only known as Eclectic. Their house, designed by Henry Bacon, is located on High Street next to the Public Safety office. They host some of the biggest parties of the year, notably the Halloween Party, Queer Prom, and the Sex Party. Their entire first floor consists of lots of wide open ballroom-style space, making it an ideal venue for shows—In the past, notable bands that have played there include The Walkmen, The Books, Mates of State, and the Unicorns.
The pledging process at Eclectic is somewhat different from that of the other societies on campus. Twice a year, they send out invitations through the mail to tons of prospective members and then have them fill out a long and, in Joe-John’s words, “weird-ass” application that’s almost zine-like in format—Last year, it was a xeroxed black and white booklet with graphics like dinosaurs and vintage woodcuts. It also involved tasks like matching female members’ names with photographs of breasts or a drawing a picture of you and your worst enemy fighting. Then they gradually cull the pledges until they initiate only a small percentage of the original number invited. There is very little active recruitment involved, which is the opposite from most other societies.
Alpha Delt has a fantastic house in the middle of campus that’s home to the Star and Crescent Eating Club, which is not really a club but rather a society-run restaurant. The house is across the street from Eclectic, and apparently in the olden days there was a healthy rivalry between the two; Even today the first cork popped during Alpha Delt’s initiation is fired in Eclectic’s direction.
ADP is famous for two things: Its food and the Grotto. The Grotto is a half-underground stone-walled cellar/den of sin where parties are sometimes held and a lot of rumors of ill repute begin. This is how Joe-John describes it: “Some people like to treat the grotto as another universe, where you’re not responsible for your actions and there is no such thing as time.” Good? Bad? Up to you.
Alpha Delt is the home of the Goth Party, Porn and Milkshakes, the Literary Ball, and a lot of raves; However, these are somewhat less widely advertised than some of the other parties on campus, so you may have to ask around for dates (Or read this blog!). Bands play there sometimes as well; For instance, World Inferno played at Alpha Delt two years ago, as did Harry and the Potters.
If Alpha Delt was a t-shirt:
Psi U’s house is on High Street, between Fisk and the power plant. Out of the fraternities at Wesleyan, Psi U is the one that most resembles an old boy’s club, but is at the same time the most widely accessible. As a society, they are intensely conscious of their image on campus and in the Middletown community at large. Perhaps because of this, they hold a LOT of events throughout the year. Their parties are widely attended; They attract a great variety of members as well as party-goers (there’s a DJ booth conveniently located above the main floor of the house) and for some reason, international students especially like to hang out there. They hold a lot of benefits, dance parties and concerts that have featured the likes of RJD2.
They also have a restaurant called Chique Chaque but apparently no one but fraternity members eat there these days.
If Psi U was a t-shirt:
I know…nothing about Beta. They have loud dance parties and they sound like fun. They have a giant kiddie pool that they sit in with bikinied women when it’s hot out. There are lawn chairs on their roof. Just based on the number of people they have in The Tech, they seem fall somewhere in the spectrum of animal house-ness between Psi U and DKE.
If Beta was a t-shirt:
DKEMission Statement: “The true mission of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) Gamma Phi Chapter at Wesleyan University is to bring young persons together to make lifelong friendships, accept roles of responsibility, and to maintain a standard of conduct in the highest order. This conduct coincides with the advancement and encouragement of intellectual excellence and of personal knowledge. The development of a spirit of tolerance and respect for the rights and views of others with dignity, self-respect, and moral basis. It is the responsibility of Delta Kappa Epsilon to provide an environment where these ideals can be discovered, formulated, and attained for the greater good of the Gamma Phi Chapter and of the entire Wesleyan University community.”
DKE has a bad rap around campus, stemming from the fact that it is the most typical fraternity around. Its ranks are populated by a disproportionate percentage of football players, people who drop cups during Mocon announcements, and those who hate Wesleyan in general. The only person I’ve ever heard use the adjective “faggity” was a DKE brother, and girls are sometimes warned not to go their parties alone (which I think is an unnecessary precaution…). Nevertheless, the brothers are, like most people, genuinely kind, and of course the niche would not exist without people willing to fill it. I hear they have amazing Around the Worlds and great open bars.
If DKE was a t-shirt:
Skull and Serpent:
Skull operates out of the Tomb, a small box-shaped building with white columns by the CFA that was also designed by Henry Bacon. They throw a number of parties during the year, and often the door to their building will be open late at night.
The templum of M7 is a creepy-looking seven-sided building, but it was burnt down and now is boarded up just a bit further up Wyllys Avenue from the Tomb. There are technically two factions of M7, both of which are still in operation. For more about the Mystical 7, click here.
Theta Nu Epsilon:
TNE, aka the Skull & Keys, has no building, and is arguably the least secret of the secret societies. They openly chalk and pull small pranks around campus.
Bell and Scroll (I think):
Not technically a secret society, but membership is closed and they have, uhm, secrets, I guess? These are the South College bell ringers.
[this section ripped verbatim from Joe John’s post on Wesblog09]
Here is a list of other Greek organizations on campus and anything I may know about them as well. They are mostly responsible for planning social events and community service on campus and in the Middletown community. Several of them are arms of alumni chapters, and therefore, their charters are not on campus.
• Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Historically Black Sorority
• Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Historically Black Fraternity
• Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Historically Black Sorority
• Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Historically Black Fraternity
• Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority
• La Unidad Latina LUL Fraternity, Inc., Latino Fraternity
• Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc., Latina Sorority
• Lambda Psi Delta Sorority, Inc., Multi-Cultural Sorority
• Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Historically Black Sorority