Greek life at Allegheny is curious. The fraternities and sororities have the spirit of a large university, superimposed onto Allegheny's small population of 2,100 students. This dynamic often means students either love or hate Greek life, with strong opinions and plenty to say on both sides. Although only 25 percent of the campus is Greek, they certainly make their presence known. On Bid Day of each semester, Greeks storm the dorms, singing and chanting, to present bid cards to their pledges. This usually wakes up the entire building, leading to some very grumpy residents. Greeks also hold plenty of philanthropy and social events throughout the year, in which the entire campus can participate. In addition to participation in Greek life, Greeks tend to hold many leadership positions in clubs, publications, and in Allegheny Student Government, as well.
Fraternities have their own houses and often require that members live there for at least one year. Sororities don't have houses because, according to an old Pennsylvania law, a sorority house would be considered a "brothel," and, thus, sorority houses were banned from Allegheny's previously conservative campus when chapters began in the early 20th century. However, some traditions are worth keeping more than others. A romantic tradition between fraternities and sororities is a Brooks Hall pinning where a sorority woman stands atop Brooks balcony while her fraternity sweetheart serenades her from below, with his brothers as backup singers. The brother then scales the front of Brooks Hall like Spiderman and (hopefully) reaches the balcony to present her with a sweetheart pin. Legend has it that one young man fell while attempting the climb and died.