Fraternities and sororities were “outlawed” more than 10 years ago at Middlebury—that is, until they were reborn under the name “social houses,” a much more innocuous-sounding title. Rushing is not nearly as life threatening as it used to be, and any daunting initiation stunts are overshadowed by sugarcoated photos in the student newspaper of rushers sharing spaghetti dinners with older members. The large majority of students do not join social houses, but no student has ever been turned away from a party, regardless of age. You will be stamped with a smiley face at the door if you’re 21-and-up and with an “X” if you’re underage.
If your first criterion in searching for a college is a rampant, old-fashioned Greek scene, Middlebury will not be the school for you. Here, all images of boisterous toga parties and death-defying initiation stunts are put to rest for the sake of a safer—yet no less inebriated—student body. Most students find this lack of Greek presence refreshing. Furthermore, social house life is geographically removed from the College—all houses are located on the outskirts of campus. The choice is yours: join a social house without risking your neck, attend the occasional social house party, and bid your morality farewell for the night, or skip the unhinged carnality and cheap beer altogether.