How to Talk to Buttheads

by Josh Orendi

Inspired by the new ESPN ads with a guy who literally talks out of his ass, I offer you these typical remarks by fraternity buttheads and a couple rebuttals that should help them “put a cork in it.”
ButtHead (BH): I don’t want the chapter to get too big.
A) If 50 men of your quality or better were interested in joining, how many do you think we should turn away? ” so what you’re really saying is that you’re not willing to do the work to get that many guys.

BH: If the chapter gets much bigger, we’ll lose our brotherhood.
A) If the chapter gets much smaller, we won’t be able to cover your failure to pay your dues.
B) Should we call our chapter at XYZ University and tell them to kick out 1/2 their membership so they have a “tighter” brotherhood like us?

BH: This chapter is about quality not quantity.
A) Quantity drives Quality. The more men we have to choose from, the more selective we can be.
B) Right now we give bids to nearly 1/2 of the men we get to know. That’s not being highly selective.

BH: This school is anti-Greek and trying to get rid of fraternities.
A) If that were true, would they pay a full time Greek life staff, provide housing, support our programming, and put up with 1/2 the stupid things we do? Maybe they just want us to live up to the standards we set for ourselves.
B) What would you tell the Board of Trustees if they asked you how Greeks support the mission of the university?

BH: We need to get more kids to the house.
A) We need to get the brothers OUT of the house and onto campus.
B) Good idea. Let’s go meet some new people right now.

BH: It’s not fair that everyone has a spotlight on Greeks. We’re treated different than other student groups.
A) That might be because we took a voluntary oath to live to standards that are higher than our peers. We told the community we were going to perform at a higher level. They’re just holding us accountable.
BH: Well you never see the newspaper talking about all the positive stuff we do ” like service hours, philanthropy dollars, and academic achievement.
A) Those things are part of why we exist. I also don’t see them writing an article on English majors writing a collection of poems, janitors collecting garbage around campus, or cafeteria workers offering unlimited servings of hash browns.
B) Service hours and Philanthropy dollars are not credits toward breaking the rules/law.
BH: These kids need to earn their letters.

A) Funny. I don’t remember that from our ritual book. I thought the only requirements for membership involved making a commitment to respecting each other and living up to our shared values. Would you help me find the passage on “earning the letters?”

BH: We can’t shorten the pledge period or these guys will never learn their stuff.
A) How long was the pledge period for our founding fathers? Oh yeah, they didn’t have one and they seemed to do alright.
B) Are you concerned that a 19-year-old man can’t learn the Greek alphabet in 8 weeks or that you won’t have someone to do your bitch work after spring break?

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