USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘bid’
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Running of the Bitches

This informant is a member of a USC fraternity and I asked him to share some of their traditions or stories he might have.  One I found interesting was about an annual tradition that occurs when the Sororities give out their bids to the new members.

Every year in the Fall sororities have this event where they give bids to the new freshman and they all run from campus to their new houses.  I honestly have no idea why they do it that way but its fuckin awesome for us because we just get to sit back and scope all the new hot girls.  Every semester we all sit in front of the house really drunk and get super rowdy.  The whole time we all judge who got the best pledge class and try to pick out the hottest chicks.

I might add that my informant was drinking a beer while I listened to his story, which is further a testament to the drinking culture amongst fraternities.  I thought this was an interesting story because it shed light on some interesting dynamics between fraternities and sororities.  Frat kids seem to be blatantly disrespecting women, most of them young freshman, which an outsider might find offensive.  However, the sorority girls obviously want to show off their new pledge class to the Greek community and have continued to do so for years.  This shows how the college culture of acceptable cross-gender relations is different from the outside world.

Rituals, festivals, holidays

Fraternity Bid

The informant told me a story very recently after a fraternity on campus offered him a bid to join their organization.

He was told to get into the car with two of the brothers and blindfolded. They dropped him along side of sidewalk. One of the brothers got out of the car with him and removed the blindfold. He raises both hands towards the informant, one with a red M&M and the other with a blue M&M. The brother said to him, “you can take the red pill and join us, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Or you can take the blue pill and go on with life without us.” The informant took the red M&M, and the brother nodded solemnly. Then he said, “This never happened,” and drove off, leaving my informant on the ground next to the sidewalk.

Analysis: This is clearly a reference to a popular movie called The Matrix (1999). Whether all fraternities have bid rituals referencing pop culture or if this was a one-off would take more research and collection. The reference may make the ritual more approachable to the new potential initiate, or give the fraternity a sense of coolness and make them seem hip and popular. The blindfold symbolizes the fact that the new member was blind to the world before he found the brotherhood.

Most fraternities are founded on history and tradition, so it is interesting to find this ritual that goes slightly against the grain, as it is a very current reference.

Annotation: “The Matrix”Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved June 24, 2009.