Publication Date

June 2010



First Page


Last Page



The purpose of this study was to have fraternity members identify the negative stereotypes they believed other members of the university community had of them and the extent to which these stereotypes were both accurate and/or damaging to their chapters. To gather these perspectives, which provide administrators, faculty, and staff members with a better understanding of how fraternity members view themselves and why they act as they do, a qualitative study consisting of five focus groups was conducted with 30 men from five Interfraternity Council (IFC) member fraternities at a medium-sized, Midwestern, public university. The seven most common negative stereotypes discussed among participants were drinking, womanizing, hazing, poor academic performance, paying for friends, being arrogant, and not performing community service. Each group held slightly different views on which stereotypes were true, untrue, or most damaging. Implications of these findings along with recommendations for practitioners and researchers are provided.