From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
FRATERNITY -A body of people associated for a common purpose or interest, such as a guild. -They are chiefly social organization of men students at a college or university, usually designated by Greek letters. -A group of people joined by similar backgrounds, occupations, interests, or tastes.
USUALLY COLLEGE STUDENT/S ARE THE ONLY PERSON WHO IS ALLOWED TO JOIN THE SAID GROUP. BUT WHY IS IT EVEN THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE ALLOWED TO JOIN?IS IT BECAUSE THE MINORS TODAY ARE TO REBELLIOUS.
 HISTORY OF FRATERNITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES
The American college fraternity system is as old as the United States itself, for it was in 1776 that the first secret Greek-letter society came into existence. It was the custom then for students at William and Mary, the second oldest college in America, to gather in the Apollo Room of the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, to discuss the affairs of the day. On the night of December 5, 1776, five close companions stayed after the others had left and founded Phi Beta Kappa (FBK). A secret motto, grip, and ritual were subsequently adopted. The Fraternity had to be secret because the William and Mary faculty didn't approve of its students discussing social issues and possibly straying too far from accepted beliefs. Therefore, the members developed secret signals of challenge and recognition. The concept of a secret grip, motto, ritual, a distinctive badge, code of laws and the use of Greek letters by Phi Beta Kappa (FBK) were adopted by subsequent fraternities. Fraternity, Morality, and Literature were the principles symbolized by the stars on the silver medal adopted as the insignia of Phi Beta Kappa (FBK) membership.
The society prospered, and three years later expansion began. Chapters were established at Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth and numerous other campuses. As Phi Beta Kappa (FBK) developed, it evolved into a purely honorary society. For this reason, as other fraternities were founded, they were not considered competitors. By 1826, Phi Beta Kappa (FBK) had become a scholarship society, much as it is known today.
Beginning with Kappa Alpha Society (KA), established at Union College, New York on November 26, 1825, the continuous existence of social fraternities started. This group is generally recognized as America's oldest college social fraternity. Although many students and faculty members opposed Kappa Alpha Society (KA) due to its secrecy, other students admired the concept of the organization and formed Sigma Phi (SF) on March 4, 1827, and Delta Phi (DF) formed the union Triad, and set the pattern for the American fraternity system. Eventually, Union students founded six fraternities, which is why the college is recognized as the Mother of Fraternities. By 1860, the fraternity system was firmly established with 22 of the present-day general fraternities already having been founded.
During the Civil War, Southern universities practically ceased to function with virtually all young men in the service. As a result, most fraternities suspended activities. In a few cases fraternity brothers attempted to remain organized within their military units. Theta Xi (QX) was the only fraternity organized during the Civil War and was also the first professional fraternity, centered on the engineering principles.
Healing the wounds left by the bitter sectional feeling after the war was a task particularly suited to fraternities. Responding to the urgency of this situation was Alpha Tau Omega (ATO), the first fraternity founded after the Civil War in 1865; Kappa Alpha Order (KA), 1865; Kappa Sigma Kappa (KSK), 1867; Pi Kappa Alpha (FKA), 1868; Sigma Nu (SN), 1869; and Kappa Sigma (KS), 1869; all in Virginia.
The nation and its campuses were not the same after the Civil War. One significant change was the increased entrance of women into higher education. Aware of the condescending and frequently scornful activities of the male students, writes one historian, women wanted nothing more than to prove their capabilities and to achieve an equally important position on their campuses.
Sororities had their beginning at Wesleyan Female College, Macon, Georgia. The Adelphean Society was organized May 15, 1851, and followed a year later by the Philomathean Society. They remained strictly local sororities for more than 50 years before adopting Greek names and expanding as Alpha Delta Pi (ADP) and Phi Mu (FM), respectively. I. C. Sorosis (now Pi Beta Phi (PBF)) was founded April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois was the first national sorority, and Kappa Alpha Theta (KAQ) was founded January 27, 1870, at Depauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, as the first women's Greek-letter society.
In the early days, most educational institutions existed primarily to prepare young men for the clergy or other professional careers. Emphasis was placed upon the classical studies, especially Greek and Latin. When fraternities came along, it was natural for them to draw on those teachings. Literary exercises were a common part of all chapter meetings, where the presentation of essays and debates was customary. At first, meetings were help in rented rooms but soon the chapters acquired halls which they furnished as club rooms.
As more and more men entered college, curricula expanded and many colleges became universities. The church relationship with schools weakened and, in many cases, ceased altogether. New institutions and state-supported institutions grew to fulfill the need for mass education. As the chapters grew larger, they found it possible and desirable to provide living quarters. Soon the fraternity house became a common site in college towns. Fraternities which lacked sufficient leadership soon passed out of existence. Those which were well-organized expanded at a rapid rate and encouraged the formation of new fraternities. The Greek system entered into the 20th Century with the realization of the importance of interfraternity endeavors. An intersorority conference (the forerunner of today's National Panhellenic Conference) met in Chicago in 1902 and the National Interfraternity Conference first convened in New York City in 1909.
World War I was fought to make the world safe for democracy. Following the war, rapid fraternity expansion characterized collegiate life in the 1920's.
Sigma Tau Gamma (STG) was founded in 1920. It rose as a result of friendships made while in the service of their country during World War I in France. By dedicating themselves to the highest ideals of manhood, brotherhood and citizenship, they would inspire thousands of men from all parts of the country who would follow in their footsteps.
The Great Depression caused many fraternities to disappear or merge in the 1930's, and World War II found many more chapters temporarily closed - entire memberships were drafted or volunteered - and many of their houses used by the government for military housing. The end of the fraternity system was feared by some and predicted by many.
With peace in 1945, men flocked to the campuses to resume their studies and to resume fraternity life as well. Matured by the war, they had a serious attitude toward studies, and impatience with juvenile hazing practices, and an openness to consider some social changes, facing up and beginning to resolve discriminatory inequities. The growth of the huge, impersonal education complex resulted in an increased need for fraternities and their personal contact and relationships within a smaller group.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's students challenged all that was traditional. Fraternities, highly visible and identifiable, were considered to be part of the "establishment" and not germane to the ear. The Greek system responded, after a period of difficulty, by re-examining itself, reaffirming principles and purposes, and realigning priorities and programs. Students responded by recognizing fraternities as a means for personal development and achievement.
As colleges increased in number and enrollment, new fraternities were needed and many were established in the United States and Canada. Hundreds of local societies had spring up and there were not enough national organizations to absorb them. this condition brought about the formation of more general fraternities.
Fraternities have undergone many changes in details of organization since their inception. Originally, they consisted of independent chapters, loosely bound by common principles and a common name. Today they have become thoroughly organized national and, in some cases, international institutions. Most maintain full-time staffs which operate out of headquarters offices.
Today fraternities are expanding and most colleges and universities now permit national fraternities to organize their campuses. There is constant improvement in the cooperation between fraternities and college administrations. Local Interfraternity councils are becoming more effective, and most national fraternities are instituting programs that aid materially in the development of their members. More benefits are being derived from fraternity membership than ever before. We look forward to an era of continued growth and prosperity for the American college fraternity system, the world's greatest youth movement.