It’s a blue, cold Thursday in January and I’m walking down Rugby Road on the first night of fraternity rush at the University of Virginia, brushing past groups of identical gossiping boys in matching preppy outfits: fleeces, checked oxfords, khakis, boots. “Excuse me,” they say politely when our coats touch, then turn back to each other and their offhand drawling: “What was that back there, Bronyfest?” “Not enough of a tobacco enthusiast for that house, I can’t just sit around ripping cigs.” “I wasn’t feeling them, dude, they had, like, a serial rapist vibe.” I am startled at the boy who just threw that out in the winter night to his two friends, because all four of us are crossing the street on our way to Phi Psi, the fraternity whose huge Christmas-lit mansion is a landmark in the middle of the physical fraternity scene in a way that the fraternity itself—until Rolling Stone—was not. But the boys were talking about a druggier, prep-school frat; they’re not talking about Phi Psi. No one here is talking about Phi Psi, at least not “Phi Psi,” the figural fraternity or the true, unchecked scourge of sexual assault that it was used to… Read full this story
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