posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 09:21 PM
I graduated Cornell in the mid-90's, and dated the president of Seal & Serpent for several years. I knew many of the brothers, and pretty much lived
in the house for a year.
S&S is a greek fraternity, and is a member of the IFC (Intra Fraternity Council) just like all of the greek-lettered fraternities. They are an
independent frat, so they have no national organization. It's not a secret society. There are (or were, when I was there) four secret societies at
Cornell, and several of the brothers were members of the various societies. My boyfriend at the time was "tapped" to be in one of the societies.
They are a typical frat except for a few differences beyond not having a national. Since they have no national, their alumni have a huge influence.
They are very secretive (but most frats are). And their house is gorgeous. When I was a student, they avoided having open keg parties, opting for
n/a dance parties. The brothers would go through the house in detail before each party, removing furniture, rugs, pictures, anything of value. After
each party, the brothers would always clean the house from top to bottom that night (which I always found kind of odd!). They would have private
keggers, especially in the social room on the top floor which was open to brothers and close friends only. Great parties.
Many of the brothers stayed in the house over the summer - I spent a summer at Cornell and played volleyball often in their sand pit in the backyard.
They were quite active in the IFC and also in intramural sports. S&S brothers were considered intellectuals and artists - not your typical "frat
brother" to those who didn't know. To me, the brothers were just great guys from a variety of backgrounds.
The letters on their emblem are in Sanskrit, but I was told it was a modified Sanskrit that couldn't really be translated by a non-brother. Only
brothers and pinned girlfriends could wear the letters. Sadly, I had to give up my letter sweatshirt when I returned my boyfriend's pin :-)
I was actually present in the house for initiation, though no one knew and I wasn't supposed to be there. Nothing strange happened, and I'd say
more than likely there was no hazing going on, beyond making pledges get pizza for the brothers (and girlfriends). There were various girlfriends
around but there was a bit of a pecking order among the women. As the president's girlfriend, I had a little pull but only with the girls, which was
nice. The guys were always sweet and respectful to me even though I was around a lot which was probably annoying to them.
I'm happy to answer any questions you have about Seal. Nice guys, gorgeous house, nothing more or less secretive than any other house.