Kenyon is a literary as shit school and we love that here. Kenyon loves books, and the people who did books. Authors, you know? And poets and such. And there’s got to be a way to categorize all of these bad boys, and since no one really wants to think about, say, which Romantics match up with which First Year dorms (Coleridge would live in Gund, don’t @ me) we’re going to do frats, so buckle in.
Okay, so, I am an English major, and I am not affiliated with any Greek life on this campus. I’m getting that out there now, I am not linked to any fraternities or groups. Briefly considered Archons my first year here, decided against it mostly because I didn’t want to walk to south campus during the cold early months of the Spring semester for rush events, and I don’t regret this. So, I’m a floater and all my notions on what the frats at this school are really like are based in specific experiences, or completely general stereotypes.
I might be burning some bridges here. Well, go big or go home I guess. Here are the frats that various literary icons would be in, if they went to Kenyon.
(Disclaimer 1: I am only sorting male authors because, straight up, I don’t know anything about the Kenyon sororities. Y’all are fine, I have no gripes with you like I have with literally every frat.)
James Joyce: Joyce is a D-Phi through and through. He’s odd and kind of gross, like you wouldn’t want to get too close to him, but he does have something weirdly enticing and endearing about him. His glasses make him look like a fucking dweeb, though. Also filthy as fuck.
Ernest Hemingway: Hemingway would be the DKE president. Hemingway willingly got branded. Twice.
William Faulkner: Faulkner is also a DKE but he thinks Hemingway is an absolute asshat and should never have been chosen as president. The rest of the frat is pretty divided about it.
Percy Bysshe Shelley: Perce would be in the now-defunct Psi-U, because he loved how literary and mopey he was. Dude was so into seeming like a literary genius that he published the best book in the world under his own name even though his wife wrote it (Mary Shelley deserved better and also is my mom.) Also, the abandoned Psi-U lodge is basically Kenyon’s statue of Ozymandias.
C.S. Lewis: Lewis is a Delt, mostly because of his very strong Dad Vibe. Has trouble reconciling his religion with what he’s seen in Division.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Honestly see above. (These two would also bicker about nothing all the time and probably make frat meetings really not fun.) Based several Orcs and Goblins and shit on frat brothers.
Walt Whitman: Whitman is an AD because he could hang but also needed to shut the fuck up sometimes. Please sound your barbaric yawp in the Ganter and nowhere else.
John Keats: Keats is an Archon and he’s the best one.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Fitzgerald is a DKE mostly because he can flash that cash and loves opulence and The American Dream. Definitely played a big part in hosting Champagne Formal. Also Hemingway pressured him into joining.
Kurt Vonnegut: AD. I don’t actually know why, I’ve never read Vonnegut, but like four people told me this so? AD, I guess.
The Entire Beat Generation: These fuckers are absolutely PEEPs, but mostly the good kind of PEEPs who throw decent parties and who have glitter all over themselves. Burroughs could stand to calm down a little bit, though.
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Other Russians: Every Russian writer is a Phi-Kap. Grungy and sad and remind me of vodka and snow, and at least some of them will probably wind up in prison for foolish reasons. Also hard to understand what the fuck they’re talking about because it really does seem like I don’t speak their weird, sort of cult-like language. Kind of a good time every once in a while but I hardly trust them as far as I can throw them.
Henry David Thoreau: Archon. I like what he stands for more or less but god damn is he boring. Aside from the general aesthetic of a nice pond dude sure spends a lot of time calculating the cost of living in a cabin, which we could all do without. Has a good heart but kind of insufferable.
Robert Louis Stevenson: D-Phi. Like Jekyll and Hyde, sometimes enjoyable to be around, sometimes revolting and wicked and spooky.
Edgar Allan Poe: Poe is tough to figure out. His work is kind of creepy but he’s still very beloved, so you really don’t know what’s going on there. Definitely tried to talk to some of the crows on this campus, which is whack but relatable? Poe is a Phi Tau.
Herman Melville: Herman Melville is a DKE, mostly because making pledges read Moby Dick is a great form of hazing.
Lord Byron: Byron is a D-Phi and this one doesn’t even need explanation.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Coleridge is a PEEP, mostly because he had a full-on opium addiction.
Charles Dickens: Dickens is an AD because he loved just a little bit of mischief and trouble, but also goes on and on and on and Charles I am so tired, why are we still here?
Franz Kafka: Kafka is a Phi Tau who hosts some of the strangest events and Weaver Wednesdays, but they’re weirdly enticing. Kind of a cult following, which I personally don’t get, but hey, you do you I suppose.
Mark Twain: Twain is a DKE because in a weird way he really encapsulates “Saturdays are for the boys,” and so do they. Also I like imagining Twain with a frisbee, that’s so funny to me.
Oscar Wilde: Literally every frat wanted Wilde to pledge and in the end he went with Archons because it seemed like the lowest commitment. He never became president but he slept with everyone who was elected. He thrived in the Archons but also roasted them mercilessly from within.
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sherlock Holmes author is a Phi-Tau, mostly because of his sense of dress. This dude was all about top hats and monocles, and though I haven’t seen anyone dressed fully like that, the Phi Taus seem very into bow ties, which feels like the weird, modern-day equivalent.
J.D. Salinger: Unaffiliated. Frats are goddamn phonies anyhow.