When you think of fraternities, visions of the late John Belushi and the
classic film Animal House come to mind: wild parties, gallons of
beer, hazing and free-wheeling sex. Think again.
Three Montreal frat houses are organizing a football game this Saturday
afternoon to help save the rain forest in South America. Teams representing
Mu Omicron Zeta (MOZ), Tau Kappa Epsilon (TEKE) and Omicron will play
a full day of football with no padding and no helmets.
This Animal House thing is totally exaggerated, said
Eric Belkin, of MOZ. Sure, there are parties, Beer Olympics and
stuff like that, but overall, its a lot more productive. We raise
a lot of money for charities throughout the year. The football game is
always a highlight.
Last years game was no exception but for the wrong reasons.
A fight broke out at the end of the game and we didnt declare
a champion, Belkin admitted. I can guarantee that wont
happen again this year, though. Everyone is on the same page.
Belkin says that there is friendly competition among the frat houses,
but nothing more. When you play tackle football with no equipment,
there are bound to be some injuries, but we all have a good time. Were
tough. We have a referee from each frat house to try and keep things under
Fraternities are still very popular in the United States, but are more
low-key here in Canada, Belkin said.
Last year, we had seven new people who wanted to join, but only
three came to pledge, he said. The other four were scared
because of all the stories they heard about frats. They had nothing to
worry about. We dont haze [have new members perform outlandish,
dangerous or lewd activities]. Im not allowed to say what we have
the new pledges do, but we dont take it as seriously as they do
in the U.S.
Belkin, a 23-year-old independent student from Dollard des Ormeaux, joined
MOZ a few years ago. Its a great community. All three fraternities
raise money through a variety of events.
MOZ began on a whim 11 years ago when four students (two from Concordia,
one from McGill and one from Université de Montréal) went
to Daytona Beach, Fla., for spring break. They met members of a fraternity
down there who raved about how much fun they were having. The four started
MOZ in Florida and brought it back to Montreal with them.
MOZ is flying in one of the groups main founders, Paul Mirshak,
from Phoenix for Saturdays game. He was practically crying
on the phone when we told him we were paying for him to come up,
Belkin said. He was so happy. It will be a great event for a great
The eighth annual Frat Bowl is slated for Saturday, Oct. 13, at the
Loyola High School Field. The action gets under way at 10 a.m.