A Tale of Two Pledges

By Chris Higginbotham

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

It was the end of Rush Week, it was almost the beginning of Pledge Quarter. Speaker volumes were turned down all over town as fraternity presidents and marshalls gathered their troops in house conference halls lined with photos and framed Greek letters. They meant business. It was time to decide.

The frattiest had received bid cards and recruitment tees, and the nerdiest had returned to dorms and apartments empty handed. This system, heralded as effective by the muscle-clad beer enthusiasts, works in mysterious ways. Potential new members are passed from brother to brother and, after days of introducing themselves and sharing the same fun fact, are chosen (or not chosen) to enter a fraternity’s sacred halls.

But, as time-honored as the bid system is, it is not without shortcoming. In fraternities where legacy status is considered (i.e. one’s parent was a member), the frattiest may find themselves infiltrated by unworthy frauds.

For Brad Chad and Alfred Gregory Octavius, this truth meant the beginning of an unlikely friendship.

Pledge 1: BRAD CHAD, Class of 2025

Height: 6’5”
Weight: A tight 220 lbs
Major: “what is that?”
Strengths: athleticism, talking to girls
Weaknesses: school, work ethic
Affiliations: Club Basketball, John R. Wooden Recreation and Sports Center Hall of Fame
Bio: After being heavily recruited by every top house with paid visits, customized rush shirts, and a questionable amount of narcotic incentives, Brad T. Chad accepted a bid with Delta Omicron Gamma. A worthy recruit for Frat League IM teams and “improving the house’s body count average,” Brad Chad is universally recognized as UCLA’s top fraternity pick.

Pledge 2: ALFRED GREGORY OCTAVIUS, Class of 2025

Height: “I’d prefer to keep that confidential” Weight: “Seriously?”
Major: “Engineering, what else?”
Strengths: school, work ethic

Weaknesses: athleticism, talking to girls
Affiliations: Club Quidditch, Rocket Project
Bio: After being universally rejected on the first day of rush, Alfred returned to Delta Omicron Gamma with his father’s certificate of membership and pledge card—from Fall 1987. Their hands tied by national orders to accept legacy pledges, DOG extended a half- hearted bid on the last day of rush.

On the final day of rush, ranking members of DOG gathered the
46 man pledge class. Unsurprisingly, many of the pledges looked a lot more like Brad Chad and a hell of a lot less like Alfred Octavius. Despite their differences, the pair were seated next to each other in the front row of the inaugural pledge class group photo; pledge educators figured that if they were forced to accept Alfred into their ranks, they might as well use him to highlight the fraternity’s newfound ‘diversity.’

Though he was initially ostracized by the brothers and placed last in every pledge activity, Alfred was pleased to find a best friend and lover in Brad Chad.

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