October 9, 2013

MTV Cribs Spinoff Will Feature Cornell Fraternity Houses

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Countless preteens watched MTV’s Cribs, dreaming of one day showing their houses to the world. Now, as part of a project between the Interfraternity Council and Slope Media, Cornell fraternity members will show their houses in a new series of online videos called “IFC Cribs.”

The one to two-minute long videos featuring various Cornell fraternity houses will be posted online following Fall Break, according to Lizzie Brooks ’14, vice president of content for Slope Media.

Each video will feature the exterior of a house, one common area, the dining area, one typical bedroom and one or two distinctive features of the house. A member of each fraternity will serve as a host of the house throughout the video, similar to MTV’s “Cribs.”

The videos were initially meant to expose freshmen to the inside of fraternity houses before the second quarter of the year — the period at which freshmen may begin entering fraternity houses, according to Felix Tabary ’14, vice president for University and community relations for the IFC.

Tabary said that releasing the videos after Fall Break will reduce the possibility that freshmen will be tempted to enter fraternity houses before it is permitted.

Tabary said the videos will help change “preconceived notions” of fraternities that freshmen have before rush, speaking from what he said was his own experience of not having known what a fraternity was when he first came to Cornell.

“I kind of imagined a house with 50 guys in it doing crazy things, and it didn’t make sense to me,” Tabary said. “Had there been videos, it would have been more informative.”

Tabary said he thinks freshmen might use the videos to better understand the houses before the formal fraternity rush process.

“A fraternity house is a pretty intimidating place, especially when you don’t know anything about them. Situating yourself before actually going to them eliminates the fear factor [of rush],” Tabary said.

Slope Media previously produced “C.U. Cribs,” which featured fraternities, sororities and co-ops, but according to Brooks, this is a separate project and is designed to give every fraternity that wishes to participate equal exposure.

“We figured there’s got to be a way to showcase these houses like [“C.U. Cribs”], but not that many people watched those,” Tabary said.

Tabary said the videos are only meant to show the actual fraternity house, not any aspects of a chapter’s brotherhood.

“The idea is simply to be informative, not to make freshmen want to or not want to join a house,” Tabary said.

According to Brooks, each video was kept to a standard list of shots to ensure fairness, and all of the videos will be posted at the same time so that no one house is unfairly at a position to receive more views than another.

Cameron Pritchett ’15, president of the Sigma Chi fraternity and minority at-large representative for the Student Assembly, said he is looking forward to seeing how the videos pan out.

“‘IFC Cribs’ provides a fantastic opportunity for fraternities to showcase one of the things they cherish the most: their houses,” Pritchett said. “I’m optimistic that seeing these houses rich in tradition … will compel more freshmen and transfers to come out for rush week in the spring.”