"Med School is a breeze after you've touched the nose of an angry great white." -Matt Cherian, President of Alpha Gamma Zeus, Wyoming Chapter
With over 97 chapters across the United States, the Alpha Gamma Zeus fraternity has over 8,000 members and maintains a record number of pledges each year. Boasting the manliest organization outside of Russia borders, AGZ has established themselves as a governing force on campuses in 16 countries. Not only an instrumental institution within higher education, AGZ has spearheaded community service in surrounding areas- planting vegetable gardens in the country's toughest neighborhoods. Consequently, to maintain their esteemed reputation and abounding numbers, a rigorous weeding process is necessary.
Hazing is an ancient method of initiation used by Alpha Gamma Zeus as an unauthorized constitution. Thor Ablebaum, a Harvard University undergrad and AGZ member, said, "You don't truly know someone until you've clutched them against yourself, buried in eight feet of snow, and drank their urine just to survive." Hazing rituals, like AGZ's traditional Hammer Throwing,' have landed the brotherhood in over 40 lawsuits to date. College deans and several congressmen have unsuccessfully united in an effort to ban the fraternity, only to exponentially increase its popularity.
With only seven reported deaths, the fraternity is thriving now more than ever. "All the publicity is great, we've been forced to come up with more intense hazing rituals to limit our size," says UCLA junior Eric Darling. A favorite amongst senior brothers is known as the Dragon's Paw- where participants are required to stop rolling boulders while completely nude. A large number of AGZ's rituals have been adaptations of mythological rites of passage. The Law of the Greek Gods and the Viking's Credo make up the backbone of their hazing practices.
Despite all of the negative buzz surrounding Alpha Gamma Zeus, their ability to cultivate successful, powerful, thick-headed men, has been proven. Vin Diesel- star of the cult-classic The Fast and the Furious,' first came to the fraternity as Vinny Spagolini. The brotherhood morphed the modest computer programmer into Hollywood's hottest hunk. Other stars tied to the fraternity include Reginald VelJohnson, more widely known as Family Matters' Carl Winslow.
Like the Freemasons and the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants, Alpha Gamma Zeus is writing its way into the history books. With controversial hazing practices and major Hollywood star-power, this fraternity has just started to pick up momentum. Chapters have already expanded beyond the male-jock demographic with manly sororities like Alpha Gamma Xena. With high hopes of a pending lawsuit to be overturned, even an elementary school division looks to be in the near future.