Fraternities are collectives of male college or university students. They have long had an air of secrecy and exclusivity due to how they select and initiate new members. Although fraternities, or analogous social clubs, exist in other countries, the present entry covers only U.S. fraternities.

Many of the oldest fraternities were founded in the early to mid-19th century. The fraternity system has consisted predominantly of White members, stemming in part from some fraternity charters (and some entire universities) having official Whites-only policies prior to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. African American fraternities, which remain a part of contemporary college life, formed at the beginning of the 20th century, some at historically Black colleges and universities. Latino and Asian American fraternities emerged later in ...

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