Gumbel, Andrew. “Police raid the US student society that inspired Animal House.” The Independent. 2006. April 2008
There exists a fraternity called Alpha Delta Phi and there also exists the infamous Delta house. The latter is based on Alpha Delta Phi, but the real Dartmouth frat in turn takes on its fictional traditions, pride and notoriety. However, they disguise it as “leadership, scholarship, service and philanthropy, diversity, accountability and brotherhood.” Finally the frat brothers were caught after an investigation lasting almost two years. Their pranks are angrily blamed on Animal House.
The ironic thing about Animal House is the source of Delta’s craziness. While Alpha Delta Phi’s mayhem supposedly comes from the made up Delta house, Delta house’s ideas come from Chris Miller’s (one of the writers’) college days at Dartmouth. So what exactly was Animal House’s role, other than simply putting a depiction on the big screen? Movies do give people expectations, sometimes false, or unrealistic standards. Animal House was an average college story to everyone who was already familiar with such college life. However, the film created a legend out of Delta Phi, and consequently impressions and reputations to live up to. These responsibilities already existed in the fraternity, just not publicly; these matters usually remain within the frat’s walls. The film was a catalyst, a cause, or an excuse. The only reason why it is viewed as such a problem is because Delta Phi became personally involved and invested. Films take on a new meaning when based on fact. Suddenly everything in it becomes possible. Perhaps there would have been a less extreme response if Delta Phi had not known about its relevance.
Guiffrida, Douglas A. “African American Student Organizations As Agents of Social Integration.” Journal of College Student Development. 2003,
American College Personnel Association. University of Pennsylvania. April 2008.
It is no surprise that African Americans would have difficulty integrating socially and academically into a predominantly white institution. Interviewed students admitted to changing their appearance and speech for a white crowd. They cannot easily fit into large student organizations, but instead create small ones to help maintain their ethnic identity. Universities directed student organizations in the direction of integrating African Americans into PWIs and making them comfortable. Minorities found it beneficial to attend a PWI because it prepared them for the real world, but had difficulty growing close with white students.
Faber College is the quintessence of the predominantly white institutions talked about in this article. Animal House is entirely about the social life in universities, and the first institution to present it is the Omega House. Pretentious, WASPy phonies welcome freshmen Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman into the fraternity house, and seat them next to the socially awkward rejects: Mohammet, who wears a turban, Jugdish, who possesses an unidentifiable ethnicity, Sidney, a nerd, and the blind, handicapped Clayton. Surely these students could never express their ethnic identity in such a tight atmosphere.
A contrast to this image is the all-black band, Otis Day and the Knights, playing at a Delta party, whose attendees are all white. Everyone is having a great time. Otis seems like a band that would play for a different crowd at a university, and this inference is reinforced in a later scene. Delta brothers unknowingly walk into a blacks-only club where Otis performs. Boon’s, one of the brothers, disposition alters, like when he shouts, “Otis! My man!” It is clear the members of the band are not so friendly in this atmosphere. The whites have their places to let loose, which is almost everywhere as demonstrated in Animal House, and the blacks have their place to do so.