The Zets are a unique social group whose main medium of communication is provided by the University's Computing Systems (Ultrix, in particular). The membership of the Zets is quite varied, ranging from aspiring geeks to those aspiring not to be seen as geeks, from beautiful women to those aspiring to be seen with beautiful women, from Led Zeppelin partiers to Reagan Youth. The Zets began as a group of computer science students attempting to make working on the system a little less dry, in typical c.s. geek fashion (of whom the rest of the world has a very poor stereotype). The group has blossomed into an interdisciplinary group that is mainly activity based, adding some of the close-knit social atmosphere of a smaller college to the impersonal facade a huge University. The group comprises people from a wide variety of callings: history, political science, psychology, education, engineering, communications, business, english, the list goes on and on. The Zets are based at the University of Pittsburgh, but hail from all over the world and, as Zets leave Pitt, the Zet tradition spreads.
What is this Zet tradition? The diverse nature of the group leads to many interesting discussions and arguments, as well as to a large variety of activities. The Zets are unlike a fraternity in that there is not a pervading effort to mold the members into some ideal. The individuality of the members and their, often diametrically opposed, opinions is one factor that keeps the Zets interesting and exciting. Another such factor is a factor that keeps academics in general interesting and exciting -- the constant influx of new blood. A third factor, which is unique to the Zets, is the type of discussion that takes place over the system. New members become known to the group, in general, based on how they present themselves over the system. Instead of first impressions (and subsequent impressions) being formed on the basis of physical appearance, they are formed on the basis of wit and communication skills (or lack thereof). In addition, the use of aliases creates an interesting phenomenon whereby members can be completely different ppl as Zets than they have been in their everyday lives, or they can express opinions that they may not have expressed because, as an unspoken Zet convention, the "Zet" does not necessarily express the opinions of the individual. The Zet tradition is diversity, and from that diversity spring exciting events, intellectual stimulation, new (and often long term) friendships, romance, and a plethora of passion.