Future of Fraternities

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Future of Fraternities

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     Greek life on college campuses is a great way to meet new people, have fun, and make new experiences, but because of recent trouble involving hazing, excessive drinking, and sexual assault, the future of fraternities can seem uncertain.

      Lisa Wade, is a professor at Occidental College. She has degrees in the areas of philosophy, human sexuality, and sociology. She is author of American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus. In an editorial she wrote for Time, she told of how fraternities were created by rich kids to avoid the middle class kids. She also tells a hazing story. She wrote of Timothy Piazza, who was a pledge at Beta Theta Pi at Penn State. He fell down the stairs after he was pressured to drink a lethal amount of alcohol. The footage from surveillance cameras show the fraternity brothers not thinking much of the situation.They called 911 twelve hours after the fact on the next day. After an attempted cover up, they are now facing charges. Wade advocates for the abolishment of fraternities because of tragic stories like this.

   While there are many incidents in fraternities, not all fraternities represent these values. Many fraternities, in fact, do good for students. One student who asked to go by the name Joe has a very high rank at his school regarding fraternities. He tells of his daily life at the fraternity:

     “Every afternoon and night, we have fraternity lunch and dinner, which is a great way to build community and come together.” Part of their daily life is also helping others. They often hold events to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network, as well as going into the community to volunteer at hospitals, animal shelters, and impoverished areas.

       In addition to helping others, he says that fraternities have also helped him. He says the biggest benefit of the fraternity has been its support on academics. “My chapter has the best GPA on campus, and no one wants that to change.”

      The fraternity believes their members should succeed in and out of the classroom. They provide tutoring for school and use each other as resources for whatever field they’re interested.

       Despite the good fraternities have done for him, he recognizes that there is a large problem facing fraternities today. “I think the largest issue facing fraternities and Greek life in general, is the association between Greek life at large and a few bad apples making national headlines.”

       He also sees no way of fraternities vanishing in the future since fraternity alumni make up a large sum of money

donated to universities.

      In an effort to combat the negative thought about fraternities, he said “Greek life does a lot of amazing service and builds life-long relationships at almost every college campus in the country. While Greek life only makes up a small proportion of college students, its effects are widespread and ripple through campuses in great ways. Just because a few chapters are, for lack of better words, imbeciles, does not mean the rest of greek communities are nationwide.”

       If you are interested in joining a fraternity, you have a lot of options. Gary Baker

is the Assistant Director of Greek Affairs at Rowan University. He said there are 23-24 fraternity options at Rowan, the largest having about 100 people and the smallest having about 3 people.

       Regarding negative stereotypes about frats, he admits that many are true and comes from somewhere. He believes that focusing on the positive things will not help solve the problem alone. He thinks the negative issues should be addressed.

       He also added, “If there was a student who had a negative opinion, I would ask them why and see what we can do about that. While we do want to address the negative things and avoid those issues, I do also encourage people to have an open mind. One fraternity isn’t always indicative of what they all are about. We do our best to eliminate the bad things, while also celebrating lots of the positive accomplishments. Every fraternity is different, every school is different.”

         While  hazing is a problem in college, not many students in high school seem to care.

       Jared  Keim is a senior  at Eastern. He will be attending Lehigh University next year.

“I plan on joining a fraternity because it is a great way to have fun and meet new people,” he said.

   While some people think fraternities are a waste of time, he disagrees.

       “Despite recent hazing incidents, I am not worried about it because schools are doing a good job at preventing it.”