Should Universities be Able to Ban Frats and Sororities?

With the recent bust at Delta Pi on Lightstreet Road and the most recent bust at Zetes, the community and students will consider this question more than ever. Do the drugs, partying, and drinking outweigh the potential benefits that Greek Life has to offer?

Late Tuesday, Sept. 16, police executed a pre-planned bust on Bloomsburg’s own Delta Pi, handing out underage citations to 61 students. The bust brought attention to the fraternity and got the students of Bloomsburg talking. On Bloomsburg’s Greek Life website, the Q and A section advises that “each organization may have national rules to follow regarding the hosting of social events. All organizations sponsor education on alcohol misuse and abuse.”

With alcohol and, alleged, illegal substances found at Delta Pi last week, it seems hard to believe that any alcohol or drug education was taken seriously.

Frats and sororities are responsible for providing the University with community service and upholding a positive reputation. According to Bloomsburg’s Greek Life Web site, being in a sorority or fraternity “promotes the values of enhancing leadership, service scholarship, philanthropy/service and financial responsibility in their members,” but mentions nothing about the other activities fraternities and sororities have been found promoting, such as drinking, drugs, and hazing.

With these harmful events taking place behind closed doors, many have begun to question whether Greek Life deserves to exist on campus at all.

Surprisingly, banning frats and sororities is not a new concept and many colleges – after investigating such things as hazing and drugs – are taking action and banning not one organization but all of Greek Life on campus.

In 2002, the board of trustees at Alfred University voted to start getting rid of Greek Life on campus. The ban came about not long after the death of one of their own students, Benjamin Klein. Klein was allegedly beaten up by some of his ZBT brothers after exposing frat “secrets” at a chapter meeting in Syracuse. The Alfred student was found frozen and dead close to the backdoor of his frat house. Reportedly, the beatings were not the cause of death.

While this was not the only factor in Alfred University’s decision to “phase out” Greek Life, it was definitely a wake up call.

According to The Badger Herald article by Leana Donofrio, “although a few fraternities and sororities still exist at Alfred, they cannot recruit new members and cannot remain at all if they are not in good standing with the university.”

These events can shed a negative light on frats but there are those whose lives revolve around their organization and have another perspective all together. Marci Tatnall –  a sister at Delta Phi Epsilon – sees her sorority and her sorority sisters as a second home and family.

“Sometimes sororities and frats are all people have. My sorority is one of the most important things in my life. It is not about drinking or being popular, it is about finding a home away from home,” she said.

To some students, their frat or sorority gives them the opportunity to socialize and contribute to something they take pride in. It also offers the benefit of building life long friendships and bonds that other students might not have the ability to create. Fraternities have a responsibility to their university by fulfilling community service hours that better the society in which they reside.

Craig Kauffman, a brother at ATO, said that “fraternities are always looking for ways to raise money and most of the time they find manual labor jobs around town; which relieves some of the work load for businesses in Bloomsburg.”

Fraternities have been known to engage in numerous community service activities around the Bloomsburg area and even outside of Bloomsburg’s borders.

Not only does Greek Life create bonds and life long friendships it also encourages students to focus more on school in order to maintain grades.

Statistics on Carolina Fraternity & Sorority Life’s website shows that “in 2001, Greek students as a whole had a cumulative GPA of 3.10. Non-greek students as a whole had a cumulative GPA of 3.02”

Also many students may not know that wealthy, important, and educated people alike have all been apart of the Greek system.

Kent State University released some intriguing statistics on their Greek Life Web site that indicate that“75 percent of the U.S. Congress is Greek. More than 85 percent of student leaders in 720 college campuses are Greek members and 80 of Fortune 500 executives are Greek.”

Membership in such organizations creates a social atmosphere that allows for powerful connections and could potentially benefit students for their future aspirations.

So far at Bloomsburg, Delta Pi and Zetes are the only organizations being punished for their run in with the law but only time can tell if the busting of another underage party could affect the future of Greek Life here. But is it fair to judge all of Greek Life for the mistake of a couple organizations? Are other colleges that ban Greek Life ruining a long tradition? As the school year goes on, take a look around and decide for yourselves whether frats and sororities deserve a spot on your campus.

(post edited 9/25 due to comments regarding a correction of facts)

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