Should Universities be Able to Ban Frats and Sororities?

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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)

Comments

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I never really understood the appeal of the greek life style, but I would certainly stop short on calling for a ban of frats and sororities.
    We could argue all day about the negatives and positives that these organizations provide for the community. What matters most is that the members of these groups feel a need to belong and clearly get some type of happiness out of the experience. How can anyone justify taking that away?

    great article Alison. very important issue to address these days.

  2. No one joins a fraternity so they can do more community service. They do it for the comradery and good times — they’re called social organizations. Some can have a positive impact on the campus and some can have a negative impact on the campus — just like everything else. I think the better question is… why do greek organizations need to affiliate with the university at all? Sure, all of their members are students of the same school and have that in common, but what does the school have to do with an organization that does everything off-campus? If I wanted to start an off-campus group called BU Students for Ron Paul, should the campus be able to ban that? NO! I believe just because someone does not agree with Ron Paul or someone doesn’t agree with the lifestyle of greeks does not make it wrong.

  3. Well the truth is banning greek life not likely at bloomsburg. Other colleges have tried to close greek life and as a result have lost lawsuits to the students for such actions standing as a violation of their rights. Being a state school Bloomsburg would not have the ease of doing so like a private university. Greek life really does give you some great bonds for a life time to carry on and i personaly have formed many. It is a great oppurtunity that can even lead to jobs in the future and aids in the hireing process. Sometimes parts just go bad and you have to handle it in stride. Banning greek life would be foolish to end parties and drugs on campus and would in no way stop that from happening. In the same sense if we did away with dorms and become a commuter campus. Incidents of sexual assualt and under ages on campus would vanish at the price of the indepence and learning that comes with a life away from your home. Banning greek life is the foolishy easy and wrong idea to solve the issues (ie)- a computer has 3 busted keys so just throw the whole thing away. I also in part think that banning greek life might bring about a whole new era of issues here at this school. These problems of parties would not vanish at all they would just adjust, change and disburse to new areas over campus. These issues arise from the people and the enviorments not the organizations.

  4. I don’t see how anyone could think that banning Greek life would be possible or even fair. And yes, people do decide that being Greek is a great way to get involved in more community service. Just because they like to have a good time does not mean that they don’t do the services that many on campus fail to do. In one sorority in particular, they require 25 hours of community service, including many throughout the community. That is beside the point. They real issue is that it would be silly to throw away years and years of traditions, friendships, and love just because a couple people have screwed it up. I believe that Greek Life as a whole should not be punished, but perhaps those people who are having issues should be closely looked at. THEY should be the ones who are investigated as to whether or not they are a good influence on our school and community. Do not punish groups who are doing so much for the community and have worked so hard for all they have accomplished.

  5. college is an experience. to me, by coming to college you are getting more than a degree, you are getting an experience. i feel that now is the time to experiment with both drugs and alcohol to find out who you are and where you are going in your life. by banning these social organizations, you aren’t solving the problems you wish to stop. any person knows, when a drug dealer is taken away, you move onto the next source, plain and simple. besides weed isn’t even a drug anymore.

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