It seems as though every year brings about new stories of fraternities and sororities engaging in dangerous behavior that results in physical, emotional, and potentially fatal consequences. This month has been a truly awful one for Greek life around the country as a number of colleges and universities have punished Greek institutions by either banning them, forcing them to go co-ed, or simply suspending all Greek life on campus. Fraternities and sororities have a very mixed reputation that have both good and bad things about them and even some alumni see them in a mixed light. The questions remains whether Greek life is going to see a country-wide ban and how it might affect higher education institutions with storied history behind some of the houses.
Sororities and fraternities are best known in the public for binge-drinking and hazing incidents that frequently send students to the hospital but that also sometimes result in death. While many sororities and fraternities have strong undercurrents of familial bonds and community service, it’s very simple to say that the majority are used as places where students can get drunk and party with each other. While Greek institutions were started off as a way to improve school life, community life, and personal life through community service and brother/sisterhood, the original messages have been corrupted and founding members wouldn’t recognize the racist, sexist, violent, and alcoholic institutions that have replaced them. Many universities hold on to Greek life for the history the houses impart and the generous alumni donations that they bring in but there eventually comes a point when you need to realize that the toxic environment that accompanies Greek life is too much. Between rapes, sexual assaults, brawls, overdoses, and deaths, it might be time to either institute a culture-wide change (perhaps taking lessons from the founding statements and the Greek houses and chapters that still believe in community service and respect for all) or ban them altogether. Either way, something needs to be done before more people get hurt.
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