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ltbewr
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The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:22 pm

Are we seeing soon the end of College Social Fraternities and Sororities on US campuses ? The far too frequent numbers of deaths, injuries, rape of women in Frat houses, illegal under-aged drinking, violent hazing, gender, racial and other forms of segregation as well as social changes seem to be leading to their demise on their own or by College administrators.
This is the latest death at a Fraternity: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/14/us/wvu-fraternity-death/index.html
The administration of UWV has suspended all social 'greek' organizations for an unspecified time due to this death. Other colleges are also considering no longer allowing for 'Greeks' to be affiliated with their schools or offer housing due to rising problems. A few schools want Greek organizations to no longer be divided by gender. National organizations are trying to control or just suspend charters of local chapters, put in more rules to keep them but they can only do so much.
I was a in a chapter of a National Fraternity (TKE) at may urban branch of a State University back in the mid-1970's. There was some 'hazing' but no violence, the drinking age was 18 then, a lot of pot smoking and drinking, but if got out of control, other brothers were there to keep it from getting too far. We didn't have anyone living in the house we had then but if partying, could crash their overnight rather than drive home drunk. Of the 40 'Brothers' in the frat with me when a student, 4 are current State court Judges, 2 are Doctors and others have done well in other professions. There are positives of 'greek' life but are we at time when it has become no longer needed or can continue ?
 
tz757300
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:44 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter):
The administration of UWV

As an alum, please refer to the school as WVU.

Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter):
There are positives of 'greek' life but are we at time when it has become no longer needed or can continue ?

I don't see how they are needed. There are many organizations that students participate in on college campuses nationwide that provide just as many friend making, networking, college life experiences that do just fine without requiring the need for the hazing process and entitlements that many fraternities and sororities have.

Don't get me wrong, greek life of course provides many positive opportunities for students, but I do see the well-known negatives outweighing those.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:51 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter):
There are positives of 'greek' life but are we at time when it has become no longer needed or can continue ?

I'm not a big proponent of the Greek system but there are benefits such as the relationships and connections it creates, and to the school where they tend to donate more than the rest. Ultimately I think you mix kids and alcohol and drugs and they do really dumb stuff whether they're in a fraternity or not. I wonder if the greek system went totally dry, if the focus and mindset would change somewhat.
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WestJet747
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:58 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter):
Are we seeing soon the end of College Social Fraternities and Sororities on US campuses ?

Let's hope so. They're just clubs that mask their partying and other questionable activities with the odd charitable event in order to appear like an organization where students can network and contribute to the local community. But for those who have been to university anytime in the past decade, we know it's all BS.

I graduated from a mid-sized Canadian university a couple years that had only one fraternity and only one sorority (who had a strategic partnership of sorts). Neither were taken particularly seriously. Competent human beings have the ability to network within their existing community (their faculty, for starters) and create a social circle without the necessity for hazing or funding.

[Edited 2014-11-15 08:22:04]
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JAGflyer
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:17 pm

I never understood the draws behind fraternity/sorority life. Most likely because I didn't go to a university in person (and colleges in Canada do not have frats/sororities AFAIK). They just seem like another club on campus which seeks to bring people together. I'm sure they can be fun to be part of but to me, any club that wants members to perform initiation or other "rituals" to join is not something I'd want to be associated with. I can have a good time just making friends with people I meet without having to join an organization such as a fraternity.

[Edited 2014-11-15 08:19:27]
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Ken777
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:30 pm

I believe the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that those individuals responsible for unacceptable behavior in any fraternity are going to have been on that university campus even if there were no fraternities. There would still be drinking and there would still be rapes. Instead of a few guys in a frat house getting together and deciding to raise hell it would be a few guys in a dorm getting together and deciding to raise hell.

Maybe the real issue is the need for universities to expel students who have gone over the edge. That sets a pretty good example to start off with. Frat (or Sorority) have a problem at a party? Ban their parties for the rest of the year.

Basically, don't look for problems on campus to end if Greek programs are ended and the houses closed.

Basically in a Greek system there is an opportunity to select which freshmen you want to bring in and be friends with. Not perfect, but there is zero choice in the dorm systems. For some fraternities there are religious ties that bring students together. Jewish fraternities is a pretty good example.

Quoting ltbewr (Thread starter):
A few schools want Greek organizations to no longer be divided by gender.

That makes zero sense. Think about parents who are spending some big savings on their daughter going away to college. They want their daughter to be as safe in a women's dorm as possible, or in a sorority house if she joins. The last thing they want for their sweet little girl is to be in a mixed sex environment 24/7. They should be able to trust the university to provide some level of safety and privacy for girls who have no desire to take a shower with a dozen guys. Mixed sex dorms or Greek houses is not the way to go for most parents.
 
Maverick623
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:56 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
I believe the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that those individuals responsible for unacceptable behavior in any fraternity are going to have been on that university campus even if there were no fraternities

Exactly.

However, your post kind of goes downhill from there.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
They want their daughter to be as safe in a women's dorm as possible, or in a sorority house if she joins. The last thing they want for their sweet little girl is to be in a mixed sex environment 24/7.

"Sweet little girl"? Sorry, but if mommy and daddy are too naive to realize or accept the fact that at 18, you can do whatever you want, that's too bad. As you said, there's nothing preventing their "sweet little girl" from going to an off-campus location to engage in risky activities. I'd wager that the vast majority of sexual assaults (outside of an abusive relationship) are committed when one or both parties are intoxicated.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
They should be able to trust the university to provide some level of safety and privacy for girls who have no desire to take a shower with a dozen guys. Mixed sex dorms or Greek houses is not the way to go for most parents.

Where was it suggested that girls would have to shower with a dozen guys? And who would force said girls to join said frat/sorority?
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Kiwirob
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:12 pm

Political correctness and the nanny state strikes again.
 
WestJet747
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:25 pm

Quoting Jagflyer (Reply 4):
(and colleges in Canada do not have frats/sororities AFAIK)

I've never heard of any colleges with fraternities or sororities, but most universities do I believe.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Instead of a few guys in a frat house getting together and deciding to raise hell it would be a few guys in a dorm getting together and deciding to raise hell.

That's like saying we should let the biker gangs be because instead of a large organized gang committing the crime it would just be smaller pockets of bikers committing crime. The organized part of it is the problem.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Basically, don't look for problems on campus to end if Greek programs are ended and the houses closed.

Who said they would end? It's about mitigating the exposure to the dangers inherent in these types of organizations. That's without even getting into the discriminatory history of these houses.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Basically in a Greek system there is an opportunity to select which freshmen you want to bring in and be friends with.

And then haze the shit out of them before encouraging binge drinking, sometimes to the point of hospitalization or death.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
For some fraternities there are religious ties that bring students together. Jewish fraternities is a pretty good example.

Good for them. Join a university-sanctioned religion club.

Here's a list of religious/cultural clubs at my alma mater:

Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Union
_____ British Club
_____ Catholic Newman Club
_____ Chabad
_____ Christian Fellowship
_____ Hillel
_____ Italian Club
_____ Latter-Day Saint Student Association
_____ Muslim Students Association
_____ Tamil Students Association
_____ University Chinese Students and Scholars Association
_____ University Ghana Association
Chinese Christian Student Fellowship in _____
International Student Association
Iranian Student Association of _____ University
Pakistani Student Association
Roots African Caribbean Society

No frats or sororities required to bring these people together.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
They should be able to trust the university to provide some level of safety and privacy for girls who have no desire to take a shower with a dozen guys.

Where are these dorms where males and females shower together? Every mixed dorm I've ever been in has had separate facilities for males and females.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 6):
I'd wager that the vast majority of sexual assaults (outside of an abusive relationship) are committed when one or both parties are intoxicated.

And you'd be somewhat correct. The first result of a Google search I did suggests around 50% of on-campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. The statistics they used to advertise as part of anti-assault campaigns at my university suggested it was much higher >70%).

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seb146
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:35 pm

I graduated from a community college with no fraternities or sororities and there were rapes, parties, alcohol poisonings and drug overdoses. I currently attend a Junior College with no fraternities or sororities and there are rapes, parties, alcohol poisonings and drug overdoses. So, let's ban all fraternities and sororities and that will solve the problem? Seems like another case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
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LittleFokker
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:59 pm

I went to a very small school (enrollment is usually around 1400 students). I believe there were 3 each of male and female Greek organizations. I failed to understand their existence, especially at a small school like me. We all pretty well knew each other anyways, went to the same parties, and could easily socialize in and out of class whenever desired. I didn't see the point of forking over a little extra money for structured friendship.

I could see a little value for them at larger schools. My brother attended a relatively larger school (around 25,000 enrollment) and he did join a fraternity. He was real tight with them during college, and stayed in close contact with most of his "brothers" for probably a few years afterwards. Since then, he's gotten married, trying to start a family, and probably has little to no interaction with his fraternity friends. I don't think he regrets being a member though.

Bottom line, I doubt they're going away anytime soon, but as long as social media grows stronger and becomes more relevant to people's lives, then fraternities and sororities will become less relevant.
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kstateinALB
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:00 am

I guess I'll respond to this.

I was initiated into my fraternity in the fall of 2008 at a large state university. I had no experience with Greek life before joining; my parents were not involved, so I was fairly blind to the process. After my four years as an undergraduate, and three years as an alumnus, I can easily say it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.

Coming from out of state to my university, I was able to get to know a group of 80 guys quickly and transition from high school to college, in my opinion, effectively. Some of my fraternity brothers pushed me to get involved on campus with different organizations, such as student government. I went to national fraternity functions for leadership development opportunities, which allowed me to get to know fellow brothers from chapters all across the country. We planned events for my particular fraternity's philanthropy, the American Red Cross. Really, my fraternity became my extended family. We'd travel to away football games, go to each other's houses and visit, but most importantly, helped each other out with whatever we needed.

Yeah, there were parties. We had mixers with other fraternities and other sororities. There was always something going on during the weekend. That was an added bonus.

The IMPORTANT thing to look at is how regulated Greek life is on college campuses. At my alma mater, for example, Greek life is extremely well-regulated. Parties have to be registered, hazing is a no-go, etc. Sorority houses are dry (no alcohol allowed in the house); most fraternity houses are as well. Regulation is extremely important in creating a strong Greek system on a college campus. Where you see trouble are at colleges and universities that turn a blind eye to these organizations and, in some situations, act like they don't exist.

No, I wasn't brainwashed into thinking my fraternity experience was great. No, I wasn't hazed to binge drink to the point of hospitalization or death.

Yes, just like the rest of you, when I see news of a tragedy life this happening in the Greek community I am saddened.

Would have I had the same college experience living in a dorm instead of a fraternity? I don't know. Was my Greek experience the norm or the exception from across the country? I don't know.

I'll probably have a very unpopular opinion compared to others in this thread. But my fraternity has and continued to be extremely important in my life, so I'll stand by my experience very strongly.

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sccutler
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sun Nov 16, 2014 7:20 am

Frater:

Bad chapters are bad chapters, but I loved my fraternity experience, including the friends I made who, nearly forty years on, are still good friends and good people, as well.

There is no question that there were some chapters of some nationals which were focused on the wrong things - but most genuinely have laudable goals.

Like any other organization, there can be good and bad. No point in throwing out the baby with the bathwater (so to speak). I find that most who hate fraternities (and sororities) with a vengeance are usually ignorant as to their true nature, relying instead upon stereotypes and rumors for their opinions.

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lewis
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:34 pm

They can do whatever they wish as long as they drop the 'Greek'-everything they are using. There is nothing Greek about any of this, except the random Greek letters they put outside their houses and on their t-shirts.
  
 
Flighty
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:42 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
I believe the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that those individuals responsible for unacceptable behavior in any fraternity are going to have been on that university campus even if there were no fraternities. There would still be drinking and there would still be rapes. Instead of a few guys in a frat house getting together and deciding to raise hell it would be a few guys in a dorm getting together and deciding to raise hell.

This is true Ken, but fraternities bring alumni influence directly into those activities. Nothing can out-last the money of rich alumni, which is a big part of how fraternities survive.

The influence of backward, traditionalist old alumni was palpable at my school, the fraternities and I think this is common. Faculty and administrators were battling these influences, but the fact was that alumni then started replacing trustees and chancellors until it was clear who was really in charge -- the richest alumni, the old frat boys.

I think the Greek organizations were mostly there to gratify old men's memories and mostly annoyed the campus and hurt a few young girls along the way. We should let kids build their own clubs. It should be about them.
 
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yyz717
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:39 am

Fraternities seem to thrive at US universities/colleges that focus on arts programs (ie, not much studying involved) or on older campuses with generations-old traditions where membership is based on connections. Whatever the reality, they seem to be an anachronism in our current world that hopefully is fading.

I went to one of Canada's top technical schools for my undergrad degree (U of Waterloo). Everyone I knew was simply too busy studying. The only very occasional frat member I met was in a light(er) arts program like psychology or philosophy, and apparently had time on their hands to belong to a "frat" along with all its nonsense.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
Quoting Jagflyer (Reply 4):
(and colleges in Canada do not have frats/sororities AFAIK)

I've never heard of any colleges with fraternities or sororities, but most universities do I believe.

"Colleges" has a different meaning in Canada. In the US, the term is used interchangeably with university. In Canada, it is not. Colleges in Canada refer to "community colleges" which are really just trade schools well below degree-granting universities in terms of academic prowess.
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Ken777
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:50 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 6):
"Sweet little girl"? Sorry, but if mommy and daddy are too naive to realize or accept the fact that at 18, you can do whatever you want, that's too bad.

Hard as it may be to believe, there are a lot of gals heading to class that aren't dreaming on shagging a long line of guys. There are a lot of gals that really don't want to get so drunk that they puke all over their room (or some guy's car). They want to get a decent education, go on safe dates and enjoy their college years.

There are also guys who are quite happy to date gals like that.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
That's like saying we should let the biker gangs be because instead of a large organized gang committing the crime

That position takes a very long bow.

How many guys in a dorm have to get together before they match an equal number of frat guys in terms of partying and drinking?

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
And then haze the shit out of them

I wasn't hated when I was a pledge, nor did I haze when I was an active member. It simply wasn't done - not even talked about. I have no issue with schools punishing individuals who harm others (which is what hazing is) and I have no problem with suspending organizations that are involved in hazing.

When you clear out the bums you can be left with good people going to college to learn and have some controlled level of partying.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
Where are these dorms where males and females shower together?

When I was in the Navy there was an impressive article of California colleges that had gone co-ed in the dorms. But that was in the days of free sex & cheap pot (or was it free pot and cheap sex?) - maybe things have changed, but it made a hell of a spread in Playboy.

Quoting lewis (Reply 13):
There is nothing Greek about any of this, except the random Greek letters they put outside their houses and on their t-shirts.

Normally the names of fraternities and sororities are a combination of Greek letters - hence the Greek identification.

Besides the formal Greek organizations there're also informal Greek organizations. I was in ΩΤΛ - a totally unorganized sorority/fraternity organization. No charter, no pledging - just decide you're a member and you are, no meeting except for those who bothered to make it to the picture taking for the yearbook. I think someone organized some t-shirts, which should have been justification for expulsion, but there was no by-laws so there was no process for expulsion.

BTW, ΩΤΛ stood for Out To Lunch and non-Greeks were just as welcome as Greeks.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
This is true Ken, but fraternities bring alumni influence directly into those activities. Nothing can out-last the money of rich alumni, which is a big part of how fraternities survive.

My bet is that for the last 100 years there have been Greek alums who have worked at universities around the country, including leadership positions. Being a Greek Alum does not result in being banned from associating from your, or any other, college or university.

Fraternities and sororities are looking for contributions to the chapter houses from time to time as current members are not going to be able to afford major renovations all by themselves. Many have trust funds that you can donate what you want to, even if it's $20 or $50.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 14):
Faculty and administrators were battling these influences, but the fact was that alumni then started replacing trustees and chancellors until it was clear who was really in charge -- the richest alumni, the old frat boys.

Except, of course, when the contact those same folks for donations to the University,
 
elbandgeek
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:16 am

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 10):
I went to a very small school (enrollment is usually around 1400 students). I believe there were 3 each of male and female Greek organizations. I failed to understand their existence, especially at a small school like me. We all pretty well knew each other anyways, went to the same parties, and could easily socialize in and out of class whenever desired. I didn't see the point of forking over a little extra money for structured friendship.

I go to a similarly small school and would argue the exact opposite. I didn't rush as a freshman and then dropped out and went to community college for a couple years before coming back and ended up joining a fraternity at that point and it was by far the best decision I've made in my academic career. We have 4 fraternities (albeit one that is scuzzy as hell and needs to go away), 3 sororities, and recently founded a new co-ed "fratority". I think the benefit of greek life on a smaller campus is actually greater because of the fact that people are more likely to join as a result of wanting to share the experience with people they've developed bonds with where at a huge university you're surrounded by so many people it's difficult to really makes those connections beforehand and you end up rushing for the "image" that the organization sells.
I think the one thing that does absolutely need to change throughout the whole Greek system though is that pledging needs to be eliminated everywhere. My fraternity was among the first to abolish it on a national level and I can see the effect of it just by comparing our chapter to the other houses on campus that still do it (including the one that says it doesn't but who are they kidding). We maintain the position that pledging doesn't just cause hazing, it is hazing in and of itself, because it forces new members to conform to some image that the existing members choose which just gets perpetuated year after year and you end up with the stereotypical frat boys that turn into rapists and alcoholics. Because new members in our chapter are accepted immediately as full and equal members, we end up not forcing them into a box and the entire chapter benefits from them being able to share their experiences.
I will admit, we are probably more of an exception than a rule as far as fraternities in general, but I still take a lot of issue with the people who are calling for them to just disappear because someone at another school who clearly isn't following the values their organization should be instilling in them shouldn't devalue the positive experience I've had in my chapter and with my brothers.
 
Osubuckeyes
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:09 pm

ASU is a good example of this, there are no fraternity houses, yet shenanigans still ensues. From what I have seen there is certainly a culture of fraternities creating a sense of entitlement to do stupid S***. I think there is also a huge double standard culture in the Greek system also. Get drunk, but if you get in trouble it's not on us. Have sex, if you get pregnant get out. Do drugs, if you O/D that's not our fault. It may not exist everywhere, but it certainly exists.

Sure they do good things in the community, but it has come to the point where some universities don't want to be liable for the bad PR, and liability.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 16):
California colleges that had gone co-ed in the dorms. But that was in the days of free sex & cheap pot (or was it free pot and cheap sex?) - maybe things have changed, but it made a hell of a spread in Playboy.

I lived in a co-ed dorm at two different universities. Separate bathrooms for M/F, and rarely a male and female paired up in one room. Sometimes on the weekends though the bathrooms turned co-ed in several different ways... Besides that it wasn't really a big deal. Though I have heard of some schools going to common use bathrooms, but I don't know if that is true.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 12):
I find that most who hate fraternities (and sororities) with a vengeance are usually ignorant as to their true nature, relying instead upon stereotypes and rumors for their opinions.

Many also form their opinion on how Greek life affects (or doesn't) their community.
 
bennett123
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:25 pm

What is the "Greek system"?.
 
slider
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:21 pm

I think the actions of WVU were grossly over-reactive and I find it disappointing that the actions of one house end up resulting in draconian actions against ALL Greeks.

It's an unacceptable state of being that hazing and such still exists. Some fraternities or sororities have organizational cultures that are, for lack of a better word, byzantine. However, most--and I'm confident when I say most--Greek organizations have turned the page from what would be construed as Animal House.

Most of this has happened simply out of society changing, but the business side of fraternities has also prompted major change because the cost of insurance became prohibitive. So much so that it took several "low risk" fraternities to band together and create an insurance trust. They self-police and the results have been tremendous.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
They're just clubs that mask their partying and other questionable activities with the odd charitable event in order to appear like an organization where students can network and contribute to the local community. But for those who have been to university anytime in the past decade, we know it's all BS.

Sounds like someone who didn't get in a fraternity.

This is ignorance, plain and simple.
 
CalTex
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:55 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 19):
What is the "Greek system"?

The Greek system is a group of social fraternities and sororities with Greek-letter names - Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and such. Students join these groups for networking, parties, and/or the opportunity to participate in organizational activities and make memories while at college. In order to get in, most fraternities have an initiation period lasting several weeks ("initiation", "pledging", etc.) which involves the class of prospective members ("pledges", "membership candidates", etc.) doing a number of difficult tasks to either (1) create memories and bonding opportunities, (2) learn about the fraternity, or (3) haze/humiliate themselves in order to entertain or impress the membership. (This is the root cause of the hazing incident in the original post.) Most if not all of the Greek groups support a philanthropy, such as cancer research or childhood literacy, so at least once a year you'll see a group holding a fundraiser or event to raise money for their philanthropy of choice.

That's the mainstream "Greek system." There are also non-Greek fraternities and sororities, many of cater to a specific niche (for example, members of the college bands or Hispanic students), as well as a large number of "Greek-letter honor societies" for students with high GPAs.
 
blueflyer
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:45 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 19):
What is the "Greek system"?

Student organizations that tried to create a legacy out of nothing by naming themselves after the Greek alphabet, because a student association called KS isn't really impressive, at least not until you pronounce it Kappa Sigma.

The irony is that they're also called fraternities and sororities, from the latin frater and soror.
 
Ken777
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:59 pm

Quoting elbandgeek (Reply 17):
We maintain the position that pledging doesn't just cause hazing, it is hazing in and of itself,

There are several valid reasons for pledging, the main one being that it provides time for both members and pledges to get to know each other over a semester and make a decision to make it permanent.

There are also basic tasks in a frat or sorority house that needs to be done - your 15 minute daily duty, like cleaning and buffing the floor in the dining room. I had no problem with that as a pledge, especially as the member in charge of assigning duties was very fair in rotating duties.

Quoting Slider (Reply 20):
I think the actions of WVU were grossly over-reactive and I find it disappointing that the actions of one house end up resulting in draconian actions against ALL Greeks.

In a way it sounds like the leadership at WVU did not experience the fraternity system as a student and cannot understand how they should go about resolving the problems and ensuring that the system continually improves.
 
WestJet747
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:43 pm

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:05 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 9):
I currently attend a Junior College with no fraternities or sororities and there are rapes, parties, alcohol poisonings and drug overdoses. So, let's ban all fraternities and sororities and that will solve the problem? Seems like another case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Posted before your comment:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 8):
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Basically, don't look for problems on campus to end if Greek programs are ended and the houses closed.

Who said they would end? It's about mitigating the exposure to the dangers inherent in these types of organizations.

--------------------------------------------------------

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 16):
How many guys in a dorm have to get together before they match an equal number of frat guys in terms of partying and drinking?

You seem to be hung up on the numbers. The numbers are irrelevant, frankly. It's the organizational and cultural aspect of them that is troubling. Five buds in a dorm room having beers is different than five guys with a brand/reputation to protect which involves questionable policies and mores.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 16):
Hard as it may be to believe, there are a lot of gals heading to class that aren't dreaming on shagging a long line of guys. There are a lot of gals that really don't want to get so drunk that they puke all over their room (or some guy's car). They want to get a decent education, go on safe dates and enjoy their college years.

There are also guys who are quite happy to date gals like that.

As an aside, my university has two blocks of townhouse-style residences that are designated "alcohol-free". Parents often have their kids live there because they don't want their little angels engaging in any disreputable or licentious acts. I'll let you what percentage of them actually turn out to be little angels and how many don't  
Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 18):
rarely a male and female paired up in one room.

Even that is unheard of at my alma mater. If the numbers work out that a male and female could be paired together, they'd likely just be given their own rooms.

All of the residences are co-ed, but a couple of them have it such that males and females are on alternating floors.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 12):
I find that most who hate fraternities (and sororities) with a vengeance are usually ignorant as to their true nature, relying instead upon stereotypes and rumors for their opinions.

"Hate with a vengeance" is quite the leap.

Quoting Slider (Reply 20):
Sounds like someone who didn't get in a fraternity.

This is ignorance, plain and simple.

For someone who had to apply and pay for comraderie, I don't think you're in much of a position to make that sort of judgment.
Flying refined.
 
slider
Posts: 7610
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:25 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 22):
Student organizations that tried to create a legacy out of nothing by naming themselves after the Greek alphabet, because a student association called KS isn't really impressive, at least not until you pronounce it Kappa Sigma.

The irony is that they're also called fraternities and sororities, from the latin frater and soror.

Greek organizations stateside predate the US, actually. They were debating clubs, to discuss the issues of the day, not dissimilar to a civic organization in many ways. They evolved from there but it's not merely some student org that named itself with Greek letters.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 23):
In a way it sounds like the leadership at WVU did not experience the fraternity system as a student and cannot understand how they should go about resolving the problems and ensuring that the system continually improves.

Hard to tell, outside looking in, but I think you might be onto something here. Such a drastic step and, most tellingly, an immediate one. No review period, no major investigation, no vetting or discussing with other houses, just WHAM, shut them all down.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 24):
For someone who had to apply and pay for comraderie, I don't think you're in much of a position to make that sort of judgment.

Aww, such butthurt.

Hey, you're entitled to your opinion and I'll also defend my position. My fraternity experience was one of the greatest decisions of my life. I was initially agnostic if not hostile to the idea of becoming Greek. But like the old chestnut goes, if I had to explain, you wouldn't understand.  
 
bhill
Posts: 1861
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:01 pm

I have never understood the use of these organizations...One attends school to LEARN...not socialize! Leave that shit behind in High School!! Spend more time doing the work and less time doing the socializing and one could 'prolly earn a Bachelors in 2-3 years rather than 4+....


And boot the NCAA out as well...nothing more than a farm for the professional sports organizations....a C average?
Carpe Pices
 
slider
Posts: 7610
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:56 pm

Quoting bhill (Reply 26):
One attends school to LEARN...not socialize!

All work and no play....

But Greek organizations, just like some other extracurriculars, are all there to help students become well rounded. The simple truth is you CANNOT just study 100% of the time. And if you did, by the time you get into the real world, what skills do you have?

Learning how to relate with people, especially a diverse group, is a necessary thing. Leadership skills, how to formulate arguments, get consensus, manage your time, prioritize tasks, etc.

How is that not important?

And what's wrong with socializing? Is that not also a life skill?
 
Ken777
Posts: 10119
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:21 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 24):
Five buds in a dorm room having beers is different than five guys with a brand/reputation to protect which involves questionable policies and mores.

Actually it's the same as those 5 guys in the dorm can be out the door just as fast as the 5 guys in a frat house. Police can be called to a dorm just as easily as they can be called to a frat house and being expelled from the university is an equally heavy hit. Maybe the fraternities spend a bit more time counseling freshmen than the guys in the dorm.

Quoting bhill (Reply 26):

I have never understood the use of these organizations...One attends school to LEARN...not socialize!

Surprise! Surprise! There may well be members who have the same major as you do, and have a year or so more experience in that school's department. Business and engineering are the two main majors these days for my old frat house and if someone has a problem with some of their studies there is probably some help in the house. There may also be some advice on which profs to avoid and which ones to take. It ain't all drinking and chasing women.
 
User avatar
Revelation
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RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:58 pm

Quoting tz757300 (Reply 1):
I don't see how they are needed. There are many organizations that students participate in on college campuses nationwide that provide just as many friend making, networking, college life experiences that do just fine without requiring the need for the hazing process and entitlements that many fraternities and sororities have.

A situation another person describes as networking another would describe as collaborating and a third would describe as cheating. One frat on campus seemed to be all about the 'collaboration'. They counted on the fact that many professors were lazy and gave very similar if not identical questions year after year, so they had an impressive stockpile of old exams and homework papers for the brothers to harvest.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):

That makes zero sense. Think about parents who are spending some big savings on their daughter going away to college. They want their daughter to be as safe in a women's dorm as possible, or in a sorority house if she joins. The last thing they want for their sweet little girl is to be in a mixed sex environment 24/7. They should be able to trust the university to provide some level of safety and privacy for girls who have no desire to take a shower with a dozen guys. Mixed sex dorms or Greek houses is not the way to go for most parents.

One of our new hires was saying how his dorm was co-ed by room, and it was normal to end up with a person of the other gender using the toilet or shower in the stall next to you. He said it took a bit of getting used to but it ended up closing the gender gap and built up mutual respect/comradeship instead of the usual tension between the sexes.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
I believe the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that those individuals responsible for unacceptable behavior in any fraternity are going to have been on that university campus even if there were no fraternities. There would still be drinking and there would still be rapes. Instead of a few guys in a frat house getting together and deciding to raise hell it would be a few guys in a dorm getting together and deciding to raise hell.

Kind of a strange argument. You want uni-sex dorms but don't want uni-sex frats?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
ltbewr
Topic Author
Posts: 15271
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:13 am

No doubt deaths from drinking, rape and damage to property happen inside dorms too. This week 2 males were arrested and being held on rape charges in a dorm on the campus of Ramapo (State) College here in New Jersey. Their mug shots and names were in the front of the local daily paper in print and on their webpage. Perhaps if more who were in involved with such crimes were arrested and made public, it might make some think twice before such criminal actions. Dorms also have a college employee manager that can and must take action, to call in the cops and take actions to reduce risks of rapes and criminal behaviors.

The problems for the "Greeks' is that they can help hide charges, make women say nothing, they may have members in the local or regional law enforcement and judiciary that can bury charges. Still that is becoming more difficult to do.

I think one of the reasons for the administrations of some colleges trying to end or reduce the presence of 'Greek' social organizations is to move away from the legal liability costs from criminal behaviors of their members. Many times they are officially affiliated and sanctioned with the schools so in a lawsuit the school could be made a party. That is what may bring the down on some campuses unless the schools and the Greek organizations make changes to reduce the risk factors, no hazing, no alcohol fueled parties, and make it clear that alumni boards and all members may face penalties for violations.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10119
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:26 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 30):
The problems for the "Greeks' is that they can help hide charges, make women say nothing, they may have members in the local or regional law enforcement and judiciary that can bury charges.

Really? After Sandusky I think it's clear that the Greek system isn't the only area of concern for a President of a University or College. Same with law enforcement and the courts. Sandusky changed a things a lot.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 30):
I think one of the reasons for the administrations of some colleges trying to end or reduce the presence of 'Greek' social organizations is to move away from the legal liability costs from criminal behaviors of their members.

And what about criminal behaviors from dorm residents or employees? Again, Sandusky has demonstrated that it's not just the Frat Guys that are causing problems - and employees generate a far higher level of liability than a student, or group of students.
 
slider
Posts: 7610
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:29 pm

Another big problem I have with this decision by WVU is that it, like much of the elitist educrat world, has taken a zero tolerance policy here.

I’ve long said that zero tolerance is simply an intellectually lazy way of schools to deal with things. That removes critical thinking, honest inquiry, and judgment. And in doing so, you set an example for kids and, in this case, young adults, that discretion, judgment, and reasoning (three of the things that a classically liberal education OUGHT to inculcate) mean nothing. It shows that guilt by association rules the day and that consequences are punitive and not rational.

It’s a troubling state of affairs, irrespective of what some people’s personal feelings about the Greek community may be.
 
Ken777
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:18 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 32):
It shows that guilt by association rules the day and that consequences are punitive and not rational.

And, of course, we could use that same guilt by association to shut down sport programs when, say, a football player, goes violent off of the field.
 
blueflyer
Posts: 4352
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:27 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 20):
I think the actions of WVU were grossly over-reactive and I find it disappointing that the actions of one house end up resulting in draconian actions against ALL Greeks.
Quoting Slider (Reply 25):
Hard to tell, outside looking in, but I think you might be onto something here. Such a drastic step and, most tellingly, an immediate one. No review period, no major investigation, no vetting or discussing with other houses, just WHAM, shut them all down.

Or perhaps this was the proverbial drop in the bucket. Not every incident makes the news, and WVU may just have had enough.

Case in point, a well-known university not far from my house nearly booted all Greeks over the past summer because the administration is getting tired of the party school reputation they have. In this case, the proverbial drop was one of the fraternities having a end-of-semester party a little too wild and causing six-digits worth of damage to their university housing that insurance isn't going to be paying for.
 
Stabilator
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:42 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:09 pm

Time to jump in and defend against the circle-jerk.

I joined a fraternity my Freshman year of college, and though I transfered schools, I am still in the fraternity. It was the best decision of my life, and helped me in personal ways I care not detail here. In both chapters, the men in my fraternity have been some of the best people I've met in college. Every year, sorority and fraternity philanthropies give back more to the community than any other student organization on campus. For example, this year, my fraternity alone raised $12k dollars for the local Gillette's children's hospital. A vast majority of other greek organizations also make similar contributions. While Greek life is filled with young men and women who like to party, to say these organizations provide no benefits to the University and community is false in the most literal sense of the word. There are bad apples that ruin it for many, but those people are dealt with. For example, a member of my fraternity was arrested after rioting a hockey game loss. He was kicked out for violating our "standard" of membership.

Rape allegations personally offend me; when I introduce myself and bring up that I am in a fraternity, a large percent of people snicker that I am a rapist.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 30):
The problems for the "Greeks' is that they can help hide charges, make women say nothing, they may have members in the local or regional law enforcement and judiciary that can bury charges. Still that is becoming more difficult to do.

What a sensationalist statement. I'd ask for facts, but I am sure you will not produce. I am about to say something that will be really unpopular with many people here. A victim is innocent until proven guilty, even in the case of rape. The evidence must exist to charge, convict, and imprison someone. I'd rather see a guilty rapist walk because not enough evidence exists, than to see an innocent man imprisoned because a woman can claim she was raped, without the required proof.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 29):
Kind of a strange argument. You want uni-sex dorms but don't want uni-sex frats?

Rev, uni-sex fraternities do exist. They are business fraternities rather than social (male or female only) fraternities.

In closing, I think a lot of people who aren't in greek life base their opinions on sensationalist news stories. Naturally, secret organizations are not open to outsiders, which draws large amounts of both skepticism and criticism due to lack of understanding. For better or worse, Greek life is here to stay.
So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
 
Osubuckeyes
Posts: 1877
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:05 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:52 pm

Quoting Stabilator (Reply 35):
Naturally, secret organizations are not open to outsiders, which draws large amounts of both skepticism and criticism due to lack of understanding.

I cannot speak for sororities, but fraternities are really not a "secret" organization. Any guy who has been to a state school and has participated in social life has a pretty good idea of what fraternities are about. Nationally I do think greek organizations get an unfair picture painted of them. Locally, I think most people are aware of the impact of greek life organizations in their community good and bad.
 
bhill
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 8:28 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:15 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 28):
Surprise! Surprise! There may well be members who have the same major as you do, and have a year or so more experience in that school's department. Business and engineering are the two main majors these days for my old frat house and if someone has a problem with some of their studies there is probably some help in the house. There may also be some advice on which profs to avoid and which ones to take. It ain't all drinking and chasing women.

The schools have tutors...free ones, that are paid. I did it...work study.....

And "Greek System" ......water sports....
Carpe Pices
 
blueflyer
Posts: 4352
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:58 pm

After WVU, it's UVA... Maybe it's the V that's to blame
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/...campus-rape-investigation-20141122
 
Ken777
Posts: 10119
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: The End For College Fraternities & Sororities?

Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:12 am

Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 36):
fraternities are really not a "secret" organizatio

A lot of fraternities (and I guess sororities) have their "secret mystics" that were written when the fraternity was formed - often in the 1800s. Nothing earth shattering - maybe a secret handshake. You are taught them when you are initiated and can easily forget them over time.

Quoting bhill (Reply 37):
The schools have tutors...free ones, that are paid.

So they are not really free as student tuition or "fees" are used to pay them - and probably pay them poorly.

Help in the house isn't always "on call" but others in the house who have taken a course may well help. Without an appointment.

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