Colleges Confronting Bad Image of Fraternities

Ed+Sheneman+captures+the+fraternity+image+problem.

Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Ed Sheneman captures the fraternity image problem.

Z Goodman, Staff Reporter

Fraternities are social organizations on many college campuses where the members share a common interest. One of the first fraternities in America was founded in 1775 at William and Mary college in Virginia. The fraternities expanded and more were created all over the country using common Greek letters such as “Phi” and “Kappa”. However what is a fraternity really about? More often than not when fraternities are mentioned the connotations are negative. Have fraternities gone from a positive aspect of the college community to just rowdy groups of college men hazing, drinking, and being reckless?

In March of this year Sigma Alpha Epsilon of Oklahoma University  suspended for their racist chants. They loudly chanted “There will be never be n***** in SAE, you hang him from a tree but he can never sign with me.”(CNN) These chants were obviously viewed as unacceptable and corrective action was taken. However, this is just another situation that taints the public’s perception of fraternities. As reported by the Penn Live newspaper, fraternity Kappa Delta Rho was in hot water as a result of 143 members failing to report sexual assaults where in most cases the females who were recorded or had explicit photos taken of them were unconscious and under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The images were uploaded to a Facebook account which only the fraternity members had access to. This type of behavior is what many people see or think of when they hear the word “fraternity”.

Hazing, or “the imposition of strenuous,often humiliating, tasks as a part of a program rigorous physical training and initiation,” has and still continues to be a large part of “Frat Life.” Some of these rituals can end in death or serious injury to the people participating or in the case of of Indiana University’s frat Alpha Tau Omega, suspension from the university. The pledges were required to perform a sex act on an unidentified female as a means of initiation. The video was recorded on a smart phone and leaked (Washington Post).

It is clear that the image of fraternities has drastically changed for the worst. It has even gone as far that when fraternities are googled search you don’t have to go far to find a news article written on the bad behavior that one of the chapters are indulging in. Rarely do others have positive things to say about fraternities and many believe that they should just be gotten rid of all together. Alexandra Robbins states that “Fraternity misbehavior not only puts other students at risk, it also endangers the members themselves.” Fraternities generally engage in activities such as binge drinking, hazing, and a string of other things that could not only damage themselves, but go even further. The reckless behavior that fraternities engage in all over the country has painted nothing but a negative perception of the organizations.