Before I came to college the only thing that I knew about college fraternities, were stories that my dad told me about his fraternity, and the movie Animal House. Since my time at Indiana University I have grown to understand the full aspects of college fraternities and Greek life as a whole. However, in recent years there has been growing support to shut down and end all college fraternities based on instances by a few chapters at various colleges.
Many people view fraternities as being “elitist” due to their low rate of inclusion. They believe that all fraternities do is abuse alcohol and drugs, cause havoc on campus’s, and are the main culprits of sexual assault. Currently there are at least 12,000 fraternity chapters at around 800 colleges, with at least 750,000 undergraduates in a fraternity (. As a whole, chapters raise over $20 million for philanthropic causes.
Perhaps the main argument against fraternities, is the notion that there is a higher chance of sexual assault happening at a fraternity than not. The problem with that is sexual assault and making a case against a possible assaulter, is that its a very grey zone that all comes down to he said she said. However, more often than not people take the side against the fraternity because of this growing stigma. The media plays a huge role in this by talking about the negatives of fraternities, rather than the positives of what they do. On November 9, 2012, Rolling Stones Magazine published an article about a rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. During the 3 years after the article was published, it turns out the story was made up for whatever reason by growing evidence against the accuser. But regardless, the school shut down Greek life temporarily without reviewing all of the evidence or even questioning the fraternity.
I am involved in a fraternity at IU and know that almost every chapter is involved in MARS, Men Against Rape and Sexual assault. This organization was created to raise awareness for fraternity men against sexual assault by explaining the signs, what is consent, and how to deal with it if it happens. However, one night, at a rush event, a kid broke into a brothers room and sexually assaulted a girl. Being the responsible men that we are, we did everything right by calling the police and filing the report to IU. But even though no one in our chapter committed the crime we still were punished, while the culprit got off scot free.
All in all, Greek life is hugely skewed against fraternities because either people envy the success of fraternity men, or believe that they are evil in one way or another. Rather than showing or talking about the negatives, society as a whole should look more into the positives that fraternities bring to not only individuals, but schools and the community as a whole. But I know that no matter what, someone will only see the bad regardless if there is significantly more good.