There are exceptions but for the most part fraternities are elitist, exclusive, and privileged. They have nothing to do with higher education. And they’re periodically mired in scandal involving hazing (such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison frat’s degrading hazing); racism (the video of Sigma Alpha Epsilon members calling for the lynching of African-Americans); sexual assault (the University of Maryland frat brothers’ pro-rape emails, and allegations of drug dealing and sexual assault in a North Carolina State frat); degradation of women (Penn State fraternity’s secret Facebook page for sharing photos of nude passed out women); destructive drunkenness (University of Michigan frat brothers destroying a ski resort in a drunken rage). The list goes on, and this is just in the last few months.
They’re bro-culture systematized and glorified, so naturally they promote brutality and sexism.
Some say “boys will be boys” and if they’re not in a fraternity they’ll do all this somewhere else. Rubbish. A much-cited 2007 study shows fraternity members are 300% more likely to commit rape than non-affiliated students (this was the third study confirming the same data.)
What I’m saying. Boys don’t have to be like that, they’re not inherently like that, but shunt them into an organization built around bro-culture, and you get the expected result.
Some say I’m disregarding freedom of association, and that college students have a right to hang out with whomever they wish. Well, yes, but most fraternities depend on university recognition for direct subsidies such as land or buildings and indirect benefits such as tolerance of underage drinking.
Tssssss. Of course college students have a right to hang out with anyone they want to, but they don’t need designated buildings or screening processes or rituals. Fraternities are way more than a way to hang out with anyone you want to – and also less, since they exclude all but a handful of people.
A pox on them.