A recent letter sent to students at Penn State from university President Eric J. Barron discussed issues the university has faced with its Greek Life and ways they have tried to counteract it to no avail, in most cases. These issues with fraternities and sororities are not limited to Penn State. They are nationwide.
These issues have been escalating year after year, and the colleges are handcuffed because Greek Life houses are usually off campus and not governed by the school or university police. This makes it more difficult for campus members to ensure student safety.
Barron stated in the letter, “If new rules can just be ignored, or behavior just goes underground, and if there is no willingness to recognize the adverse impact of excessive drinking, hazing, and sexual assault, then is there any hope?”
The future of Greek Life is unclear. It seems like each day there is a growing number of people who disapprove of Greek Life.
Schools can stop their sponsorship with any Greek Life chapter that violates rules put in place, but when all is said and done, these members are adults and should be able to watch over themselves without schools breathing down their necks.
This is where issues arise, as well as why fraternities and sororities are viewed in such a bad light by most, even if the backbone of Greek Life is the volunteering and philanthropy they promote within their respective communities.
Every day there are Greek Life events at Oswego State, lining the Marano Campus Center halls, tabling for causes they are attempting to raise money or awareness for. Greek Life should be known for this, not the ugly baby it has birthed. One cannot just forget the horrible instances of sexual assault, hazing, and even death, however, that have stemmed from fraternities and sororities.
Universities and colleges should not have to put forth all this extra effort to patrol what goes on in Greek Life houses. Somewhere, somehow, the brothers and sisters must take it upon themselves to stop all of this negative attention.
People like to have a good time and Greek Life offers places for people to find others they can form lifelong relationships with. That should not be an issue, but more often than not, these frat parties, mixers, or anything else that goes on, get out of hand.
There is no easy fix for this. There is no cut-and-dry solution. Universities can do all they want to counteract this, but the simple fact is that Greek Life chapters can go underground and ignore any new sanction or rule imposed if they please.
The leaders of Greek Life need to take it upon themselves before all hope is gone for the future of their current fraternity or sorority. Soon it may be too late, which could spell the end of Greek Life as a whole. There are so many positives to these organizations, but as it stands now, the negatives heavily outweigh those positives.