Probably most of us have either seen the classic John Belushi movie Animal House or at least know about it. While it depicts Greek life on a college campus in a humorous way, there are some scary realities associated with fraternities that involve heavy alcohol and drug use. While of course it is not the case for all chapters of fraternities and sororities, it is definitely a common theme observed on campuses around the country.
There have been two recent deaths connected to fraternity activities on two major universities that have recently drawn national attention. In September, a young man died in an alleged hazing incident at LSU in Baton Rouge, where an autopsy showed is blood alcohol level was .495 – an astronomically high number. His tragic death led to multiple arrests, and the university suspended all Greek activities indefinitely.
Another tragedy struck this past week when a student died at FSU in Tallahassee, also resulting in the indefinite suspension of fraternities and sororities. Florida State University’s president, John Thrasher stated, “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university. There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.”
Before someone dismisses these horrible incidents as rare accidents, a recent article outlined some of the troubling behavior connected to Greek activities at LSU, showing repeated negligent behavior filled with intentionally inflicting harm on fellow students through forced drinking and other abuses.
These behaviors point to a much larger problem in our current American culture – a trend in degradation of others and rampant substance abuse fostered by college campuses around the country. Although no college condones such behavior openly, they all know it exists – especially among fraternities – and most do very little to stop it. These clubs also often promote the idea of an elitist mentality where protecting one’s “brothers” is more important than doing the right thing in life.
If it seems like we’re picking on fraternities – it’s because we are. Despite the assumption that most Greek activities are so dangerous, there is definitely plenty of evidence to prove that enough is enough.