Fraternities lack respect, maturity, morality

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As the end of the year approaches and the current seniors are hearing back from the universities they applied to, housing applications are also being filled by prospective students for their first year at their new university.

Incoming students join their class Facebook group to meet their fellow classmates to room with next year, unless the Granite Bay High School student is going to Cal Poly or University of California at Santa Barbara, where an abundance of GBHS students go.

I have been on my own school’s class page and have noticed a similar pattern in many future students’ ‘get to know me’ post: the declaration “I plan to rush.”

At GBHS, fraternities are quite popular with students. Many even take to dressing like they’re in a frat every day to high school classes. It’s a popular route for students in college to meet new people and experience the college atmosphere.

I understand that getting involved in Greek life can promote college relationships and provide connections later in life, but with all the controversy coming from frats this past year, why has this popularity gone up?

At Oklahoma University a month ago, students were video taped singing a racist chant that went viral. At San Diego State, Greek life was suspended when fraternities threw sexual objects and eggs at advocates marching to raise awareness of sexual violence.

Fraternities are supposed to be a place where gentlemen build relationships and brotherhoods amongst each other. Another common issue among fraternities is the presence of rape culture on several campuses.

At the University of Virginia, there recently was an alleged rape of a girl that continues to be investigated in which a woman named Jackie was forced into sexual encounters with men at a fraternity party.

Whether these claims turn out to be true, this is clearly a chronic problem with fraternities, several of which have had issues in the past that result in suspensions and expulsions.

At Arizona State University, a fraternity was removed from campus because they hosted a ‘black party’ on Martin Luther King Day where the fraternity members – a majority of them white – dressed like African American gang members.

Another issue at ASU (and at most frats) is irresponsible alcohol consumption. In one incident, a student was found in a hospital lobby with a Post-it note attached saying “I’ve been drinking and I need help.” That same fraternity also got in trouble when a brother of theirs drowned in a river after having drank more than three times the legal limit.

Do I believe all fraternities are bad influences? No. Fraternities are easy ways to make new friends at schools where you don’t know anyone and immerse yourself into the school. However, it seems people are deciding schools with greek life being the main reason why they want to go to certain schools. Students are hardly focussing on the educational part of applying to schools. Students don’t even know if the school has the major they are planning on studying.

Many schools that students are applying to because of their greek life also have inferior academics compared to other schools with either equal or slightly worse greek life. College is a place to learn about yourself, what you want to do with your life and the career you anticipate to have.

To say you want to go to a school with poor academics, ironically, for its academics, is a lie. Students want to go to a four year university without the commitment of studying at a four year university. The Greek life is all the student focusses on and that is not all that college is about.

Even with all the issues common in fraternities from death, racism, sexual assault, trespassing, alcohol poisoning, etc. involvement in fraternities has grown almost four percent since 2003 with a spike from 2010 to now.

These are actions that don’t represent the gentlemen brothership that fraternities were based on.

So if you are picking between a few schools, at least research your school’s academics and majors and how the school will influence your professional career. And if fraternity life is what you desire, think twice before you rush or choose wisely because you might be kicked off campus within a year or spend your first semester in the hospital.

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