I wanted to write a post in regards to a few (ok several) recent posts over FSL organizations being removed from campus for their stupidity. Let me be clear, if you are a member of a Greek organization and you think these actions are ok, then you are supporting what I and many others would refer to as “stupid” actions. All of this came right beside the announcement that Amherst college banning students from joining fraternities and Wesleyan requiring fraternities to go co-ed. I put these articles before friends and asked for their opinions. One (a brother of mine) stated that he did not think that public funds should be used to support these organizations or the offices that work with them. Now for starters, this is the field I work in, research, and hope to continue to work in. But based on the actions of these organizations, I have to agree with him.
We have spent too much time creating and letting frats exist and frat boys join rather than being Fraternities and helping those frat boys become Fraternity Men. Here is why this is an issue. Each Fraternity and Sorority was founded on a cause. They have a purpose (look at their mottoes) or at least they are supposed to. Yet when they become frats, that difference is eliminated. They become about parties, sex, and hazing; maintaining the masculine structure. And they all become the same, just different letters trying to cover it up. While I do not believe that every student should have the same experience or even that everyone of my brothers should have the same experience as me, I do think that frats have no place in creating success. They create chaos. Do each of us have a bit of frat in us? Perhaps. Should that piece define us or our organizations? Not even remotely. Yet we let them.
These articles do not, however, note all the good that these organizations orchestrate their members into doing. This has been my big debate in my work, the balance between helping students develop and letting frats get away with destroying fraternity life not to mention all of the other chaos they represent (sexual assault, alcohol, hazing, classism, racism, etc).
Which of these is a frat and which is a fraternity? Where is the balance?
So my request is this, if you are Greek, demonstrate your pride and step into that role. Don’t let others tarnish your letters.