As portrayed in the 1978 hit film Animal House. college fraternities/sororities are a hotbed of inordinate imbibing. insouciant sex. hooliganism. and by and large licentious behaviour. But. in existent life. unlike the film. the consequences of such behavior are barely absurd. Even though the countrywide rank in both fraternities and sororities are at an all clip high of 350. 000 members. fraternities and sororities are still having rough unfavorable judgment from university leaders and civic governments. In the face of several recent incidents. fraternity and sorority behaviours can no longer be viewed as harmless school male child or school girl high high jinxs. but must be seen for what it genuinely is. a unsafe menace to the lives of guiltless pupils.

At the centre of the contention is the job of hazing. an induction rite that has been about for every bit long as the fraternities and sororities themselves. Hazing occurs when brothers and sisters ( largely brothers ) physically or mentally abuse the pledges that are campaigners for rank. When misss normally pledge. they are sometimes frequently commanded to imbibe overly. look in lean outfits and theoretical account for the large brothers as they were told that a portion of their organic structure needed work. They were besides woken up to run to the food market shop on absurd late-night errands for sisters. Most people become so disillusioned with the whole sorority and fraternity system that they may experience the demand to retreat their pledges.

Fortunately. most people are non physically harmed by the hazing procedure. but other pledges have non been so fortunate. For Example. at Long Island University. a pledge was hospitalized with broken ribs after being beaten by brothers who acted in the name of an induction tradition. ( American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Volume 20. Issue 3. 228-233 ) Besides. a pledge at Oklahoma State University claimed that brothers tried to construct “unity through terror” by coercing him to digest hours of mortifying unfavorable judgment. including sarcastic onslaughts on his intelligence. expressions and personality. Furthermore. the Phi Gamma Deltas or Fijis at Arizona State. often forced pledges to purge and on a regular basis interrupted their slumber by agitating them during the dark.

At North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. an Omega Psi Phi member was convicted on seven counts of assaults with a deathly arm after take parting in his fraternity’s “Turn Back Night. ” During this ill-famed Omega tradition. pledges were treated to a repast of Canis familiaris nutrient and inexpensive vino. several paddling. and midnight trip to a dumbly wooded country. far from the campus. where they were wantonnesss and told to happen their manner place. At Chopin State University in Baltimore. a pledge took a fraternity to tribunal after his flesh was branded with a Grecian insignia. ( World Wide Web. stophazing. org )

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Equally ugly as these incidents may look. there have been others with much more serious incidents and effects that have occurred. For case. in February of 2002. a Rutgers University fresher died after an initiation ceremonial at the Lambda Chi house. At the order and bid of his shortly -to -be brothers. James Callahan. aged 18. drank so much spirits that he collapsed. harmonizing to Eileen Stevens. President of C. H. U. C. K. ( Committee to Halt Useless College Killings ) and the female parent of eldest boy Chuck Stenzel whom the commission is named ; Chuck died horrifically at an Alfred University hazing. while plighting Klan Alpine.

His decease occurred on Taping Night. the first twenty-four hours of plighting. Wrongs of Passage. ( 1-140 ) . Alfred University subsequently experienced the decease of a Zeta Beta Tau member who committed self-destruction after his brothers beat him for uncovering hazing secrets to another Zeta Beta Tau chapter at Syracuse University. Forty-three deceases of this nature have occurred since 2003. Broken Pledges ( 1-140 ) this is a terrifyingly high monetary value to pay for the care of useless butch traditions.

Harmonizing to the research presented by Hank Nuwer ( 1999-2002 ) . journalist and writer of several books related to hazing such as Wrongs of Passage. ( 1-140 ) and Broken Pledges ( 1-40 ) . hazing have been associated with more than 50 deceases in college fraternities and sororities and countless more physical hurts including palsy. non to advert the annihilating emotional effects that can ensue for so many immature work forces and adult females.

Although non every bit unsafe as hazing. the job of racism among fraternities and sororities are besides a turning job. At the University of Southern California. in 2003. members of a rival fraternity spray painted anti-semitic mottos on the pavement in forepart of a Judaic fraternity house. In another scandalous episode. at Oklahoma State University. Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers were reprimanded after keeping a “plantation party. ” during which several members masqueraded as black slaves. ( Inside Greek U: Fraternities. Sororities and the Pursuit of Pleasure. Power and Prestige 1-125 ) . Kappa Alpha chapters. traditionally strong in the Southeast. keep “Old South” parties yearly.

At these parties. females dress as southern belles while the K. A. s Don Confederate Army uniforms in a satirical reenactment of the yearss when bondage prevailed. A Fiji Island party at the University of Wisconsin was halted after college functionaries deemed the tropical attire and black make-up worn by the brothers as racially violative. Similarly. the Delta Kappa Epsilon at Louisiana’s Tulane University blackened their faces during the 30 one-year “Debut Tramp” Parade. Then. at a party following this event. brothers transporting torches allegedly attack several black adult females and rupture apart their vesture while shouting racist names.

In 2002. at the University of Alabama. I witnessed a campus broad fad over a racialist incident that involved the fraternities. When a black sorority was allowed to busy a house on the antecedently all white sorority row. some pupils reacted by firing crosses on the lawn of that house. The individuality of the perpetrators has ne’er been disclosed. but their behaviour is declarative of the racialist attitudes of the bulk of brothers in Tuscaloosa. This point is underscored by the disparity in the size of the houses of white and black fraternities and sororities. Whereas white fraternity brothers and sisters dwell in centrally located columned houses with manicured lawns. inkinesss are relegated to tiny. decrepit edifices out in the forests.

Although elusive racialist attitudes within fraternities and sororities may be difficult to command. blatantly condemnable activities should be eradicated. All civilised Americans must rally to shut any fraternity and sororities exhibiting the slightest inclination toward inhuman treatment. racism. or any other barbarian behaviour. We must take a firm stand on a rigorous codification of decency in fraternity and sorority activities. In 2002. fortuitously the Alpha Tau Omega at the University of Georgia was expelled from the campus. after a immature adult female was sexually abused in their fraternity house. This immature adult female woke up bare. in the cellar of the fraternity house after an all dark party with fraternity supplied liquor.

Her household sued the university for amendss and won. Besides. at the University of Illinois. place of the nation’s most active fraternity system-with 52 houses and 3. 500 members-two brothers were accused of sexually assailing a 15 twelvemonth old miss who happened to be at a pre-football game party at the Lambda Chi Alpha house. Furthermore. the university wellness centre has reported that over half of the 25 raped victims they advocate each semester are raped by fraternity members. ( Center for the Study of College Fraternity. 2005 ) . The fact that these instances are being taken to tribunal is a good mark. bespeaking that some people are so outraged that they are no longer willing to cover up for the chesty criminalism of certain fraternities. Concern citizens do non desire fraternities to go the genteelness land for single. racialist. or sexual force.

Lest the Grecian letters on fraternity Jerseies be replaced by prison Numberss. fraternities merely must clean up their act. To their recognition. some are presently making so by replacing fraternity buffooneries with charity benefits. such as dance competitions and endurance contest featuring events. Other are sing nursing places and restituting bedraggled houses for the hapless. The national leading of eight black fraternities. which had peculiar serious jobs with hazing and attendant cases. late went a measure farther by censoring the full pledge system.

How fraternities will choose new members is non known. but Georgia State’s Omega Psi Phi chapter offers a possible theoretical account. This chapter chooses prospective brothers based on the standards of high academic accomplishment and selfless community service. ( National Study of Student Hazing by Professor Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden from the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development. 2008 ) . Pressure for fraternity reform is coming from province legislative assemblies. every bit good. Twenty-eight provinces including Georgia have enacted anti-hazing statute law. In order to maintain control of the fraternities. governments now must purely implement these Torahs.

The greatest duty lies with the universities themselves. Some are reacting to it ; others are flying from it. Nevertheless. statistics form a hopeful image. Whereas in 1985. harmonizing to the Center for the Study of College Fraternity. merely 15 per centum of the college and universities claimed duty for their fraternities. in 1986 that figure climbed to 32 per centum and in 2004 that figure has climbed to 42 per centum. In 2006. about 45 per centum of the schools had a individualistic policy toward their “Greeks. ” Today more and more universities are enforcing rigorous criterions on their fraternities.

I am non reasoning for the dismantlement of fraternities/sororities. because these organisations can supply an of import function-that of conveying together college fresher and giving them a support group and some womb-to-tomb friendly relationships. The fraternities and sororities as a positive and productive organisation is one thing ; but. being a societal organisation that patrons violent and lurid Acts of the Apostless is rather another. At this clip more purely enforced ordinances by all involved parties is needed to guarantee that no more guiltless people are hurt by the careless “Greek” life style.

Plants Cited

Wrongs of Passage by Hank Nuwer ( 1-140 ) 1999

Broken Pledges by Hank Nuwer ( 1-40 ) 2001

Inside Grecian Uracil: Fraternities. Sororities and the Pursuit of Pleasure. and Prestige by Alan D. Desantis 2007

National Study of Student Hazing by Professor Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden from the University of Maine’s College of Education and Human Development. 2008

Center for the Study of College Fraternity. 2005

World Wide Web. stophazing. org ( 1998-2005 )


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