Many students look forward to college for the experience beyond the classroom—this can include participating in extracurricular clubs or organizations, such as the student newspaper or the baseball team. Students often meet friends and form lifelong bonds with each other. One quintessential part of college life is the fraternity/sorority experience. Countless movies tell the story of wide-eyed freshmen pledging, upperclassmen partying, and more. However, the current national debate tells a different story. Students are arguing to abolish fraternities and sororities. Let's dive a bit into that.
Current National Conversation
Beginning in fall 2020, students at more than 20 colleges and universities across the United States have been calling for Greek organizations to be dismantled. Often these protests have been spurred by an allegation of sexual assault—or several allegations. Students are demanding that sorority and fraternity culture be held accountable for what many students believe is an increased rate of sexual violence and assault.
The Chronicle reported on protests at Northwestern University, Syracuse University, and UMass at Amherst, among other colleges.
Although student support seems strong for shutting down Greek life, experts have varied opinions about whether or not this will actually result in a lower incidence of sexual assault, harassment, and hazing. Sara McMahon, director of Rutgers University at New Brunswick, pointed out to The Chronicle that research on the specific relationship between individuals who belong to fraternities and sexual aggression is not clear cut.
Additionally, “some research supports the fraternity advocates' claims. A study of 1,600 fraternity and sorority chapters by Penn State's Piazza Center found that 80 percent of chapters have no history of disciplinary violations and that a majority of members have positive experiences in the organizations.”
With such conflicting perspectives, it's hard to know what the outcome will be for Greek organizations. In our next post, we'll take a look at some potential solutions.
Hazing and Sexual Misconduct Defense
Several cases across the nation have involved multiple students from a single chapter—in certain instances, this can result in the chapter being penalized by the university or college.
An attorney-advisor who understands the university system can help ensure that your fraternity or sorority faces the least damaging repercussions. The college or university will most likely be focused on their reputation and damage control. Having an attorney-advisor dedicated to your chapter's best interests can prove invaluable, especially with something as complex as fraternity or sorority defense.
Experienced Fraternity and Sorority Attorney-Advisor
Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have assisted countless students across the nation in fraternity organization defense over many years. If your organization is facing allegations of hazing or sexual misconduct, he can help your chapter understand what the best steps to follow are. Let him fight by your chapter's side. Call today at 888.535.3686 or reach out to us online.