Rush week and fraternity parties can be some of the most exciting parts of a young college student’s life if events are safe. Greek life in college creates opportunities for students to make new friends and fit in; however, both sororities and fraternities have become controversial for their affiliation with hazing and sexual assault. These major issues are why Greek life on campuses should be banned in order to protect the safety of students.
One of the biggest problems regarding Greek life is the hazing of pledges. According to Bestcolleges, hazing is defined as “a ritual that involves risk, pain and harm, typically as part of initiation into a group.” Hazing can include everything from humiliating new recruits to physical punishments, such as assault or forced consumption of illicit substances. While the level of danger depends on the ritual or challenge, the majority of hazing incidents involve irresponsible—and sometimes fatal—consumption of alcohol. Alcohol use is the leading form of hazing and also the leading cause of death in hazing incidents in the United States.
Hazing has become more common in recent years. According to Safetymanagement, 73% of students involved in social fraternities and sororities have been hazed, 26% of whom said that it included alcohol consumption. Students often feel pressured to drink as much as possible in a very short amount of time—an activity that is extremely dangerous and, for those under 21, illegal.
Additionally, according to Franklin College, there have been over 200 hazing deaths across the United States since 1838, 40 being between 2007 and 2017. Because of the casualties that fraternities and sororities cause, it is the duty of colleges to shut down Greek life to prevent the endangerment of students.
Greek organizations throughout the United States also have a history of sexual assault. According to The Guardian, fraternity members are 300% more likely to be perpetrators of sexual assault than non-fraternity members, leading to almost one in five women being sexually assaulted on campuses today. Furthermore, these rapists are often barely held accountable for their actions, and sometimes not at all. Brock Turner, a Stanford student who brutally raped a female student behind a dumpster, was sentenced to only three months in prison, the Los Angeles Times reported. Women in sororities are also 74% more likely to be sexually assaulted than women not in sororities, Students4sc explained. This reinforces the point that neither fraternities nor sororities promote safe and healthy environments for college students.
Although Greek life provides opportunities for students to make lifelong connections and build a social network, it is important to remember the dangers that sororities and fraternities can present. Atrocities like hazing and sexual assault need to be taken seriously, especially when lives are at risk, and it is up to college administrators to shut down Greek life in order to ensure safety for all of their students.