In the wake of the recent death of a 20-year old student from Florida State University (FSU), the university’s president indefinitely suspended all Greek life activities. The FSU pledge at Pi Kappa Phi was found in an off-campus fraternity house the morning after a party and officials say alcohol seems to have been involved as they await an autopsy.
With pledge season in full swing on campuses across the nation, this tragic event raises serious concerns about Greek life. In order to prevent more tragedies like this one from occurring, Greek life is in need of drastic reformation.
While this story is both disturbing and heartbreaking, it is sadly not the first time a fraternity member has been lost due to events of hazing, alcohol or drug overdoses. Every time a case like this happens, there is an outcry of sadness for the victim and support for the family and friends. There clearly has not been enough change, however, as these events continue to happen on college campuses across the nation.
While Greek life does stand for a message of honor and leadership and indeed provides students with positive opportunities, there is a huge necessity for regulations. Regulations should be set into place by chapter presidents and consequences should be set into place for members who do not follow said regulations.
Hazing methods involving drugs or alcohol that have caused tremendous harm have been a part of Greek culture for decades, but the hazing that many fraternities use to initiate members must be abolished. There are bigger things than tradition at stake.
According to Harvard public-health research, 86 percent of men living in fraternity houses binge on alcohol, which is twice the level of those who live elsewhere. A survey conducted by the University of Maine reports that three-quarters of fraternity members have been hazed in a manner that forces them to drink alcohol until the point of unconsciousness. These findings are staggering, but if nothing is done, the number of incidents will continue to grow.
Greek life has grown increasingly popular among college students in the last decade. Fraternity involvement has skyrocketed by over 50 percent, as reported by the North American Interfraternity Conference, and will continue to grow in coming years. Measures to cut down on hazing and drinking will protect students from danger and will change the way many fraternity systems are viewed.
In order to actually incite a change, more guidance must be prevalent in all Greek life and more rules need to be put in place. The privilege of being in a fraternity comes with responsibility, and responsibility needs to be taken now more than ever.
Fraternities everywhere claim they provide their members with opportunities to expand their horizons and build on quality connections. In order to maintain that claim, they must seize this opportunity to change their path and work toward providing a safer experience, one free of hazing.
Samantha Moffett is a sophomore majoring in mass communication.