By Christopher Woodside
Class of 2016, Politics
Both in media and in real life, there is perhaps no more stereotypical college story than that of the “frat boy”, seeing to drink more than he probably should and sleeping with the most women than his fellow brothers. The reality is that these fraternities (with the possible exception of service fraternities) require members to go through humiliating and sometimes dangerous hazing to join, promote a culture of excessive drinking and drug use, and most dangerously, rape and sexual assault. For these reasons, CUA should take the lead and be an example to other colleges to permanently ban Greek life from our campus.
As someone who is not a member of the fraternities here at CUA, I can not claim to know what exact behaviors they partake in, particularly when it comes to any hazing that may or may not happen during initiation. What I can speak to is the culture of fraternities that may not exist as explicitly here at CUA, but which has claimed the culture of college campuses across the country. College students both in and out of fraternities drink too much, but a fraternity provides an atmosphere where drinking can be seen as an obligation and even a competition to see who can down the most “jungle juice.” Perhaps we could say that this drinking in and of itself is not the most dangerous thing college students will do if engaged in safely and with friends to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Possibly. But what this binge drinking culture leads to is one that has affected CUA directly (though not necessarily exclusively with frats) and college campuses around the country.
CUA is one of the schools that the Obama administration announced they were investigating for possible mishandling of sexual assault cases. Regardless of if these cases involved frat members, this culture of sexual assault needs to be curbed at CUA. The facts and numbers show that as long as CUA continues to support fraternities, that this will be impossible. Members of a fraternity are up to three times as likely to commit sexual assault than college undergrads who are not part of a fraternity. This is not just a freak accident or a few bad apples. This is the result of an indoctrinating culture that promotes these vices that are not unique to CUA. CUA should do the right thing and end the Greek life tradition here at CUA for the safety of the students. Universities are culpable for the fraternities historic ability to create a hostile climate for female college students, and its time they have done something to address it.