The Problems With Fraternities and Sororities

A sorority dressed in offensive Mexican stereotypes at a party. Source:

Fraternities have been around since the early 1800s and continue to be a huge pinnacle in today’s college life. Growing up, many children would watch movies/shows which depicted fraternities and sororities as fun and welcoming places. In reality, fraternities and sororities do more harm than good to colleges all over America. A few of the many problems we can see include racism, misogyny, and sexism.

The initiation process is just the start of the many reasons these associations are wrong and dangerous. The pledging process may take a few weeks, and in some instances, years. Not only can it be a long journey, but it can also become very violent and dangerous. Some fraternities indulge in an activity known as hazing. Hazing is a part of the pledging portion of initiation in some fraternities. There are said to be three forms of hazing: violent, subtle, and harassing. Some hazing could include not letting pledges take showers or sleep, forcing pledges to perform sexually degrading skills, force binge drink, beatings, etc. Although every national college with a Greek system has banned hazing, fraternities still find ways to incorporate it into their pledging process.

Pledges going through the hazing part of initiation.

A common problem that arises from many fraternities is misogyny. Many fraternity members have been reported for sexually assaulting and harassing women on campus. 

“Fraternities don’t just tolerate misogyny, they celebrate it.” Marie Claire stated. 

Colleges pay little to no attention to these accusations by playing it off as boys are young and dumb. By shrugging these problems off, it gives fraternity members more power to do as they please with no worry of facing repercussions. One report of sexual assault and rape was made by sorority member, Chelsea Engel from the University of South Florida. 

I was terrified to speak up because I knew he had the support of the Greek community and I did not … I spoke to him about what happened and he claimed that I must be misremembering things, as he claimed it was consensual,” Engel said in a tweet.

Like Engel, many girls all over the country are scared to speak up about the terrifying experiences they have experienced from fraternity members.

There have also been numerous reports of racism within sororities and fraternities. Greek organizations are mostly full of upper-class white students with little to no diversity. In 2017 at a fraternity in Baylor University, students dressed as offensive Mexican stereotypes and in brown-face. At the University of Oklahoma, a video of a fraternity was leaked that included students happily singing a very racist song.

There have been apologies made by these fraternities and sororities, but they only address an individual problem, not a national one, and continue to cause problems within colleges.