By Mason Steinberg
College is synonymous with Fraternities and Sororities for some students. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in deaths due to hazing and binge drinking. In a Fraternity or Sorority, pledges are often forced to partake in excessive drinking, as well as other life threatening activities, such as drunk driving and daredevil stunts. Many of the acts the pledges are forced to complete humiliate them and often go against all of the good values that the Sororities and Fraternities were founded on. The good will Fraternities and Sororities were originally founded on have been replaced with insensitive and dangerous behavior. In 2016 alone, there were 67 Fraternities suspended, and four deaths attributed to hazing. The frequency of hazing related deaths has alarmed school administrators and left parents searching for answers.
The most recent Hazing related death occurred on November 3rd at Florida State University. Andrew Coffey, 20, a fraternity pledge was found dead in a home off campus in Tallahassee on Friday morning.This has caused the university to indefinitely suspend all Greek life on campus. University President John Thrasher said, “I want to send a serious message, I really do,” he said. “We’ve got a serious problem.” The hope is to end the indefinite suspension as student leaders will meet with school administrators to put rules in place to prevent any more deaths.
Similar actions have been taken by schools after hazing deaths at large campuses such as Penn State. Many schools try to stop negative behavior before it causes something as serious as a student to lose their life by suspending specific fraternities and sororities or expelling students off campus. However, these strategies have failed, as incidents have occurred at a record pace. The fear among school administrators and parents is that these tragedies will continue to occur until serious action is taken to change the culture around Fraternities and Sororities.
After every incident schools and parents around the country hope it will inspire change to prevent another catastrophe. Both Sororities and Fraternities have long been beneficial for their members. Members have friends for life and can build connections that can help them find jobs when they get out of college. Many of the negative stereotypes about Sororities and Fraternities have caused much of the country to forget the positives that comes with them. Hopefully, with cooperation between students and administrators Sororities and Fraternities can get back to their positive values and prevent any more tragedies from occurring.