Perspective of a fraternity president: A misguided reputation

In recent years, it is true that some groups of men have committed severely damaging actions to the reputation of Greek life and attached an ominous cloud of doubt to the word “fraternity.” However, it is undeniable that fraternities have the ability to establish themselves as leaders on campus and within their community. 

As reported by USA Today, over 85% of Fortune 500 executives were members of Greek life organizations during their time in college. In addition to this figure, graduation rates among Greek life students are 20% higher than the national average. 

These statistics are quickly overlooked as soon as hazing allegations, sexual assault cases and other tragic events occur, and rightfully so. Organizations can only move forward as fast as their weakest link and, for many fraternity chapters, there is a considerable number of weak links. 

Leadership plays one of the most important roles in how a fraternity represents itself in daily operations. When organizations are supported by qualified leaders, it is more than likely the group of men or women will be able to give back to their communities in large ways.

In the last fully in-person academic year at NAU, fraternities and sororities alike donated more than 28,000 hours of community service, along with $134,097, to various philanthropies, per the NAU fraternity and sorority life webpage.

These numbers demonstrate that individuals in Greek life spend time doing valuable work, rather than just drinking and taking part in useless activities. 

Now, to address one of the hottest topics in recent fraternal news: sexual assault. Undeniably, the number of reported sexual misconducts, assaults and rape cases in the last decade has skyrocketed.

To discuss the ongoing case at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the university has received 148 reports of sexual offenses since 2016 alone, CBS reported. Many of these cases occurred at fraternity houses. In large part, these incidents are due to an element of toxic culture that many fraternity leaders struggle to get rid of.

When the actions of so few, but horrible, people occur, it becomes the American public’s intent to cast doubt on the group of individuals as a whole rather than those accountable.

As society tumbles farther into the 21st century, it is crucial for men looking to join fraternities to seek more than just a party scene. For many involved in Greek life, the reality includes a lot of donated time and resources in order to give back to the community around them, and certainly not being involved in any forms of disciplinary action.

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