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History of College Fraternities, Part 2


Colleges started to see Greek Life as a tool to maintain order. First, Fraternities provided housing for that rapidly swelling student population. Fraternities also provided an infrastructure for disciplining a horde of students. If you ever witness scenes like Animal house, 1978, and wonder why Deans keep fraternities around. However, the administration brought them back. As former frat members aged into leadership roles, they realized that fraternities gave somebody to yell at.

Fraternities are a distributed discipline. Deans Could yell at greek leaders, who could yell at upper-level students, who could yell at underclassmen instead of having to discipline that giant section of the bar chart all by themselves—the big reason for keeping frats around administrators that frats led to money after college. Alumni donations from fraternity and sorority members are higher than from other students. Students loved the university through their fraternities- and the university had many reasons to stay chained to them. That same paper showed that fraternities increase binge drinking? It also showed that they increase alumni income because of the networking opportunities. That is without even mentioning the lifelong friendships that greek members form.

However, there are downsides of fraternities that can be a lot worse than what we see in the movies. It's easy to marvel at a 100-year-old hazing, but as Caitlin Flanagan wrote in the Atlantic. All that binge drinking and hazing can have life-threatening consequences. She notes unnecessary injuries in fraternity housing, high alcohol use, and alleged sexual assault along with the lasting legacy of racial discrimination. Weather Fraternities are beneficial depending on how you view them and how you view college students. We're all asking the same questions as those administrators in the 1800s. We have to figure out if their solutions are still the right ones today how you view students. And maybe even all people change your answer. Do frats help control the problems in college life? Or do they create them? Again a Fraternity, like any organization, is only useful as its members and its culture. Fraternities are a brotherhood, just like sororities are a sisterhood. Both are organizations of a pseudo-sibling relationship aimed to raise money for: social events, long term members, etc.

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