Written by Allison Perry. Media by Kelsey Middleton.
When I think of “Greek Life,” a few different things come to mind. I think of willing volunteers and many sororities and fraternities that do a lot in their communities. I think of friendship, as it is something many gain when they join. Lastly, I think of the stereotypical college movies where someone always ends up getting seriously hurt due to some type of dangerous hazing ritual. Sadly, this has become a reality for too many families with sons in fraternities.
According to HazingPrevention.Org, “Hazing is any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.”
USA Today has tracked four fraternity hazing deaths in 2017 alone: Timothy Piazza, Maxwell Gruver, Matthew Ellis, and Andrew Coffey. While they were each under the age of 21, alcohol was definitely involved with Piazza and Gruver’s deaths. According to CBS News, “A preliminary investigation suggests Ellis may have died from alcohol poisoning.” Lastly, according to Sun Sentinel, Coffey’s cause of death is still unknown because “the investigation remains open and toxicology tests aren’t completed.” [clear]Hazing is against the law, and so is underage drinking. So, why were those kids playing such dangerous games, and why was it so easy for those kids to get their hands on such large amounts of alcohol? Situations like this make it difficult to rule out who the guilty party is, and honestly, there is not one lone guilty party. Whoever bought the alcohol and gave it to these underage kids is guilty. If the person who bought it was underage then the person who sold it is guilty. If it happened on school grounds, there is someone there who is guilty of not making sure that kids were following legal rules.
Frankly, drinking on any campus should be illegal. While drinking can be something enjoyable and safe under many circumstances, it can be incredibly dangerous under just as many circumstances. Of course, if college kids want to get drunk they are going to find a way get alcohol, but if the school they are going to has strict rules over alcohol and enforces them, then these kids are going to be more likely to drink responsibly.
Another thing that is incredibly necessary, even if a school does not allow alcohol on campus, is seminars on how to drink responsibly. It’s kind of like sex education; if people are properly educated on safe sex as well as the consequences of unsafe sex, they are more likely to practice safe sex, or even remain abstinent. Just as well, if students are taught safe drinking and the consequences of unsafe drinking, they will be more likely to be responsible about the way they do it. Schools also need to hold more fun, alcohol-free activities to encourage students to get involved and stay out of trouble. These activities need to happen often and they need to be advertised well. [clear]Sororities and Fraternities can be a good thing if they’re based around volunteering and succeeding in studies and future careers, but when they’re more focused on alcohol, that’s when it gets bad. Schools need to have strict rules and enforce them harder in order to keep all students safe. They need to educate students on the effects of alcohol, as well as how to use it responsibly, and they need to hold alcohol-free activities frequently to encourage students to enjoy themselves without alcohol.