By COLEMAN HOPKINS
Late last week, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee fraternity was accused of systematically drugging drinks at a party that occurred in mid-September for the purpose of taking advantage of women.
An investigation was launched after several women reported feeling strange after drinking from the fraternity’s supply of alcohol. Rohypnol is the suspected weapon of choice, though the ongoing investigation will answer any and all questions. This scandal breaks just as President Obama’s new initiative, the “It’s On Us” campaign to combat sexual assaults on college campuses, is beginning.
Since the investigation is in progress, there is yet to be proof that the fraternity is responsible for the crimes that they are accused of committing. The students that reported blacking out and vomiting could have been sick or may have been suffering from any other number of ailments.
With that being said, the accusations levied at the Tau Kappa fraternity are a heinous example of the type of deplorable behavior that is becoming synonymous with fraternities around the country.
For example, a Rutgers student died at a fraternity gathering on Sunday, Sept. 21, after passing out due to intoxication.
An article from Complex.com recounted the recent deaths of a California State Northridge pledge who was hazed into hiking 18 miles, ultimately leading to his perishing in the wilderness due to dehydration, as well as the suicide of a Penn State freshman who took his own life rather than be forced to snort cocaine or sodomize himself for the entertainment of his brothers to be.
While it is not equally awful in any respect, recent scandals about sorority life, such as the University of Maryland sorority sisters’ sexual bullying story from last spring, show that sororities are not living up to their intended purposes either.
One of the biggest issues with fraternities and this type of behavior is that it puts young women at risk.
Drinking is a potentially dangerous activity that ought to be done in a safe environment, preferably when of age. Drinking causes many negative side-effects, such as the disorientation of the senses, which is why it is particularly troubling that some fraternities are preying on young women and men by using alcohol as a means to abuse them and coerce them into making bad decisions.
Fraternities and sororities started in order to promote bonding and camaraderie in a time when social media and texting did not exist. They were intended to make sure that students could make friends and have a good time at school. Increasingly, however, these institutions are having the opposite influence on students, going so far as to ruin students’ lives, and even end them.
As colleges advance in the 21st century, with new technologies, programs and courses of study, it is time to leave the archaic institutions in the past. Fraternities and sororities have outlived their purpose and are a shadow of their former-selves, with the negatives far outweighing the positives.
College is a time for new experiences and new friends, new classes and new relationships with others – relationships that are meant to prepare you for the real world. College campuses are no place for fraternities or sororities that are increasingly promoting bad behaviors and jeopardizing students’ educations and lives. Time will tell if Tau Kappa is guilty, but the recent track record for fraternities – and sororities – is bad enough that it makes more sense to eliminate Greek Life rather than allow it to continue.