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Controversy surrounding Greek Life in college

While there are certainly many positives to Greek Life– including learning leadership building skills, having a sense of community in college and being introduced to different service opportunities – the negatives have recently been the main focus for many fraternities and sororities across the country.

In one of the more recent cases, a 19-year-old died after a hazing incident. The details surrounding the case are no doubt hard to hear about. Add to this stories tied to binge drinking, large and loud parties and allegations of sexual assault, and it makes sense that the entire Greek system is coming under scrutiny.

One college – Harvard University – even now has a proposal on the table to do away with fraternities and sororities and other “exclusionary” social clubs that require some form of hazing to join. If passed, those who continue to be involved in these types of organizations will face disciplinary action.

Starting this fall, undergraduates who are involved in these organizations at Harvard will not be able to hold leadership positions in certain student groups and on sports teams.

The lasting effect of college accusations

While some colleges are exploring the idea of getting rid of certain social clubs, Greek Life is very much still alive and well in many colleges here in Maryland. At the start of the school year, many incoming freshman will be looking into how to join, while many returning students will continue as members of their fraternities and sororities.

The social stigma attached to Greek Life, though, may prove challenging. In cases where a party – for example – leads to college honor hoard hearings – the stigma will be working against the students from the onset. There is a good chance that much of the positives tied to Greek Life will be quickly forgotten. Just merely being a member can suddenly be cast in a negative light.

For those who end up facing charges or honor board hearings, keep in mind the consequences are more than just a slap on the wrist. In fact, charges and hearings could result in:

  • School expulsion
  • Having a permanent criminal record
  • Limitations to future housing
  • Trouble finding employment after college

College is really the start to one’s life as an adult. Starting with a record will only make the transition into adulthood harder. Keep these potential consequences top of mind when deciding how to move forward with allegations.

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