Sword & Shield

Colleges should ban Greek life

Christina Shaw, Staff Writer

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Some might think the recent tragedy of the alcohol induced death of Matthew Ellis, a twenty year old Texas State University student, who was found dead and neglected at a fraternity party was a rare and misfortunate event. But he is not the only victim of the cruel mentality of fraternities that result in death.
In this year alone four pledges lost their lives in fraternity related incidents. On February 4th, Timothy Piazza died after being forced to take 18 shots in one sitting and injured himself severely. Piazza died at the age of 19 after his “brothers” left his body to sit for hours, afraid to call the cops. A similar fate happened to 18 year old Maxwell Gruver on September 14th, who died of alcohol poisoning after taking 18-20 shots, and Andrew Coffey, aged 20 who mysteriously died at an off campus fraternity party with alcohol suspected to be involved.
The controversy of Greek life results in the sometimes brutal hazing process meant to initiate students into a fraternity or sorority. It could range to singing a song in public to being forced to participate in dangerous task while intoxicated. Unfortunately the latter option is the most popular in fraternities and result in dangerous consequences.
Hank Nuwer, a journalist and expert on hazing found from 1964 to 2017 that there has been one estimated death or accident a year relating to different forms of hazing including college fraternities. Most of the deaths involved heavy doses of alcohol and drugs that are meant to deliberately enable the pledges’ motor functions.
These fraternities promise brotherhood and a place to belong, but treat these impressionable young men like sheep.
“I think any organization that puts themselves above any other people run the risk of treating people poorly,” said U.S government teacher Alison Smith, who has experience with greek life. “Though some exist totally for charitable reasons, for some it’s the same as forming a gang.”
Some might think not all fraternity or sororities are filled with alcoholics and dangerous stunts, and I would agree that those who use their platform for charitable organizations need to be protected, but not at the cost of people’s lives. Nobody can ever truly know the intention of others, and these deaths could have been prevented if college campuses weren’t so negligent towards these fraternities. Not only should the Greek society pay the price, but so must the colleges that have let these organizations have too much freedom.
Greek life was created to be the home away from home, where men and women could join a group that accepts them and offers a sibling bond. But the moment one person dies from the abuse of his peers because the ignorance of the colleges, everything has to be called into question.

Are their lives worth it?

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Colleges should ban Greek life