Has the “Greek Life” experience gone wild?

Posted by Ronald | March 30, 2015  |  No Comment

Many prominent educators, politicians and business executives have matriculated at colleges and universities and been a part of the campus “Greek Life” experience. In fact, some have even met their best friends, associates, husbands and wives through fraternities and sororities. With an increased awareness of the “Greek Life” experience, the critical questions to be asked are: Has the “Greek Life” experience gone wild? Is it time to ban sororities and fraternities on campuses? What can educational institutions do to eradicate hazing from the “Greek Life” experience and other extra-curricular activities?

The general purpose of fraternities and sororities in the U.S are to promote outstanding citizenship, build positive character and integrity, develop leadership skills, provide community service, adhere to personal and business responsibility and excel scholarly in academic endeavors. These organizations have been known for leading our nation in various professions, raising insurmountable dollars to support charitable causes and donating a significant number of community service hours to improve humankind.

Recent reports of the “Greek Life” experience at various universities have gained the national spotlight due to hazing incidents, sexual harassment, hate speech, damage to school property and lost of life. As such, some national experts are calling for a ban on campus fraternities and sororities while others are suggesting strict policies and laws to enforce appropriate student behavior. As a guest speaker on CNN, Alexandra Robbins, the author of Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities, said, “My advice to students considering the Greek system is to really get to know the group before joining and pledge after the freshman year of college.”

Gary DeVercelly, Jr., a parent who lost his son to a fraternity hazing incidents said on CNN, “The problem is that hazing has been going on for a long time, and we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. The universities and fraternities have been sweeping this under the rug, and it is really time that people become aware of the dangers our children are facing when they go to universities and start dealing with these fraternities.”

While fraternities and sororities have a noble purpose, some “Greek Life” activities are causing harm to students and property. Educational institutions’ role is to provide a duty of care for all students on their campuses. They must not only have the appropriate policies regarding hazing, but also educate students on the seriousness and dangers of hazing. For fraternities and sororities, this training must help them understand acceptable initiation rites.

Because of the psychological and physical effects of hazing, The Holmes Education Post and Einestine Technology Services have developed an online National Anti-Hazing Curriculum on “How to Eradicate Hazing.” The objectives of this online program are to (1) educate students, parents and faculty members on the policies, procedures and laws on anti-hazing preventions; (2) provide a historical, psychological, sociological, legal and cultural perspective of the negative effects of hazing and (3) provide alternative methods for implementing acceptable initiation rites in the educational environment.

This online curriculum is an interactive scenario based program for all school stakeholders. If you are interested in incorporating this anti-hazing program into your curriculum to address the dangers of hazing, we can be reached at [email protected]

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of eight books, “Education Questions to be Answered,” “Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,” “Professional Career Paths” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates” and “Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Careers for Children.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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