The Toxicity of Fraternities and Sororities

Fraternities and Sororities are welcoming factors to college student’s lives as they are a great way to meet new people. The reason people join frats or sororities is to enjoy the college experience with their peers. When you go to college, its a new environment with different people for all around the world and country, which may be very nerve wracking. Being in Greek life could make you feel more comfortable if you’re surrounded by people you already know from your house. However, those are only the positive aspects of joining Greek life. Fraternities and sororities, more importantly, have serious issues that need to be talked about more. Sexual assault happens often in fraternities and racism, which is easily excused. One of the most dangerous things in Greek life is hazing, known as the process of joining a sorority or fraternity.

Sexual assault is one of the most common issues to happen in fraternities. Girls in sororities are 74% more likely to experience sexual assault than other college girls. That does not mean girls who are not in sororities are not likely to get sexually assaulted, but people in Greek life are more likely to experience this behavior. Madison Smith, a junior involved in a sorority at Indiana University, was sexually assaulted by a man in a fraternity but did not report it because she felt the University and the IU Police department would not believe her. There are so many assaults that happen that are not reported. Men in fraternities have a tendency to say innuendos but saying innuendoes that can go too far can represent sexual harassment. Not only girls but men can get sexually assaulted whether or not it is discussed, the accusations are true. Men in fraternities have a lot of power and they get more support and protection than a woman does when she says she’s been sexually assaulted.

Racism is no surprise in Greek life because the concept involved from white men in fraternities. White men had the right to join fraternities long before women and people of color because in the early 19th century they were more “fit intellectually” for college. Women thought it would be a safer environment if they established sororities so women could feel safer at college. It gave them the opportunity to surround themselves with people they relate to and could connect with. But people of color didn’t get those opportunities until later. Although colleges are more diverse now, it is still an appalling issue. Parties have been racially-themed, but some people might not see it as a big issue. Cultural appreciation ridicules other cultures that are overlooked or discriminated against and creates a hostile environment. College students in Greek life casually use slurs like the n-word or f-slur and some put up the confederate flag. Many people of color experience exclusion from groups and exclusion from Greek life. Fraternities and sororities are heavily populated with white people and colored people are excluded, which doesn’t give them the opportunities in college that they want to experience.

To join a sorority or fraternity, you have to go through hazing. It’s usually a requirement if you want to join Greek life but it’s known to be terrifying and unacceptable. In fraternities, hazing can include drinking immense amounts of alcohol and taking drugs. Those things have led many college students to die from overdose or alcoholism. Hazing includes extreme activities and a process that’s unnecessary to join a frat. In sororities, hazing includes more body shaming as they make girls go out naked. Girls body shame other girls frequently and in sororities, it’s at a harsher level. When a girl doesn’t fit their stereotype, it is not accepted. Hazing is a horrible process and toxic, but that seems like an understatement because it has ended people’s lives and put them into dangerous situations.
Joining Greek life can be a good experience because you can meet new people and experience something different in college. Some people who have joined Greek life have made good friends and are still friends with those people as adults but there are the bad parts of Greek life that aren’t acknowledged enough.