Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

A particularly relevant issue on college campuses today is fraternity hazing, suspension, and charter revoking. William & Mary has been faced with these three situations this year and almost every year. Several times a year, the United States deals with college boys’ disgusting behavior. Universities must constantly decide what to do when such misconduct occurs. However, no matter what course of action colleges take, the issues persist. The issue is a matter of culture.

When fraternities get reprimanded, the University often has no choice but to revoke their chapter or “kick them off campus.” This is totally understandable. The school cannot align itself with bad behavior or seem to allow such action in an on campus house. The main issue with this is that culture persists beyond the boundaries of a school campus. If a fraternity is kicked off campus, it simply exists beyond the watchful eye of the administration and interfraternity council. Revoked chapters are able to operate with less restriction because they essentially operate in secret. 

Suggesting a culture change is seemingly impossible. The issue about fraternity culture—particularly in the South—is the desirable nature of exclusivity. It’s no secret that large southern fraternities haze. We constantly hear horror stories about forced drinking and sexual assault that fraternities promote. Most boys know these facts before they decide to join. After speaking with several friends in fraternities, I think the hazing and the mental challenges are all about making the organization seem even more exclusive. Only the best and the strongest can make it through “hell week” and become initiated members. 

Handling fraternity behavior is a very difficult task. Certainly not all fraternities engage in such improper behavior. Even if fraternities were eradicated in the United States, the culture would still continue. Different groups would perform the same. The culture and desirability of fraternities must change before we start to see any kind of progress. I think progress can be made, but young men must change their view of college life. We must change the narrative of the typical college experience that helps to sustain unhealthy and exclusive party culture.

Lilly Doninger is a member of the class of 2024 at William & Mary from Louisville, Kentucky. She hopes to major in International Relations. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, watching movies, and journaling. Lilly also writes weekly for her personal blog, Ridiculous but Respectable.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️