How Fraternities Dominate

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Vanillanabz
Words 341
Pages 2
Fraternities have considerable power to dictate social relations on many college campuses. Fraternities are in part empowered by their status as private organizations: They often own substantial property and have access to resources that help protect members accused of bad behavior. While concerns about legal liability have led colleges and universities to vigilantly police alcohol consumption and public intoxication in university-owned housing, fraternities have mostly been spared such scrutiny.
Banning fraternities might backfire because universities would lose the little oversight they have now.
As a result, these organizations often monopolize the supply of alcohol to under-aged students. Fraternity dominance of the social scene of many campuses heightens risks for young women. As party hosts, fraternity men often control the space — establishing party themes that encourage women to wear provocative clothing, making and distributing the drinks, controlling the door, and sometimes even preventing women from leaving.
In addition to their negative effect on gender relations and sexual climate, fraternities are frequently exclusive on the basis of class, race, sexual orientation and national origin. Despite these negative influences universities may be hesitant to rein in fraternity party life, as doing so could jeopardize tuition dollars from students interested in Greek life, as well as funds from well-heeled university alumni. It is thus unlikely that universities will ban these organizations altogether.
Doing so may even backfire: Fraternities do not depend on universities to survive, and severing ties may only serve to eliminate university oversight. While perhaps unsatisfying, the most realistic path toward positive change is for university administrations to insist on playing a larger role in regulating these organizations, and to attempt to enlist…...

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