The Untold Secrets of Greek Life

Imagine. You and your sorority sisters are mixing with another on-campus fraternity. You and your “sisters” start drinking—a little too much. Then, one of your friends starts to stray away from the group to talk to this guy. As the night progresses, his actions towards your friend gets a little more intense. What should you do? Should you let your drunk friend continue on talking to him, or ask her if she is okay? Well, situations like this are very common at college parties.

In an article written by Alexandra Robbins, it starts out with this story:

“When Emma*, a senior at a Southeastern University, was a freshman, a fraternity member recorded one of her pledge sisters having drunken sex with a brother at a mixer and passed the video around his house. The pledge sister didn’t discuss the incident with her, so Emma never learned whether the sex was consensual. But her sorority’s reaction to the news was surprising: They complained behind the sister’s back that she had damaged relations with a high-ranking fraternity, which suddenly didn’t want to mix with them anymore.”

Unlike the hypothetical story I told, this one actually happened. How does this make you feel? Well, I think we can all agree that this is not very “sisterly.” For instance, would your sister getting mad at you because you can’t party with them anymore due to a drunken act? I don’t think so.

Well, most people will agree that Greek organizations usually dominate the college social scene. For instance, when freshmen girls join sororities, they are promised to gain “forever” friends, a fun social life, and a supportive home they can always turn to—this maybe all true; however, as I was researching information, I found that some chilling things on Greek organizations.

  • Greek Life likes control what is said to the public or even hide information from them.
    1. According to the previous article, Emma’s* sorority’s regional director removed her from her chapter position since Emma* wrote a newspaper article on her sorority’s message on sexual assault.
    2. In this article, it states that fraternities and sororities are using their members’ dues to lobby for a House bill that would make it more difficult for colleges to punish sexual assault predators.

So does Greek life somewhat influence sexual violence or even normalize it in a way. According to this article, the author states, “The National Panhellenic Conference  (NPC) sorority system does contribute to campus rape culture.” For instance, there’s evidence that sorority members are more likely to be sexually assaulted than nonmembers; a study reported that sorority women were four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than non-Greeks, and another study reported that nearly one in two sorority members were victims of nonconsensual sexual contact at the University of Oregon.

Let’s look at this tweet.

So what does the Greek life office plan to do to stop this behavior? Well, many college campuses are starting support groups; for instance, Emory University had started a program called The Greek Sexual Assault Prevention Initiative to prevent it.

Emory University isn’t the only college taking a stand against sexual assault. Take a listen to this podcast to hear more about what is going on to prevent this behavior.

 

Watch this video to hear what your peers think about sexual assault!

So the question I’m going to leave with you—do you think Greek life influences sexual violence, or has any affect on sexual assault rates

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