OPINION: Fraternities should be abolished

Maria DiFelice

Picture this: it’s your freshman year of college, you’re in a completely different part of the country, and you are meeting new people. One of the girls you met a month ago invites you out to a frat party. You’re excited because all you’ve seen on social media was your friends back home partying at frats, so you think: “this must be fun!”

You get to the party and realize it’s a pitch-black living room with college boys hunting girls as if they were prey, and the entire night is filled with men coming up to you, treating you like an object, a prize to be won.

Believe it or not, this was my first and only frat party experience.

Going to a school like Loyola, all I hear from my peers is that ‘Loyola Greek life is nothing like other school’s Greek life.’ This night made me really question that. I never felt comfortable with the idea of a fraternity or a sorority, just because of the things I would hear about them on the news. This association is baked into its history.

One fraternity that is often in the news is Phi Gamma Delta, better known as, FIJI. According to their Lambda chapter’s website, their motto is, “friendship, the sweetest influence,” but do they follow this motto?

On Aug. 24, 2021, a fraternity brother from FIJI’s University of Nebraska chapter was charged with sexual assault on a minor. Now, the university student code of conduct board announced that they “suspended the FIJI fraternity through 2026,” but then explained that since they do not run FIJI or own any of their property off campus they are still an affiliation within themselves.

At the University of Iowa’s FIJI chapter, a young woman who went to the university is now filing a lawsuit against FIJI and the two brothers who sexually assaulted her in September 2020. The two men accused were expelled from the fraternity and are no longer enrolled at the university.

On the other hand, some universities don’t require their sororities and fraternities to follow the same rules as other student organizations. University of Alabama’s Greek life does not have to follow Title IX or its non-discriminatory policies in order to be recognized by the school, as stated in their student book of conduct.

These schools respond to the assaults differently, because each university handles its Greek life differently. Some are more severe than others and some offer up excuses.

These excuses sound like the phrase “boys will be boys,” meaning that the sexual actions that boys inflict on girls are just human nature, and they shouldn’t be held accountable for it. Why are we not holding these fraternities to a higher standard, and why are we letting them be in our places of learning? The two young men got expelled from the fraternity, but the fraternity wasn’t held accountable. How many times does a girl have to be sexually assaulted for a fraternity to be shut down and never allowed on any college campus? The FIJI chapter of fraternities should be shut down because of their actions. It shouldn’t matter what campus these events happened on; they should be abolished and never allowed back.

Their motto is not being followed. They don’t look for friendship. They look for violence and power.

Fraternities and sororities were not just made for young men and women to “make friends.” Greek life was created to socially isolate rich white people from the others around them. It wasn’t until the end of the 1960s when they were “desegregated.”
We are not holding these groups accountable for their actions, which leads to them getting away with anything they want. Because these groups were founded on exclusivity and superiority, they have fostered a culture of toxic masculinity and violence.

Fraternities were never created to bring everyone together, they were made in order to discriminate. Why are we acting like they have changed when clearly they haven’t?

We should demolish Greek life and all the sexism and racism they stand for. Their foundations are based heavily on oppression, and we need to get rid of them. And for the people who say “Greek life has come so far,” have they? Or have we just turned our cheeks and ignored all the bad that continues to happen?

As a freshman, I romanticized these frat boys and their parties. This is due to American culture and how they portray Greek life in movies and media. Yes, in the news, fraternities don’t look good, but in American entertainment, fraternity parties are seen as the thing all American college students go to.

We need to stop looking at these organizations through rose-colored glasses. We have to stop romanticizing the “perfect” fraternity and sorority in the media because there is no such thing.

If we want to make college life safer and less discriminatory in America, we have to start by abolishing Greek life.