Fraternities Banning Hard Alcohol Won't Stop Hazing

Fraternities Banning Hard Alcohol Won't Stop Hazing

Teach college students to drink responsibly and to not haze.

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On August 27, 66 international and national male fraternities as part of the North-American Interfraternity Conference in a 'near-unanimous vote' passed a new rule banning hard alcohol from being present in fraternity chapters and events, including fraternity houses. Under this rule, hard alcohol will be considered anything more than 15% alcohol by volume so that essentially only wine and beer are allowed. This ban applies to all students, including adults 21 and older. The Conference represents more than 80% of fraternities nationwide including more than 6,000 chapters on more than 800 campuses.

I commend this Conference for trying to limit and prevent unsafe drinking habits and cultures on college campuses. Traditionally fraternities in the U.S. are associated with partying and drinking, so I do believe that if we want to change campus drinking cultures to make them safer then it is important to start with fraternities.

However, this rule was made primarily in response to "high-profile hazing episodes that have resulted in deaths and lawsuits." Since 2005, there have been 60 fraternity-related deaths. In 2013, Chun Hsien Deng, a freshman at Baruch College, fell unconscious and died during a hazing event where he had to run across a frozen yard blindfolded as Pi Delta Psi members tried to tackle and hit him. Pi Delta Psi members delayed seeking medical aid and instead called their national fraternity official, who advised them to hide anything associated with or could be used to identify the fraternity. Four members were charged with murder and pled guilty to manslaughter.

In 2017 alone, there were four male students in the US who died from fraternity hazing:

Timothy Piazza, a Penn State student, died after falling down the stairs that injured his brain and ruptured his spleen during a Beta Theta Pi hazing ritual requiring him to drink large amounts of alcohol.


Maxwell Gruver, a Louisiana State student, died after participating in a "Bible Study" hazing event where Phi Delta Theta pledges were forced to drink if they incorrectly answered questions about the fraternity.


Andrew Coffey, a Florida State junior, died after drinking heavily during a 'big brother' Pi Kappa Phi ritual.


Matthew Ellis, a sophomore at Texas State, died after heavy drinking at an initiation event for Phi Kappa Psi.


In all these cases, criminal charges were pursued against the fraternity members of that chapter.

Alcohol, especially hard alcohol, has been part of many of these hazing incidents and have been a contributing factor in these tragic deaths. Although the ban on hard alcohol may help, they are still allowed to drink beer and wine. What's to stop these hazing practices from forcing students to drink high amounts of beer and wine? If there had not been these hazing events, these students would not have drank so much and been put in dangerous situations that led to their deaths.

In fact, many of these universities responded to these events by stopping pledging, banning those fraternities from campus, and even banning fraternity or Greek life altogether. I believe that what fraternities and college campuses should focus on is not banning hard alcohol but rather how to drink responsibly and focus on stopping hazing.

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Every Time I See A College Tour Group Walk By I Just Want to Scream 'It's a TRAAAPP!'

The tour guide is good - they're just a liar.
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It's officially that time of year - anywhere you walk on campus, there's bound to be a gaggle of parents and befuddled high school students winding their way through building after building. In front of them stands an overenthusiastic tour guide, spouting off statistics about the school so fast they'll make your head spin.

Unfortunately, what the tour guide says doesn't exactly line up with what goes on at the school. Oh, the things we students wish we could shout out to the parents as they pass by.

1. "You'll get sick of the dining!"

It may look like there's something new to eat every single day, but by the end of the semester, you'll be sick of everything except the things closest at home.

2. "I'm only here for the free t-shirts!"

Seriously.

3. "IT'S A TRAP!"

Seriously, part two. You get two of three things: a social life, sleep, or good grades. Whoever said you could have all three is lying.

4. "Welcome to the real world, suckers!"

It's got confrontation, taking care of yourself, and formal emails. (Which, of course, your professor will respond with 'k thnx bai' sent from their iPhone.)

5. "Say goodbye to sleep!"

There are three types of people on campus: tea drinkers, coffee drinkers, and people with energy drinks running through their veins.

6. "THE MODEL DORM IS A LIE!"

Check all of your housing options before you move in. The dorm they're showing you might be the worst housing area on campus.

7. "THE FINANCIAL AID IS A LIE!"

You're getting squat. Free tuition? Try the tune of $13k a year. Or more. Depending.

8. "The library is NOT the best study place."

Depending on your major, there are several places for you to study that aren't the library.

9. "The health center sucks!"

True fact: word through the grapevine is that someone once got antibiotics for a sprained ankle.You may as well sell that leg on the black market to cover the costs.

10. "Believe the roommate horror stories!"

All random roommates are horrible unless proven otherwise. (But be wary of everyone.)

11. "SI (student instructor) sessions are useless."

You will learn nothing . Chances are you'll end up correcting the instructor.

12. "The freshman fifteen is optional."

Some people don't gain it at all, and some people really gain it. It's up to you.

13. "You'll need a car!!"

If, for some reason you can't pay for the overpriced parking pass, find a friend who can.

14. "Hookup culture is real!"

But it's not for everyone. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean you have to.

15. "Campus jobs are a myth!"

Campus job? What's a campus job? Do you have work-study? No? No job for you. Have you tried the local coffee shop?

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To Anyone Who Feels Overwhelmed

It's ok to say when you need help, or need to take a step back.

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Life is challenging and hard. It's easy to get caught up in it and feel like you are alone. It's easy to think that you cannot ever tell anyone about the slightest possibility that you are not okay. I have noticed this personally in my life. I have a habit of piling things up one by one and overloading myself to the point of wanting to break down. However, I usually do not tell anyone about how stressed or overwhelmed I am; until it's too much. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people like this, which is why this is for you. Whatever it is stressing you out, you shouldn't go through it alone.

First thing first, admit to yourself that it's too much. I personally know that my pride gets in the way of me admitting that I can't handle something. However, that is the first step. You won't be able to relax or feel better if you're in denial of there even being something wrong. You need to realize that sometimes you can't do it all; and that is completely okay. The worst thing is to work yourself up too much over something just because you said you could do it. It's okay to say you can't do something and it's okay to say no. Knowing your limits and when you have had enough is the first thing that can help you.

Talk to someone, tell them that you can't do this alone. I know you feel weak when you tell someone that you can't do something on your own, but believe me it's crucial that you do. Never keep your feelings and stress bottled up, it's the most unhealthy thing you can do. If you do that you can become a closed off person, and sometimes a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Talk to someone the second you feel overwhelmed from anything. Whether it is your parent, friend, cousin, teacher, mentor, sibling, etc. Just talk to someone, it doesn't matter who it is. As long as you talk to someone you know you can trust completely then that's all that matters. I promise it'll help to get it off your chest.

Also just take care of yourself. Take time for yourself to recharge. Take a nap, have a bubble bath, go to the gym, watch Netflix/a movie, treat yourself, and just be good to yourself. Just have some time for you to relax and calm down. It'll be okay, you'll be okay. Remember your value isn't degraded if you admit that something is wrong, you are more than any problem you're facing. I promise you can get through it.

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