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.


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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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

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I'm In College But I Don't Know What I'm Doing With My Life

I'm going with the flow.


I'm in college, but I don't know what I'm doing with my life. I entered as a freshman with a clear-cut path and a foreseeable goal: a four-year degree in journalism with a minor in photography so that I could one day be a photojournalist for National Geographic. However, life has a funny way of changing things around and turning plans upside down. I realized about halfway through my first semester that I did NOT want to complete my degree in journalism. I love to write, but looking at all the classes I would have to take exhausted me. So, I switched to Cinematic Arts. After all, I like photography, creative writing, and video editing, and this major encompasses all of those things.

So now here I am, at the end of my sophomore year, about to begin the two-year program in the fall. I have an idea of what I might like to do, but I really don't know at this point. People are starting to ask me what my plans are post-graduation, and honestly, I don't know yet.

When you're in college, you have to balance a million different things: classes, a social life, roommates, dorm responsibilities, a balanced sleep schedule, etc. Sometimes it can get really overwhelming. And I just wanted to let all of my fellow college students know that if you don't know exactly what you're going to do with your life, that's okay. Just the fact that you're in college pursuing a higher education in the first place is awesome.

I know I may not end up getting a job in the field of my degree - sometimes it just turns out that way. But for now, I know with confidence that I'm following an educational path in things that I'm actually passionate about and have a talent for. So even though I don't know what the next bit of my life will look like, I know that I'm on my way.

I don't have to worry about it now. I'm taking things one day at a time. Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own." I don't know about you, but I'm inclined to agree with Jesus. I know that He has a clear-cut plan for my life and that I'm meant to be at Liberty University. I trust that He will provide a path for me - but even if He doesn't, that's still okay. Because the reality of it is, nobody ever really knows exactly what they're doing in life. Life is new to everybody, constantly changing and ever-evolving. So if I don't know what I'm going to do as of right now, so be it. I'm just going to accept that, go with the flow, and take life one step at a time so that I don't miss anything.

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