The New Fraternity Culture Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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attention to the growing problem of binge drinking. Benjamin Wynne was another victim of acute alcohol poisoning, caused by consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time (College Drinking 1). ??That kid drank the equivalent of 24 shots in the space of an hour,? said National Director of Phi Kappa Sigma, Robert Miller. ?If he had done that alone in his dorm room, we could have called it suicide. But what do you call it when he?s out with his frat brothers who are all watching him??? asks Miller (Fink 1). There are many ?second-hand? consequences of the alcohol abuse that occurs in fraternity houses. Such consequences include: having to babysit an intoxicated student, having sleep or study interrupted, being insulted or humiliated, experiencing unwanted sexual

advances, being pushed, hit, or assaulted, and being the victim of sexual assault or date rape (Last Call 5). According to one study ninety percent of all reported campus rapes occurred when alcohol was used by the assailant or the victim. While date rape drugs have gained ?widespread publicity,? experts say that alcohol is still the most common substance used in such crimes (O?Brian 2). According to Mary Rouse, Dean of students at the University of Wisconsin, ??the trouble never starts until drinking begins?? (Elson 2). In an attempt to reduce underage alcohol consumption, several national fraternities have adopted an ?alcohol-free? policy which prohibits alcohol at all chapter houses. Phi Delta Theta Spokesperson Rob Pasquincucci says that the fraternity?s alcohol-free policy,

passed in March 1997, is essentially a ??return to our roots.?? ??The resolution isn?t anything new, but focuses on what we were founded on ? friendship, camaraderie, higher learning and support networks,?? says Pasquinucci (Fink 1). Fraternities across America will bid farewell to their Animal House image by 2005 if the National Interfraternity Conference?s plans are carried out. A resolution to address alcohol abuse was announced at the organization?s annual meeting in December 1998 (Maloney 1). Miami University President Jim Garland believes the move toward alcohol-free fraternities is ??a major step in the right direction?? (Sant 1). Despite Garland?s confidence in this move, another possible consequence of ?dry? fraternities could be a surge in off-campus drinking. Banning

alcohol in fraternities gives students the excuse to seek even less supervised and less accountable venues: bars, apartments, and private houses become host to the same bad decisions and irresponsible behavior, with no organization whatever to hold responsible for it. David Hanson, a sociologist at the State University of Potsdam New York, cautioned in a 1995 New York Times report, ??Moving the Greeks off campus could be the worst solution of all. As long as the drinking is on campus, the school has some control over it. It would lose that control if students had to go to bars and other places which are not so desirable?? (Maloney 2). In contrast with the many fraternities that serve as social clubs, several national fraternities have devised programs aimed at restoring the core

values of brotherhood, scholarship and leadership. Of the 261 chapters of Sigma Phi Epsilon, 149 have signed on to the ?Balanced Man Project.? The program tracks each member?s personal development toward becoming a ?balanced man? throughout his college career, rather than focusing on the initial few weeks in a pledge-based fraternity. At the University of Georgia, each member is required to develop three goals and tape them to his bathroom mirror, to join at least two other campus organizations, to attend plays and a city-council meeting, and to perform a minimum of 50 hours of community service and explain to the group what he learned from it (A59). Pi Kappa Phi has begun a project called ?Push America,? which aims to control public awareness on behalf of people with

disabilities. Another positive, innovative program fraternities are actively involved with is ?Gear Up Florida.? Gear Up Florida involves cycling 65 miles a day, from the shores of Miami Beach to the Florida capital steps in Tallahassee, to draw public attention and spread understanding to the things that people with disabilities can do (Payne A62). Through these types of programs, many fraternities hope to get back to what they once were ? a group of men brought together by positive values and ideals. Alcohol abuse has become far too large a part of the college social scene and fraternities are the worst offender. The values and ideals that once served as the basis of fraternities have been replaced in some chapter houses by excessive drinking and brutal hazing practices. This