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  #16  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:45 PM
fraternitynik fraternitynik is offline
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Recently did some stat-finding on the topic of deaths due to hazing (reportedly, not all are confirmed to be results of hazing).

84% of individual deaths occurred at public institutions (a vast majority are flagship or land grant institutions) from 2010-2017. (69% of students attended a public institution in 2015). 78% of hazing incidents resulting in death since 1980 occurred at those same institutions.

The rate of deaths due to hazing w/in fraternities or sororities has essentially doubled from the 20th century to the 21st Century, with 22 from 2000-2010 and 19 so far from 2010-2017 (vs. 12-13 in the 1970's, 1980's & 1990's)- but this could be due to increased reporting?

Thoughts:
1. Could you imagine if someone requested a suspension of public colleges/universities due to the higher risk facing students there?

2. Do universities share any burden in addressing their acceptance standards? (after all, they admit the students who commit these acts)

3. Given the increases in alcohol-free policies among fraternities since 2000, the increase in spending on anti-hazing/substance abuse education recently (millions of dollars per year), etc. Isn't it strange that the number of dangerous hazing incidents has increased rather than decreased, and does that mean that these approaches (hazing laws, fraternity banning of substances & education) are ineffective?

4. If that (#3) is true, why are those still our only solutions to this issue?

Just questions to ponder. I obviously don't think public schools would (or should) be banned. I'm definitely in favor of #2.

As for #3 & #4, I think fraternities need to rethink how they insure chapters in bulk & the effect that has on students taking policies created to keep insurance costs down seriously. (vs. if the students/alumni boards had to negotiate those policies themselves)
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  #17  
Old 11-21-2017, 03:06 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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A university is responsible. Capable university presidents feel responsible for everything that happens on or off campus if it involves a university organization, regardless of whether or not the university can be held legally culpable.

Targeting the causes of hazing is difficult - though I suspect 99 percent has something to do with "tradition" and the deaths attributable to hazing seem to be mostly as the result of binge drinking. But from the perspective of a hypothetical university president faced with the problems that have resulted in the issuance of a blanket suspension,he/she is not going to spend a lot of time studying the issue. They have to act pretty fast.

Though I do not necessarily advocate for this approach, I'll throw the following out there for people to comment on. At many universities, there is a noticeable difference between fraternity average GPAs and sorority average GPAs. Though this would not be a popular move, a quick fix would be to raise the GPA requirement to join a fraternity.

This would eliminate the problem or (more politely) the struggling students from the mix. The bad student/fraternity bias is likely prevalent at universities where, for example, the average GPA for sororities may be a 3.2 and for fraternities a 2.3. At these schools, fraternities have an image problem. The faculty sees them as a collection of the school's worst students who contribute very little and place the university's reputation at risk every time they throw a party.

To be effective, there would have to be more of a serious corrective sanction for failing to meet minimum GPA requirements other than just a reduction of certain social activities. For example, there could be (on an individual basis) a minimum GPA to join and a minimum GPA to remain active.

This type of change could be done quickly and easily. It would also likely be popular with the faculty. (Though business people at the national fraternities may not like raising GPA requirements if it reduces overall membership numbers, they should anticipate that this may be the type of simple, sweeping change being looked at on some campuses.) If I were them, I would hope that it stops there.

Here are some other simple, sweeping changes:

Ban all activities involving alcohol where underage students are present.

Require faculty adviser to be present at and report on all social events.

Require mandatory reporting by all students of any activity that can be possibly be considered hazing.

Ban fraternities and sororities from campus.
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  #18  
Old 11-21-2017, 03:41 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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This is a problem which cannot be regulated out of existence. If I had to put my finger on what the issue here is, I'd say the TFM culture is to blame here. There are various influences online and in the media at large which influence our members as to what the "frat" lifestyle is usually far before they rush. When I was an active 15ish years ago, the main media influence on our members as to what the frat lifestyle was was a then 20-30 year old movie, Animal House which was clearly satirical.

This is the kind of thing we're dealing with now.

https://totalfratmove.com/the-frat-r...lcome-in-heat/

So we've moved from that satirical portrayal of the fun loving guys next door who binge drink and prank the administration to having these portrayals of these alpha male/aggro/blind drunk/hyper sexualized characters that every 19-20 year old kid wants to be exactly like.

And it's great because if your fraternity portrays itself as sufficiently fratty, you're going to sign these kids in droves and then figure out a way to manage their expectations after the fact. These kids want to be hazed, they want to binge drink and they expect to have those opportunities. The chapters which manage those expectations in a safe way are going to be fine, but those which glorify this sort of behavior are going to have problems.

Eliminating students from fraternities or fraternities from campus is only going to redirect this behavior to less regulated venues, so that's not a good answer. Schools might want to try to do a better job selecting which nationals they want on campus as some provide better resources and oversight than others.
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  #19  
Old 11-21-2017, 04:54 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
This is a problem which cannot be regulated out of existence. If I had to put my finger on what the issue here is, I'd say the TFM culture is to blame here. There are various influences online and in the media at large which influence our members as to what the "frat" lifestyle is usually far before they rush. When I was an active 15ish years ago, the main media influence on our members as to what the frat lifestyle was was a then 20-30 year old movie, Animal House which was clearly satirical.

This is the kind of thing we're dealing with now.

https://totalfratmove.com/the-frat-r...lcome-in-heat/

So we've moved from that satirical portrayal of the fun loving guys next door who binge drink and prank the administration to having these portrayals of these alpha male/aggro/blind drunk/hyper sexualized characters that every 19-20 year old kid wants to be exactly like.

And it's great because if your fraternity portrays itself as sufficiently fratty, you're going to sign these kids in droves and then figure out a way to manage their expectations after the fact. These kids want to be hazed, they want to binge drink and they expect to have those opportunities. The chapters which manage those expectations in a safe way are going to be fine, but those which glorify this sort of behavior are going to have problems.

Eliminating students from fraternities or fraternities from campus is only going to redirect this behavior to less regulated venues, so that's not a good answer. Schools might want to try to do a better job selecting which nationals they want on campus as some provide better resources and oversight than others.
Agree generally. And TFM does present a very unrealistic picture of fraternities.

Other than eliminate fraternities entirely, another approach that an administration may take is to start over. Kick out all the old fraternities with hazing traditions and bring in new ones that have never been on campus. I recently looked at the Greek life website of my undergraduate university. There are only two fraternities left from when I attended. Most have been there less than a decade and the university still has serious trouble with most of them as well.
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  #20  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:03 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I agree with that and have on many occasions offered that bit of advice to anyone who would listen. The chapters which are continually being shuttered and reopened are old chapters. The reason they can't stay open is because alumni can be a negative influence. I have some perspective here because I am a founding member of my chapter which was not a recolonization. In hindsight, we founders put some pretty serious structural impediments in to prevent hazing and it has worked. We also have lots of local alumni including myself who make their presence known.
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:30 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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I dunno. I think when left to their own devices, any group of people in that age group is gonna become Lord of the Flies. And I think those who will not are rare. How do you get those who won't haze all into the same organization, and make them strong enough to transcend campus culture?
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  #22  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:53 PM
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How do you get those who won't haze all into the same organization, and make them strong enough to transcend campus culture?
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:27 PM
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These kids want to be hazed, they want to binge drink and they expect to have those opportunities.
This is EXACTLY what my son's freshman dorm roommate said last year. The fraternity he pledged lost their charter before he was even initiated. He got what he signed up for, but it didn't last long, of course.
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  #24  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:28 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I dunno. I think when left to their own devices, any group of people in that age group is gonna become Lord of the Flies. And I think those who will not are rare. How do you get those who won't haze all into the same organization, and make them strong enough to transcend campus culture?
Organizational culture can always transcend campus culture if the leadership and the advisory team focus on it. Especially, with this generation, they need to know the "why" behind policies. We can probably meet with our active body and determine that if these guys supervised traditional pledging, they'd be fine. There would be absolutely no deaths.

But can we say that for every group of actives your organization will have for the next 20 years? I doubt anyone is taking that bet.

One of the greatest things about working with undergraduate groups is that if you can get them to buy in to an idea for one year and continue buying in for three more, you have reset the culture. You just have to be on guard for outside influences like TFM.
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:05 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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Organizational culture can always transcend campus culture if the leadership and the advisory team focus on it. Especially, with this generation, they need to know the "why" behind policies. We can probably meet with our active body and determine that if these guys supervised traditional pledging, they'd be fine. There would be absolutely no deaths.

But can we say that for every group of actives your organization will have for the next 20 years? I doubt anyone is taking that bet.

One of the greatest things about working with undergraduate groups is that if you can get them to buy in to an idea for one year and continue buying in for three more, you have reset the culture. You just have to be on guard for outside influences like TFM.
I hear you.
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  #26  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:16 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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I agree with that and have on many occasions offered that bit of advice to anyone who would listen. The chapters which are continually being shuttered and reopened are old chapters. The reason they can't stay open is because alumni can be a negative influence.
I think this has a huge impact on certain chapters (of both fraternities and sororities). I've seen it first-hand. Even if chapters have turned over and want to change for the better, there are enough alumni around who want to ensure things remain the same. And this doesn't only apply to hazing (see: 2013 University of Alabama sorority recruitment).

We're organizations built on ritual and tradition, but there are some alumni that convince collegiates that the binge drinking and hazing practices of the last couple decades are the traditions that shouldn't die.

And if collegiates are convinced that ending these practices will suddenly make them "uncool" or change their social status on campus, there are so many more chances nowadays for that to happen and for word to rapidly spread across campus. Social media and sites like Greekrank propel these chapters into the spotlight and can quickly alter their ranking in their campus social hierarchy.

Sadly, these rankings are generally determined by other collegiate Greek members who sometimes (frequently?) encourage poor behavior.
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  #27  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:24 AM
clemsongirl clemsongirl is offline
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I saw this when I was involved in a hearing to suspend a chapter at my undergraduate campus. The campus had adopted FIPG best practices as policy, which included stuff like no hard liquor or communal alcohol sources, wristbands for attendees over 21, strict adherence to a guest list, etc. But there was no incentive for fraternities to follow these requirements, because they weren't enforced until something happened and the fraternity went through campus conduct proceedings. As long as all the other chapters were collectively violating policies in the name of "being cool" and providing alcohol to underage students, no individual chapter felt like they could make the change without being completely ostracized.

Same thing for hazing-as long as the "cool" chapters were doing it, chapters that changed their practices risked being judged "uncool".

Part of the reason I struggle with Greek Life as a profession is the turning of a blind eye to dangerous chapter practices in the name of safeguarding one's liability. We can't go to houses and bust the door down to catch alcohol violations we presume are likely happening, but that means the only policy enforcement is reactive to negative events. And I wouldn't want the liability of being the party police, but I don't see another way to get undergrads to follow policies that restrict their parties besides holding them accountable to policy before a tragedy happens.
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2017, 01:51 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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I think this has a huge impact on certain chapters (of both fraternities and sororities). I've seen it first-hand. Even if chapters have turned over and want to change for the better, there are enough alumni around who want to ensure things remain the same. And this doesn't only apply to hazing (see: 2013 University of Alabama sorority recruitment).

We're organizations built on ritual and tradition, but there are some alumni that convince collegiates that the binge drinking and hazing practices of the last couple decades are the traditions that shouldn't die.

And if collegiates are convinced that ending these practices will suddenly make them "uncool" or change their social status on campus, there are so many more chances nowadays for that to happen and for word to rapidly spread across campus. Social media and sites like Greekrank propel these chapters into the spotlight and can quickly alter their ranking in their campus social hierarchy.

Sadly, these rankings are generally determined by other collegiate Greek members who sometimes (frequently?) encourage poor behavior.
I've even had to deal with those alums who are members of other chapters. I tell my actives that there are these alumni who will reach out to you on occasion, but they are members of xyz chapter and their values are different from ours.

I'm honestly very proud of the way our chapter and our alumni have handled negative outside influences. If something negative is happening, alumni communicate quickly and it's handled. We are all very anti-hazing, so we have never had the slightest problem. This is because we are a brand spanking new, less than 20 year old chapter which had the fortune of founders who bought into the no-hazing paradigm. Good luck to those chapters which have been hazing for 100+ years. I don't see that changing overnight.
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2017, 02:14 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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I've even had to deal with those alums who are members of other chapters. I tell my actives that there are these alumni who will reach out to you on occasion, but they are members of xyz chapter and their values are different from ours.

I'm honestly very proud of the way our chapter and our alumni have handled negative outside influences. If something negative is happening, alumni communicate quickly and it's handled. We are all very anti-hazing, so we have never had the slightest problem. This is because we are a brand spanking new, less than 20 year old chapter which had the fortune of founders who bought into the no-hazing paradigm. Good luck to those chapters which have been hazing for 100+ years. I don't see that changing overnight.
Or perhaps it will? Ok, maybe not overnight, but these campus-wide suspensions are picking up. Perhaps these schools saying "enough is enough" will force organizations to take a long, hard look at how certain chapters are operating.

I'm not saying I completely agree with the way all of these suspensions are being handled (e.g. policies enforcing the restriction of chapter meetings), but people need to be held accountable. And as others have stated, the "innocent" chapters/members (of both fraternities and sororities) may not actually be so innocent.
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2017, 10:40 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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These kids want to be hazed, they want to binge drink and they expect to have those opportunities.
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This is EXACTLY what my son's freshman dorm roommate said last year. The fraternity he pledged lost their charter before he was even initiated. He got what he signed up for, but it didn't last long, of course.
I cannot tell you how many times the chapter I used to advise would say, "Oh, I wish I had been hazed!"

IMHO, when we lumped having to have pledge books signed and maybe a scavenger hunt into the same category as being forced into alcohol abuse and pledge line ups, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater. I think that blurring that line has done much more harm than good.
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