By MICHELLE KIM – CENTO WRITER
We’ve seen them in countless movies, such as 22 Jump Street, Bad Neighbors, and several spin-offs of American Pie, as well as in the headlines of the news. More often than not, they are paired with the subjects of rape, underage-drinking, drugs, and vandalism. College fraternity parties are the talk of the town almost everywhere you look, especially among our peers. They are known for being wild, problematic, and do not exactly ensure a good night’s sleep for any parent of a college student.
The blame is often cast upon the fraternities, seeing as they host these events, but are they really the source of problem? More specifically, do the fraternities deserve to be burdened with one hundred percent of the blame?
Fraternities are often portrayed in mass media with a negative connotation, much more often than are sororities. Films like Sorority Wars and Sydney White that are centered on the topic of sororities tend to focus more so on the recruitment process, friendships, rivalries, and relationships, rather than party hosting. The reasoning behind this is most likely due to the fact that many of the sororities’ national organizations have their own risk management and recruitment policies prohibiting them from hosting parties. This is the case with the sororities on Centre’s campus, even though the College itself does not mandate any policies against sorority parties.
All of the national organizations of the four sororities represented on our campus–Alpha Delta Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Delta Delta Delta, and Kappa Alpha Theta–also have their own chapter policies enforcing alcohol-free housing, or a “dry” house. They are, however, permitted to host events where alcohol is present, as long as the alcohol is provided by a contracted third-party vendor that only serves to the girls and guests over the age of 21. Nonetheless, their national organizations do mandate several more restrictions pertaining to alcohol than their male counterparts.
“The main issue in us being allowed to throw parties is that all of our houses are dry. I know a lot of chapters at bigger schools rent out bars and other venues on a weekly basis to have their own parties, but there aren’t that many bars in Danville and our chapters simply don’t have the means to rent out venues like that,” Kappa Kappa Gamma member and social chair Natalie Tate said. “So even though it would be fun to have our own parties besides formals and some date parties, it’s just not logistically possible.”
In my opinion, our sororities should host parties so that the responsibilities can be shared and a fair reputation can be established among each Greek organization.
Hosting parties involves a lot of effort, beforehand as well as afterward. A lot of planning is involved and there is an unspoken pressure of throwing the best party possible. Even in a school as small as Centre College, the aftermath of the parties tend to be a scary sight, especially for the brothers who are responsible for cleaning up the messes made. There are also many risks included in being held accountable for anyone who attends these parties.
Many of the fraternities on campus have been or currently are on probation for previous violations that may not have even been their fault. Some of these violations include not ending the party at the appropriate time, allowing more than the allotted amount of people inside the houses, or not swiping in everyone’s ID cards. If these rules are broken, it is the fraternities that suffer the consequences on the attendees’ behalf.
It is highly stressed that Greek life is very different on our campus than is it on many others, with which I definitely agree. One of the main focuses and distinguishing factors of our school’s Greek system is philanthropy. A majority of the events that our sorority chapters do host are fundraisers, usually targeted towards a specific charity. Our campus enforces many strict rules against hazing and “dirty rushing,” and regulates our parties much more than most other campuses, so I don’t think sorority parties would bring about any new problems.
I believe our peers are mature and responsible enough to handle throwing parties, despite whoever is hosting. The fraternities throw parties as a means for the rest of the student body to socialize, dance, and simply have fun, which is why Greek life is undoubtedly one of the most cherished aspects about our campus. I understand that the policies of our sororities’ national organizations are the determining factor in whether they host or not, but it is not fair that fraternities are given a bad name and are punished because they decide to take on the responsibilities that others do not.