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  • Ricksel Penullar

History of College Fraternities

Let us be honest; Fraternities are widely known throughout a college experience; chances are you might be in one or maybe not. So today I'm gonna dedicate my whole research and take a gander at frat culture excluding the ones that are ethnic, religious and academic fraternities. Then we'll try to remember that every fraternity at every college is different. However you still know the stereotype. It is the type of place that chants "Nerds" "Nerds" "Nerds." Even when we look at the goofy, party side of frats, there are real negatives. Studies have shown that frats correlate with increased binge drinking and an average .25 drop in GPA once you look into the long history of fraternities that you understand why Greek life became a part of college life and why it is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Fraternal organizations in the United States, like the Freemasons, are crucial to understanding college fraternities. Early fraternity histories point to Phi Beta Kappa as the first fraternity. They were founded at William and Mary in Virginia. It was an honor society, and early fraternities were similar academies. By 1825 However, three purely social fraternities at union college in Schenectady formed. The College system had begun. The next year, a man named William Morgan was murdered. Morgan died mysteriously after threatening to expose Masonic secrets. This led to an entire political party, the Anti-masonic party, revolting against the masons in America Its less about the mysterious murder than the climate. Secret societies were a big deal, and people were kind of afraid of them. That Included adult fraternities like the Masons, But also secret societies in colleges.

Colleges preferred open celebrations of school like bucolic only slightly violent class days from the 1850s. One 1900s issue of a Sigma Nu journal shows consequences of anti-fraternity sentiment: Laws that banned fraternities or forced them to operate in secret. Even successful fraternities had to find strategies to fight this. Delta Upsilon started as an anti-secret fraternity- a frat without secret rituals for this reason it seemed like frats were on the way out so what could have changed? Enrollment in Higher Education jumped from 63,000 students in 1870 to 600,000 in 1920. The growth was massive in enrollment and it created a lot of problems. Fraternities helped colleges solve them. College Flag Rush, where a freshman and sophomores battled over a flag, was famous for everybody, not just for frat kids. Students would walk out from this with ripped clothes, injured and even killed in the scramble. Colleges started to see Greek Life as a tool to maintain order. Again a Fraternity, like any organization, is only useful as its members and its culture. Some "Frats" are composed of toxic men that binge drink and haze and are composed of student leaders. Many people from what I know had a positive college experience at the University. Although I do understand that that is not the case for everyone, like most issues, it cannot be covered in just 10 minutes.

Colleges started to see Greek Life as a tool to maintain order. First, Fraternities provided housing for that rapidly swelling student population. Fraternities also provided an infrastructure for disciplining a horde of students. If you ever witness scenes like Animal house, 1978, and wonder why Deans keep fraternities around. However, the administration brought them back. As former frat members aged into leadership roles, they realized that fraternities gave somebody to yell at.

Fraternities are a distributed discipline. Deans Could yell at greek leaders, who could yell at upper-level students, who could yell at underclassmen instead of having to discipline that giant section of the bar chart all by themselves—the big reason for keeping frats around administrators that frats led to money after college. Alumni donations from fraternity and sorority members are higher than from other students. Students loved the university through their fraternities- and the university had many reasons to stay chained to them. That same paper showed that fraternities increase binge drinking? It also showed that they increase alumni income because of the networking opportunities. That is without even mentioning the lifelong friendships that greek members form.

However, there are downsides of fraternities that can be a lot worse than what we see in the movies. It's easy to marvel at a 100-year-old hazing, but as Caitlin Flanagan wrote in the Atlantic. All that binge drinking and hazing can have life-threatening consequences. She notes unnecessary injuries in fraternity housing, high alcohol use, and alleged sexual assault along with the lasting legacy of racial discrimination. Weather Fraternities are beneficial depending on how you view them and how you view college students. We're all asking the same questions as those administrators in the 1800s. We have to figure out if their solutions are still the right ones today how you view students. And maybe even all people change your answer. Do frats help control the problems in college life? Or do they create them? Again a Fraternity, like any organization, is only useful as its members and its culture. Fraternities are a brotherhood, just like sororities are a sisterhood. Both are organizations of a pseudo-sibling relationship aimed to raise money for: social events, long term members, etc.

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