Many professionals throughout the years have studied the effects of student participation in extracurricular activities and organizations. Increased academic performance, civic involvement, and the fostering of life skills such as leadership, responsibility, and collaboration are some of the advantages that may be obtained through groups outside of the classroom. This type of engagement can stimulate growth and balance, which are critical components of wellbeing. Through my experiences in different clubs and organizations I can attest to many of these gains.
Fraternities and sororities specifically, have played a considerable role on college campuses and within society. Although Greek life has duly faced increasing scrutiny, historically, Greek letter organizations have impacted numerous individuals and communities in vast ways. With the tragic hazing deaths of students attempting to gain membership into various fraternities across the United States, it is necessary for us to explore and implement solutions that will advance healthy participation in these organizations.
Texas State University, Florida State University, and Florida International University have decided to suspend Greek life on campus. During this time university administrators and the Greek community are looking to review and strengthen policies and procedures that will increase safety and promote behavior consistent with university values. Will other universities decide to follow this lead?
I believe that a pause in activities is needed to reevaluate, address, and reform the culture of Greek life on campuses. Solutions can be enacted to ensure the safety of all students. Using relevant strategies, we can prevent future harm and halt suspensions from becoming expulsions. This will be a challenging task that may require increasing awareness among middle and high school students as well as the university population. However, through collective efforts the culture of hazing can be eradicated.