Re the Dec. 18 letter, “Frats for life,” the writer inadvertently presented a good argument for abolishing fraternities or, at the very least, implementing stringent controls governing their operations. The writer states there was alcohol and drug use, and hazings worse than those used today, during his membership. However, because he was apparently unaffected and able to maintain relationships with his brothers for almost 50 years, he says fraternity life was one of the best things that ever happened to him. Unfortunately, some do not survive frat life, and others do not emerge unscathed.
Members of fraternities and sororities are among the highest-risk group of students associated with continued and immoderate substance abuse.
College students who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or have a substance abuse problem, are one of the groups at greater risk for attempting suicide, or death by suicide.
The consequences of alcohol use among students ages 18-24, reported by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, indicate that annually, about 1,825 of them die from alcohol-related injuries; 696,000 are assaulted by a fellow student who was drinking; 97,000 report falling victim to date rape or sexual assault; 20 percent have Alcohol Use Disorder; and one in four report negative academic consequences from drinking.
Hazing also appears far from harmless and often involves excessive use of alcohol. Over the past decade, there were about 40 deaths due to hazing on college campuses. The most common cause of hazing deaths is alcohol poisoning. Many states have implemented legislation making hazing illegal.
While membership in fraternities provide positive benefits and cultivate social identity and skills among members, is it wise to play Russian roulette with the lives of our students?
Joyce Voschin, Davie