Greek life has many flaws including hazing and creating an environment for alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault, and allowing racial uniformity. According to Lewis & Llewellyn LLP, fraternity men are three times more likely to commit rape than their non-Greek peers. While the issues surrounding Greek life are serious, there should remain some consideration for reforming GWU’s Greek life. The alternative of regulated Greek life would be non-regulated organizations with the same harmful practices without the possibility of controlled reform.
Greek life serves philanthropic causes, fosters a sense of community, and helps with depression. Greek life has strong networking opportunities and alumni programs. Students who belong to a fraternity or sorority have a higher rate of graduation at 71% nationally compared to 50% for non-Greeks. In addition, many college students struggle to fit in initially and can experience loneliness and depression. Fraternities serve as an outlet where people can make friends and be accepted into a brotherly community offsetting the anxiety and depression that can follow people who struggle to fit in. Despite these benefits, there is the issue of diversity. BIPOC and the LGBTQ community are underrepresented in GW Greek life. Diversity initiatives from GWU Greek life would help spread its benefits. Fraternities should create incentives and programs to diversify their ranks including less costly dues for minority groups and even e-board positions specified toward minorities.
Alcohol is central to many of Greek life’s issues. Abolishing Greek life would push the organizations off-campus where they would not be regulated. Parties and alcohol would continue to be prevalent and perhaps be even more dangerous by creating a climate for more sexual assault claims and alcohol abuse. Sorority girls are more likely to suffer from alcohol abuse at a rate of 64.2% compared to 40.9% for girls not in Greek life. A possible solution is making GWU Greek free of hard liquor.
Greek life has some serious problems that need to be dealt with. Abolishing it would mean relinquishing any control GWU may have over the behavior and activities of Greek life proponents. Reform would keep control over Greek life and potentially spread its benefits to a wider demographic of GWU. Reforming Greek organizations is the way to go.