Running Head: FRATERNITY AND SORORITY MEMBERSHIP
The Effects of Fraternity and Sorority Membership on the College Experience Ivan V. Ceballos
The Pennsylvania State University
The Effects of Fraternity and Sorority Membership on the College Experience Fraternities and sororities have been part of the collegiate experience for most of American higher education’s history. What once were literary and debating societies are now social and service-oriented organizations that are a traditional part of the American collegiate culture. As interconnected as Greek-letter organizations and higher education may be, continued cases of hazing, high-risk drinking, social prejudices, and other related issues have caused many to question the outcomes of fraternity and sorority membership and if they support those of the academy. Furthermore, much of the recent debate concerning fraternities and sororities is whether or not they complement a co-curricular learning experience. As asked by Nelson, Halperin, Wasserman, Smith, & Graham (2006), “Are these organizations merely an anachronism, propping up outdated notions of class, gender, and racial segregation or can they offer students a rich learning experience” (p. 61)? Research and publications based on questions like these, particularly those surrounding issues of academic performance, have yielded inconsistent conclusions (Nelson et al., 2006). As a result, rather than provide American higher education with an absolute answer as to whether or not fraternities and sororities play a positive role on campus, these studies have brought into light the positive attributes as well as the challenges that face the national fraternity and sorority community. McClure (2006) urges that when assessing Greek-letter organizations, that the differences between traditionally White organizations and historically Black and other culturally-based fraternities and sororities are noted, particularly...
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