Greek Life Essay

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Greek Life

Since the Kappa Alpha Society was founded in 1825 at Union College, all but three United States Presidents have been members of a fraternity. The Greek system now contains nine million members across 123 chapters of fraternities and sororities. Nine million people have taken advantage of the opportunity to better themselves and their universities through a fraternity or sorority. However whenever a Greek organization is featured in the media, it is usually for reasons of an out of control party or hazing allegations. The media ignores the millions of hours dedicated to community service, as well as the millions of dollars raised for charity annually. Hazing makes headlines, philanthropy does not. The Greek system is frequently criticized for instances of members breaking the non-hazing policy of every chapter across the country, and is regularly condemned for it.

Hazing is an illegal part of many organizations, including the military, sports teams, marching bands, fraternities and sororities. Hazing again is illegal in all of these organizations and is specifically addressed in the handbook of many Greek organizations. For some, hazing is seen as a rite of passage, and is expected when pledging a fraternity. Regardless, this practice is actually less popular than the media makes it seem. I personally am pledging a fraternity here at Salem State University, and have never been told or forced to do something I did not want to do.

Hazing does happen though, and it sadly it hurts the image of the Greek system as a whole. Dartmouth College, the school where the famed fraternity film Animal House is set, has been notorious for their brutal hazing practices. In an article written by an ex-fraternity member at Dartmouth, Andrew Lohse recalls the horrible acts he had to perform in order to gain acceptance into one of the 17 chapters. "I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit,...
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