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The Greek System Should be Removed From College Campuses

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 479 times Debate No: 74708
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The Greek System, present on college campuses around the nation, is deeply flawed. Although many young men and women have found solace in these Greek communities, these organizations do more harm than good. Lets talk about a few of the problems that plague this system (most applicable to both sororities and fraternities):
1. Discrimination/Elitism: It's becoming increasingly apparent that these organizations discriminate by race, appearance, ethnicity, class, and obviously, gender. I'm sure you've seen/heard of the incident with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity in Oklahoma in which the members joyful sang racist slurs about how an African American would not be allowed in their chapter. What's worse is that this chant was taught to them - so it's not a recent thing, it's a part of their history. To use a personal anecdote - in my freshman year of college, my roommate decided to rush. During her rushing process I learned all the stereotypes of each sisterhood. "Only bid Alpha Phi if you have straight blonde (maybe a brunette here and there) hair and are smaller than a size 6. Phi Mu? Don't you mean Phi MOO? And if you don't get into any other sorority, Sigma Kappa will always take you." Granted these are examples from the university I attended, but what's sad it that those stereotypes really did manifest themselves on my campus.
2. Sex: I know, I know, sex is rampant on college campuses - hell, health centers hand out free condoms (use with caution). I'm not just talking about consensual sex though, I mean sexual assault. Women are much more likely to be victims of sexual assault by fraternity brothers than anyone else - *300% more to be exact. Numerous studies show anywhere from 70%-90% of campus rapes occur at the hands of fraternity brothers. In fact, 1 in every 5 women in college will be sexually assaulted. That is obscene. Why is this happening? Well some of this has to do with the misogynistic ideologies being engraved in these young men's minds. There have been countless videos of frat brothers marching around chanting "no means yes, yes means anal" or at Yale "We Love Yale Sluts". A number of fraternities have also been reprimanded for hosting websites that share stories of sexual experiences (consensual and not) and often pictures are included. Another reason this is such a problem due to the excess of alcohol available to these students. That brings me to point #3
3. Alcohol: College is the prime time for experimentation - the newfound freedom, the sense of community, the legal drinking age of half of the people on campus. Although alcohol is plentiful outside of the Greek System there is notorious alcohol abuse happening within. *Twice as many Greek students as not, report they have done poorly academically as a result of alcohol consumption. Approximately 20% more Greek women abuse alcohol than non Greek. *A study done by Harvard shows "4 out of 5 fraternity and sorority members are binge drinkers. In comparison, other research suggests 2 out of 5 college students overall are regular binge drinkers." Clearly alcohol is a huge problem. That same freshman roommate I had (the one that decided to rush) commonly partied with her new "sisters". Those same sisters allowed her to drink 22 shots of vodka in less than two hours - her BAC was .4. They then dropped her off at our room and continued partying; clearly alcohol was more important than the well being of a "sister." (The roommate had to go to the hospital to have her stomach pumped that night or else she could have died. This happened twice.)

Those are only 3 of the issues that are rampant in these organizations. The Greek System is causing too much damage among our youth. It needs to go.

* (300%)
* (alcohol)
* (Harvard study)


In the name of full disclosure - I never rushed. There are times I wish I had for the connections afforded, but it was never my bag and I had a ton of other stuff on my plate. That said, not only have I received offers, but I was involved in similar organizations due to scholarship obligations and had the chance to work closely with the Greek System. So I'm going to do my best to refute the claims being brought up.

And that's not actually hard since for one thing it rather obviously shows that little real research was done. For instance, the Greek system is far more diverse then most would give it credit for. Heck even in the incident with Sigma Alpha Epsilon people are assuming the Oklahoma chapter speaks for the whole house - but it doesn't. There are in fact many black SAE members running around - including places like Missouri and Texas which aren't very well know for their racial inclusion. Heck black members have actually started chapters of SAE.

Furthermore it should be noted that not only are traditionally male houses becoming co-ed, traditionally white houses are becoming more racially inclusive. Some are going full-hog and allowing black females entry. But even without that it should be mentioned that frats and sororities are actually fairly LGBT+ friendly. 64% of gays and 56% of lesbian individuals who pledge have stated themselves as being happy and/or feeling accepted. This shouldn't be too surprising considering Greek Houses are like Hogwarts - generally speaking they're your second family.

Which brings me to the first really big benefit of pledging - you instantly gain a massive support system. Whether it's a foot through the door, being connected to potential mentors, finding someone who can put you up for a while, whatever. These are the people who will help you study, help you brainstorm solutions, and quite simply have your back when push comes to shove. And no that doesn't mean it's all skittles and sunshine and friendship is magic. You're gonna hate some people and not care about others - but like a real family when it comes down to what's important... you stand behind each other.

Now the second point (and the reason I accept the challenge) the completely inaccurate nonsense about sexual assault. Yes - nonsense... as shown by that 1 in 5 statistic that even the creators of the study it's snatched from state is being used all kinds of wrong. As per the researchers - that number is not nationally representative, should never be used as an estimate of sexual assault, and only presents statistically meaningful information for the senior undergraduate women at two universities where the data was collected.

In fact, they go on to say that the number isn't even about rape as in unwanted penetration, but instead includes sexual assault like kissing and groping along with sexual penetration. If it was only rape it'd be 1 in 7 for their studied populations. According to the Bureau of Justice the real number is something like 1 in 41 seeing as only 2.4 percent of college women will be assaulted over 4 years. So right off the bat the point being made is factually incorrect and horribly biased due to false information.

The more so as it has been shown by Loyola University New Orleans that hyper-masculinity is the predictor of sexual aggression for all men except in frats. And the reason given is that frats have mandatory sexual consent, sexual assault, physical assault, and alcohol abuse classes for their members. And that's not even counting the sheer number of chapters, and alumni who simply wouldn't stand for this. Do you realize that all but two US presidents have been in frats since 1825? Or that the first woman astronaut and the first woman senator were both in sororities? 85 percent of the judges who have sat as Supreme Court Justices were pledges? Do you really think these types of people would allow themselves to be smeared by association? No. Does that mean frat boys don't rape? No. Does that mean they are all raping monsters? Heck no - and any amount of actual thought and research would show that.

That said Greek life does encourage poor life decisions - like excessive drinking and drug use and promiscuity among both males and females. That said overall there isn't really that big a difference in health between non-Greeks and Greeks. In fact, Greeks actually get more sleep - probably because they're sleeping off the liquor. That said there is a serious difference in things like GPA, community service, and success between Greeks and Independents. Greeks tend to have higher GPAs as a group then Independents as well as higher GPAs as individuals. 71% of Greeks will remained enrolled and graduate compared to 50% of Independents. In the last year alone over 7 million dollars and 850,000 hours were given to charitable causes via the Greek system.

Actually this brings up a very, very, very important point - colleges need endowments to function. Do you know who provides the most in endowments? That's right! Greek alumni give something like 75% of all college and university donations making them the largest group of lifetime donors. Moreover they give 4 times as much as non-Greeks. And I can tell you as someone who majored in science... that stuff makes an awful big difference in terms of educational standards. Speaking of standards - 1 in 8 college students lives in a Greek house saving colleges an estimated $3 billion in the cost of owning/maintaining student housing.

So what am I trying to say? The Greek system is not perfect, neither however is it a repository of evil. Some chapters are awful, some chapters are awesome, and most chapters are somewhere in the middle. That said the Greek system has it's uses: it provides colleges with the funds to function, it provides a great deal of charitable aid, it is a great form of networking and socialization for individuals, and without the Greek System there would be no North American Food Drive which provides food for local families in need. There is far more good here then bad - all it takes is a lack of bias and some actual research.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to address the misunderstanding with the 1 in 5 statistics. I seem to have misread my information, which is my fault. Upon rereading articles, one that you seemed to use, I found that the 1 in 5 only included completed assaults. That means, there could potentially be hundreds of other attempted assaults. Regardless, I don"t really think it matters that the 1 in 5 isn"t specifically about rape. What matters is that these boys are sexually assaulting women. Just because it"s "just a kiss" doesn"t make it okay. They are touching women in ways they shouldn"t be and are getting away with it. And although my 1 in 5 statistic may have been flawed, the fact that frat boys engage in more non consensual sexual activity than non Greeks at exceedingly high rates IS true - proven by numerous studies.

Ever heard of "Rush Boobs"? Frats all across the country encourage and sometimes require their pledges to ask women to take their tops off and write "Rush *insert frat name here*". "Rush boobs" is a prime example of the common frat boy objectification of women. (not exclusive to frats, I understand)

There have been countless cases nationwide of frat boys taking advantage of women and being encouraged by brothers to do so. At Georgia Tech in 2013 there was a frat-wide email sent out to brothers about "luring your rapebait", which explained how to find a victim, weaken them with alcohol and take advantage of them. *A frat chapter at the University of Vermont was closed after the frat brothers surveyed each other on whom they would rape. A frat brother at the SAE chapter at George Mason openly admitted that there was a sexual assault problem within their chapter and at the university as a whole. These aren"t isolated incidents either, cases have been coming to light on campuses across the country. And clearly this isn"t just a non-Greek"s biased opinion - Greek members have acknowledged the issue themselves.

There was even a survey completed in the late 1980"s about male peer support in regards to violence against women. It was modified in the 90"s and again in 2013, all saying the same thing. These men are encouraging one another in these activities. And believe me, I know that this isn"t every frat, but these fraternities are indeed being used as sexual assault opportunities.

Crime is said to be comprised of two things : motive and opportunity. Clearly the boys that are committing these sex crimes, even if it is "just a kiss or grope" have the motive, but why provide them with the opportunity? I"m not saying that they wouldn"t find parties elsewhere and potentially do the same damage, I"m not that naive, but I"m sure it would limit the assault numbers by a dramatic amount.

You brought up the point about all but 2 presidents were member of fraternities. I hope I"m not the first one to tell you this, but that statistics simply isn"t true."A quick look at the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) web-site points out the truth that "At this date 44% of U.S. Presidents have held fraternity membership." I would check your source again.

But although not every president has been part of a Greek community, there are a shocking amount of powerful men and women that have. I think the fact the a large number of United States Senators, Congressmen, Fortune 500 CEOs and even a few past Presidents being frat members speaks more about elitism of fraternities and their alumni. According to Cornell University, only 2% of America"s population is involved in fraternities yet 80% of Fortune 500 executives, 76% of U.S. senators and congressmen, and 85% of Supreme Court justices have been frat men. Look at those odds and the opportunities those lucky bastards were given.

These men/women are often getting jobs and promotions from former fraternity/sorority alumni, and if that"s not nepotism, what is? I mean frats/sororities are "families" right? Now, I"m not saying that all of these people aren"t qualified for the jobs they receive, but they do seem to be getting an unfair advantage to non Greeks. I"m also not trying to say that the Greek system causes nepotism, but they definitely encourage it.

And the fact these men and women have to pay hundreds and often thousands of dollars to be a part of these organizations is slightly absurd and excludes a good portion of college attendees. I"ve heard "you pay for any organization you join", which is slightly ridiculous if you ask me. There are a plethora of organizations, social, athletic, and academic that don"t require payment, and if they do - it"s either optional or not thousands of dollars.

The GPA argument is a common argument; however, I encourage you to look deeper into the statistics university Greeks are dishing out. (I also encourage you to read this article to give a little background understanding - ) Basically the GPA statistics given are often averaged between Greek men and women. Women typically carry the higher GPA - sorry guys. The ratio of women to men in Greek life is also generally higher than non Greek. So when you average the GPA"s it looks like Greek GPAs are higher because more women = more high GPAs for the average, but really, more often than not, Greek and non Greek GPAs are practically the same. So I don"t really buy that my 3.94 would have been a 4.0 had I rushed.

The main problem I have with the charity argument is this: You don"t have to be Greek to raise money. I"m not going to deny that Greeks raise and donate millions of dollars to a variety of charities, but who says you have to be part of a Greek community to do that? At my university non-Greeks raised over a quarter of a million dollars for Riley Hospital one year. That"s awesome! Is it a million dollars? No. But it helps. The other problem I have, which also happens to be a flaw in my defense, is that this charity work is mandatory. In all honesty, if there were no Greek organizations to mandate how much community service is done, these students probably wouldn"t donate their time or money, which sucks. Although Greeks put on facade of service, I don"t think there are actually that many members passionate about charity work. (That is solely opinion and conjecture).

The idea that overall difference in health and consumption isn"t significant is just wrong. I would argue that 20% is most definitely significant. Come to think of it 20% is also 1 in 5, and I bet those 20% of women who were sexually assaulted by frat boys would agree that it is indeed significant. And I"m glad they get sleep, I definitely envy them in that regard. But is a refreshing amount of sleep a worthy trade off for the liver and kidney problems they"ll potentially face for the rest of their lives?

I understand that Greek alumni give a large portion of donations received by universities, but I don"t believe it"s 75%. My research shows the highest number any university received from alumni as a whole was about 65%, but that was not a common occurrence. So maybe 75% of that 65%. However, I get that that is still a significant amount. But it is also true that those who receive financial aids and loans are less likely to donate after graduation. What connection does that have? Those that can afford to participate in Greek life are already more likely to donate than those who cannot. Just food for thought. And if there were no more Greek communities, you must be under the assumption that alumni who may have been involved in the Greek system simply wouldn't give back or those that were, would just stop giving. I have a hard time believing that.

I'm not trying to say that there are no redeeming qualities about the Greek System, nor am I saying that every person or every chapter is bad. But the cons most definitely outweigh the pros here. Just because some good things are happening, doesn"t mean the overall system is good.


Context matters, accuracy matters, and thoughtful consideration without bias most definitely matters. Because when one acts without that witch hunts tend to result like the one we have right now against Greek Life which includes co-ed, black, Jewish, Hispanic, etc as well as the stereotype most folks think of. But as Salem and the Red Scare showed when people give into thoughtless hysteria there tends to be an ungodly amount of collateral damage. And that's what I am against.

It doesn't matter if you have the best intentions if you cause more harm going forward then you present as solving - Prohibition led to both the rise of the Mafia and organized crime as well as the FBI (which has a lot of good and bad in it) and in the end alcohol ended up remaining a serious problem even now. The Quakers thought somber isolation would help prisoners, but it turns out isolation is more of an extreme punishment.

Destroying Greek life won't make sexual violence on campus disappear nor will it fix the mess hysteria like this is creating on campus. It will however remove a lot of endowments, it will make things harder for certain groups with already large disadvantages (like blacks and women), and it will remove a large amount of charity (26+ million dollars and 5 million hours for 2013-2014). That kind of collateral damage is simply not acceptable... especially if it's based off BS statistics and anecdotal stories and 3rd/4th Wave misandry.

So let me break it down into simple terms:

1.) Using numbers like "frat guys are 300% times more likely to rape" or "1 in 5 female college students will be raped" is just as harmful as saying "vaccines cause autism". Because they all come from either deciding on a verdict and working toward proving it or they come from falsify/manufacturing evidence.

The "300%" number comes from John Foubert and actually the real numbers are 8% vs 2.5% with men ranging in age from 18 to 70... Do you see the problem there? And also this data comes from one university with a very abnormal student subset. Making it statistically worthless.

And that's not even taking into consideration that women of college age who do not attend college are more likely to be raped then college students - but no one is working to protect them in the same way. That seems more discriminatory then the joining eligibility for a "social club".

2.) There have not been countless stories of frat boys taking advantage of women. Within the last five years there have been several possible stories - however there have also been several stories about women lying. The most infamous of those right now is the Rolling Stone story which has amongst other things ruined the life of a female dean painted to look like an uncaring monster.

There is also the story of the Duke Lacrosse team. There is the story surrounding "Mattress Girl". There are the multiple stories of young men being railroaded for sexual assault following consensual sex - despite having witnesses, being drunk, text messages, and other things. And that's ignoring how Title IX is being used to bullied schools into unfortunate practices that are making things worst.

3.) Which brings me to my next point - this hysteria solves nothing and leads to many problems. For one thing the police are not being involved - and that has led to at least one case of a serial rapist finally murdering two victims and possibly a third after raping them. He'd already been expelled from two other colleges for rape - and no he wasn't in a frat.

In fact many young many who have never even thought of rushing are being screwed over by the same wave of panic that is demonizing frats like previous waves have demonized rock music, video games, and comics. And again that's part of the collateral damage that acting from a point of self-righteous ignorance comes from. Willful ignorance at that considering somehow women have enough agency not to be "objectified", but are so weak that having anything to drink makes them incapable of consent - even though males are expected to be objective even at black-out levels of drunk.

4.) And that's my fourth point - there is a chasm of difference between "victim-blaming" and "self-responsibility". If a girl agrees to write the name of a frat on her chest how is that a point against frats? Doesn't she have the right to do that? Is Miley Cyrus not allowed to twerk and dance around mostly naked? Do you disagree with Jessica Valenti's endorsement of so-called "Slut Walks"?

I mean if a girl chooses to have sex with a guy and later comes to regret it that should not result in the guy being labeled a rapist. And yet that is happening. And diffusing the concept of consent into effectively a catch-22 is also happening and the collateral of that is due process and a fair trial which is not acceptable.

And no that doesn't mean rape on campus doesn't happen - but 80% of rapes happen between two people who know each other. Stranger rape is not common, and that's half the problem with blaming frats, because only 2% of the population is affiliated with frats... so how are they possibly causing 90% of the problem? And why should that affect sororities?

5.) The numbers don't make sense and the logic is lacking - campus crime has been dropping since the 80s. Only rape is rising, but the definition for rape is changing to include everything. For instance, this is from Yale:

"Yale"s definition of consent reflects the University"s high expectations and permits discipline for behavior that does not meet a criminal standard may find that an encounter took place without coercion, force, or threat of force (criteria often associated with the term "rape") but still deem it to have lacked the unambiguous ongoing agreement that constitutes consent under the Yale standard."

So depending on what "unambiguous agreement" means... some kid might become a de facto sex offender.

I'm running out of characters so let me finish this up:

- Reading for meaning is important: I said "since 1825 all presidents except two".

- Dues are an investment, there are payment plans, and some folks actually get paid to be in a frat.

- The first people to respond to "It's On Us" were frats: "Rock Against Rape", 21 Fraternities at IU signed a written pledge to take a stand against sexual assault, etc.

- Re: 65% Okay using that number - Say there are 4 colleges in a nonexistent area, the first gets 50 from Greeks and 25 from Independent, second get 100 and 35, third gets 10 and 0, and fourth gets 5 and 30. Overall the Greeks have given 65% of the funds these colleges got even if the individual donations varied.

- You're still using the "1-in-5" stat although its been debunked...

On that point it's obvious that I'm not getting through to you - so I'll leave my resources (from both rounds) and hopefully something will stick. Because massive collateral damage due to moral panic (and the infantilizing of women) is quite simply unacceptable - especially if it means no Greek parties.

Sources R1:


Debunked Myths

Ignored Issues

Health and Behavior

Sources R2:

Must Watch:

Actual Numbers/Inflated Numbers:

Must Read:

Collateral Damage

Frat Info.:
Debate Round No. 2
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Vote Placed by Yassine 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: - Arguments: Pro's main argument was centred around rape, which is not reason enough to ban the Greek System, for that would lead, as Con has shown, to unwarranted collateral damage in the prevention of a lot of potential good. => Con's win.