The Pros and Cons of Universities Banning Freshman Rush

Sometimes, fraternities and sororities on campus are seen as important aspects of campus culture. Other times, they’re selective clubs that promote negative activities on campus.

Recently, two major universities took action to deal with what they perceived were the problems with Greek life on their college campuses. The University of South Carolina put a freeze on fraternity rush. The decision came after a student drank so much at a fraternity recruitment party that he became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

At Princeton University, officials recently banned students from participating in freshman rush beginning in fall 2012. The decision was made because of the school’s beliefs that social and residential life should revolve around the residential colleges, eating clubs, and shared experiences of the undergraduates living and dining on campus. Other officials at the school find that fraternities and sororities contribue to a sense of social exclusivity and privilege among students.

Are there more negatives to Greek life than positives?  Here some pros and cons:

Pros to Greek life

  • friendship–it’s an easy way to meet some of your best friends for life
  • academics–often times a big purpose of the fraternity/sorority community is to encourage and develop high scholastic achievement among its members
  • social life–planned mixers, parties, etc.
  • community service opportunities
  • networking–the Kappa Fig Newton could connect you with your dream job

Cons to Greek life

  • dues — Greek life gets expensive!
  • stigma–unfortunately, people tend to stereotype people in the Greek system
  • drama–living with a small community of boys/girls can become a bit much, and a little misunderstanding could lead to a big fall out
  • hazing–it’s technically not allowed, but depending where you go, it still happens

Do you agree with these university officials on their stances against Greek life? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below!

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  1. Demetria Wood says:

    Yes I agree with the decision because sometime it can create drama that could have been avoided. You came to college to further your education and plus your paying for it out of your own pocket, so why would you do all this crazy partying and risking being kicked out of the college. Its just saying you put your social life in front of your career, when it should be the other way around.
    Also if you want to make life long friends, do it the old fashion way & ask around 7 develop it yourself. Its way easier and it could bring less drama into your lives!

  2. Lee says:

    This is unconstitutional. It is in violation of our freedom to assemble. Fraternities build character, leadership skills, and networking. They also promote academics and philanthropy. As a part of the Greek system I can say that the only “drama” that happens comes from the outsiders trying to peer in on things they don’t understand. Joining a fraternity is a choice. It was one of the best choices I ever made.
    My fraternity brothers helped me in situations that would have spelled the end of my college career, including financially. People look at dues as going to the cash register and getting a receipt for membership. That is the farthest thing from the truth. You are paying for the fraternity to organize activities and initiatives that you participate in. The return on investment is ten-fold.
    If you can’t afford it, by all means go scout the campus coffee shops for friends. Not only is that socially awkward for most (ironically this comes easy to members of the greek community), but you won’t know anything about that person. You will be forced to use trial and error. The point of rush is to get to know the values of various fraternities. Once you rush you know which groups are like-minded. You will find friends who are trustworthy and principled, and importantly, who value traditions. The traditions are the key to making the bonds life long. You can have a friend who shares your favorite pizza place or one that shares your thirst for honesty or sound learning. I’m willing to bet the latter will be a closer friendship.
    If you suspend rush, you suspend the courting process. The result will be new people who aren’t familiar with what kinds of friends they are joining. It is an attack on the greek community, and it will lead to more “drama” than the campuses are faced with now.

  3. Jacqueline says:

    Although I do not participate in Greek life, I know many who do and for freshman to get under that kind of pressure so early can be overwhelming. Give the freshman time to get comfortable and adjust to their academic life and explore other things beyond the greek. At least for their freshman year. They have minimum 3 more years to do it if they want. Removing the program would be a bit radical since alot of people want to do it, but the key is patience and adjustment

  4. Karla says:

    I’ve never fully understood why recruitment is at the beginning of the school year. I just doesn’t make any sense. Where I go to school, we have formal recruitment in the winter and informal recruitment in the fall and spring. However, you can only do informal recruitment in the fall if you have been at our school for at least a term. I’m all for waiting until LATER in the year to go through recruitment because then you have a chance to know people outside of Greek life and are able to focus more on your studies and other activities on campus.

    Also, I don’t think that deferring recruitment until sophomore year will do anything with the alcohol problems that some Greek life organizations seem to have. If we were really worried about alcohol problems, we would find a way to set up strict rules AND abide by them. We shouldn’t do something AFTER someone dies or almost dies because of an alcohol related incident.

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