Fellow Jesuit university, Marquette University, allows Greek life on campus, saying that “Our Greek community exists to enhance the lives of individuals by providing involvement opportunities.” Fraternities and sororities offer many opportunities to their members, such as sticky floors and keg-stand training.
In all seriousness, any calls to follow other Jesuit schools like Marquette and Santa Clara University to allow Greek life on campus are extremely misguided. Greek life would hold no substantial element to Fairfield’s campus that can’t be achieved more tastefully.
Fairfield is known for its adherence to Jesuit values in our campus life and academic focuses. The premise of Greek life isn’t inherently against the Jesuit ideals, the actual implementation of it often is.
Rape culture is prevalent in many areas throughout our society. However, fraternities and the environment they create are particularly glaring examples. Several studies have shown that students in fraternities are up to 74% more likely to assault a female classmate than their peers who aren’t affiliated with Greek Life.
Nearby Yale University allows fraternities and sororities to exist on campus. However, they have many of the same issues that schools nationwide face with their fraternities. Just last year, the LEO fraternity on the Yale campus came under fire after a female student told the Yale Daily News she was raped by the frat’s then-vice president.
Fear of rape culture permeating on campus isn’t the only concern with Greek life. According to a 2008 statistic from StopHazing, 73% of college students who participate in Greek life experience hazing to join the association they want to affiliate with.
While hazing can often be harmless, it can put college freshmen in extremely dangerous situations. There have been 50 deaths related to Greek life hazing since 2000, the vast majority of which resulted from a student being pressured to consume too much alcohol.
Considering the already problematic drinking culture at Fairfield, adding Greek life to our campus would be detrimental to student health.
Starting students first-year, they have many ways to connect with like-minded students and even share separate living spaces as upperclassmen. Orientation groups connect random bunches of students, and clubs allow students to find peers with the same niche interests.
There are several different living and learning communities that first-years can choose to live in instead of standard dorm housing, focusing on the Honors Program, Health and Wellness, Leadership and STEM. Additionally, the option to live in Langguth sophomore year provides ample opportunities for students to live in communities without fraternities or sororities. Upperclassmen in the townhouses also can form groups and choose a topic to focus on in Build a House programs.
As seniors, Fairfield students have the opportunity to live in beach houses together based on a lottery system, which functions as quasi-fraternity and sorority houses for the upperclassmen. Named beach houses already create a fraternity or sorority-like atmosphere, without the toxic aspects of the culture.