Death to the Fraternity System

We can't trust 'reform': Jordan Sargent
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2014 12:07 PM CST
Death to the Fraternity System
An exterior view of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., the site of an alleged sexual assault.   (AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Ryan M. Kelly)

A report about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia shut down the school's fraternities until Jan. 9—but actually, "the right time to bring back the fraternities is never," writes Jordan Sargent at Gawker. It's time, he says, to do away with a culture that "facilitate(s) a substantial number of rapes on college campuses that would not otherwise happen." In fact, a 2007 study found that "men who enter fraternities are three times as likely to commit rape as their fellow students who do not," Sargent notes.

Some argue that fraternities provide a number of important, positive functions. Perhaps so, but "to say that we must keep fraternities around even though they manufacture rape is to say we must accept one of humanity's most heinous acts as an unavoidable cost of operating a college campus," Sargent writes. Others might say that instead of getting rid of fraternities, we should reform them. But that requires trusting the same people who have turned a blind eye to "a culture of unchecked sexual assault" to fix it. And yes, without fraternities, attacks will still happen elsewhere. But "when it comes to combating sexual assaults on campus, we must start somewhere. Ending fraternities, it is clear, would be the most effective place to start." Click for Sargent's full piece. (More fraternity stories.)

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