College Greek systems ruin lives


Justine Seligson, Photo Coordinator

She sits in the desolate, cobwebbed basement of the house. She suffers her way through putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle. Her only source of light is a tiny candle. It is around three in the morning, which is especially hard for her because of the sleep condition her doctor diagnosed her with last year. She wants to give up, but can’t. This is the only way she is going to be inducted into Alpha Phi.

This is the true story of a family friend of mine. When I first heard that this happened last year, all the colleges I was looking at that had Greek systems immediately dropped to lower spots on my list. Now as a senior, I am proud to say that I will be attending an institution next year without any fraternities or sororities.

My friend’s situation is quite minor compared to some other horrendous incidences in the names of “sisterhood” and “brotherhood.” An article from Elite Daily lists some common hazing practices that make me question our society’s sanity. Paddling to the point of hospitalization. Water overdose. Being forced to swallow a raw liver without chewing. In addition to all this, Bloomberg Business reveals a shocking number: 60 individuals have died in Greek system hazing incidents since 2005. Countless others have been seriously injured.

I doubt that when each of these inductee’s parents sent in the $50,000 check for their child’s enrollment at the university, such horrors were what they had in mind.

One could write a full-length book with a recount of all the cases of human rights violations in Greek housing. But it all comes down to remembering the reason for this stage of our lives.

I’m going to college to learn new subjects, prepare myself for the future and meet new people. I want my friends there to be people I can truly connect with. While some will argue that Greeks systems enhance these opportunities during one’s undergraduate year, the torture that comes along with it is not worth it one bit.

My friends should not be defined as the people who swallowed the liver in the same amount of time as me.