It feels like the cycle was never-ending; a fraternity does something stupid and the university gives a slap on the wrist, and case closed.
But this wasn’t the case for Sigma Alpha Epsilon at Oklahoma University.
After the video of SAE members singing racist chants went viral on the Internet, OU acted quickly and decisively by closing the entire chapter house and expelling two of the members of the fraternity.
OU acted promptly, decisively and sternly, and San Diego State — as well as every other college for that matter — should follow its example when dealing with the future incidents that may happen with Greek life.
One video barely longer than a Vine was enough to expel two students and purge the entire chapter from the school and essentially evict all the members within a matter of days.
SDSU needs to step up to the plate and establish stricter punishments to deter negative behavior in fraternities. Even if they’re not as strict as this OU incident, something needs to be done.
The Delta Sigma Phi incident where members waved around dildos and cursed at the participants of “Take Back the Night” gathered quite a bit of national publicity. The main difference is SDSU wasn’t the one to close fraternity; That honor belonged to Delta Sigma Phi’s national office.
This needs to change. How many more hazing incidents and national dramas need to happen to make the SDSU act? Universities should start taking responsibility for their fraternity chapters. This leniency for frats, not just at SDSU, is partially to blame for them getting out of hand.
According to a study in the NASPA Journal, men who join frats are three times more likely to rape. According to an article in The Guardian, one in five women will experience sexual assault during their time at college.
These statistics are revolting. College is a place for learning. It shouldn’t be a battle to protect your basic human rights. It seems as if it takes a national public outcry to hold fraternities accountable, so at least for now, sexual assault and rape will be overlooked considering how it’s become another day in life of a college student.
Even if its members themselves aren’t committing these crimes a fraternity needs to be held responsible for what happens on their property. As hosts, keeping an eye on all the guests and making sure no one’s doing anything illegal is their job.
It’s not practical to completely ban all of Greek life because that is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. However, right now, SDSU is like a negligible parent. Asking it to take charge, actually pay attention to what happens in Greek life and discipline the sorority and fraternity chapters when they screw up, shouldn’t be an unreasonable request.
We can get this right, so everyone can enjoy college in a safe environment.