Connect with us

Education

How Parents are Striving to Change the Greek Life Hazing Culture

Monmouth in New Jersey has already made strides.

Alex Mauriello

Published

on

Fraternity hazing charges and deaths have been on the rise in recent years, leading to heightened parental concern, as they strive to bring about necessary change and justice.

Such was the case of 19-year-old Timothy Piazza, who died in 2017 after taking part in a hazing “ritual” that required him to consume 18 drinks in 82 minutes, making his blood-alcohol level five times the legal limit. Highly disoriented, he had sustained numerous head injuries after falling down a flight of stairs, and died after his fraternity brothers waited over 12 hours to alert authorities.

After suffering through such a heartbreaking and traumatic experience, the Piazza Family, along with other families who had lost their sons in similar instances, formed the Anti-Hazing Coalition in order to strengthen hazing laws and eventually prevent it altogether. With its roots in South Carolina, they have since expanded, with their main goal now being to pass a law in Pennsylvania (with the intention of it being named after Piazza himself) that would “make hazing a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.”

And they have been making progress. This past March, the group succeeded in encouraging Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana to sign the ‘Max Gruver Act,’ which would cause participants in a hazing scheme to receive up to six months in prison and fines of up to $1000. If the act of hazing leads to death, the charges increase to up to five years in prison, and a fine of $10,000, a stark and necessary contrast to its previous 30 days and $1000 fine.

As hazing continues to be a substantial issue on school campuses, colleges are starting to heed parental concerns much more seriously. As of September 6, Monmouth University in New Jersey has effectively suspended all Greek life organizations until further notice.  This is due to a number of serious incidents involving hazing, alcohol, drugs, etc, that have affected not only Monmouth itself, but “Greek communities across the country that…have often resulted in tragic situations.”  Interestingly, President Dimenna insists that any and all proposals to fix and reinstate Greek life at the University must come from the students, not higher-up officials.

This could prove to be a very effective way to control and regulate the Greek system, as students will not only learn to adhere to stricter codes of conduct, but implement them themselves. In doing so, they will be forced to take a hard look at their previous hazing actions, which are often followed mindlessly under the principles of “tradition” or “rite of passage” within an individual organization. 

In April, several university presidents from across the nation, including Penn State’s Eric Barron, Louisiana State’s F. King Alexander, and Florida State’s John Thrasher, all of whom had students die from hazing incidents, met to discuss and educate others on the importance of Greek life control and safety.

But they do not intend to eliminate it entirely. Amid the constant negative stereotypes surrounding the system, they have not forgotten its positive qualities. They hope to “[get] [Greek] chapters back to their foundational values of leadership and service.”

But while the roughly 9 million Greek life members nationally are well aware of the benefits and opportunities afforded by Greek life, for concerned parents, the cons are starting to largely outweigh the pros. The Greek community must therefore fight to battle its negative stereotypes in order to create a safer environment for its members, and thus lift the veil upon which has clouded their initial core values and strengths.

You’ve all managed to convince yourselves that the Greek community is a place to foster friendships, leadership roles, and community service. Now convince us.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Alex Mauriello is a senior English major with a Biology minor at The College of New Jersey. She loves pizza, her dogs, and using excessive amounts of sarcasm whenever possible.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government5 days ago

Speaker Pelosi Endorsed Lowering the Voting Age to 16 years Old

The kids maybe alright to vote.

by , The Catholic American University
National News6 days ago

Here’s What We Know So Far About Operation Varsity Blues

A summary and the latest updates about the largest college admissions scandal to hit the country.

by , George Washington University
Government6 days ago

The Department of Health and Human Services Received Complaints of Alleged Sexual Abuse Against Foreign National Minors

Migrant children may be at risk on the ground and overseas.

by , The Catholic American University
Government7 days ago

California Governor Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty Statewide

The Golden State is on the verge of ending the death penalty.

by , The Catholic American University
Government7 days ago

Top Congressional Republicans Decry Progressive Policies as Socialist

A Third Red Scare in Washington?

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 week ago

North Dakota State University Football Player Wears Socialist Pin at the Trump White House

The Reds infiltrate the White House.

by , The Catholic American University
National News1 week ago

Ethiopian Airlines Jet Crashes, No Survivors on Boeing 737

This is the second flight, in five months involving a Boeing 737.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
Government2 weeks ago

Progressives, Socialists, Make Gains in Local Elections in NYC and Chicago

The left is on the rise in big cities.

by , The Catholic American University

Top Reads