Greek Life shouldn’t have exception
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 00:02
The First Year Experience program will go into effect at the start of the 2013-14 school year. Incoming freshmen will have to live on campus. This is part of Oregon State’s effort to increase the likelihood of freshmen connecting with the university, which would increase the amount of freshmen who come back to OSU for their sophomore year.
Associated Students of Oregon State University reviewed the plan in both the House and Senate before eventually passing a resolution calling for an exception for Greek Life from the First Year Experience.
These communities are worried the First Year Experience program will negatively affect their membership rates and revenue from incoming freshmen.
Student government may support an exception for Greek Life and other cooperative living groups, but we do not. Exceptions should not be made for certain groups and the same standards should be held to all.
We understand the rent incoming freshmen provide creates necessary revenue for the Greek community. We understand how confining the freshmen to on-campus housing will negatively impact the Greek community.
We also worry about the incentive this exception creates. We are worried if freshmen want to move out of their dorm, they will pledge to the Greek community and get sucked into a blur of parties, binge drinking and poor academic influences. We don’t want our easily-influenced freshmen forced into a living situation just because they want off-campus housing.
We’d like to apologize for lumping all sororities and fraternities into a group of partiers, binge drinkers and poor academic influences. We’re sure some of you are well-behaved, law-abiding, over-achieving, “A-plus” citizens. We can’t, however, dismiss the worst cases.
Slightly more than 70 percent of fraternity members and nearly 60 percent of sorority members are binge drinkers, according to the 2011 revised “Environmental Strategies to Prevent Alcohol Problems in College Campuses,” prepared by Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in support of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Heavy drinking leads to an increased rate of alcohol-related injuries, deaths or assaults. Heavy drinking also leads to a higher likelihood of negative academic consequences. About 25 percent of college students reported the consequences from drinking included falling behind, doing poorly on assignments and exams and “receiving lower grades overall,” according to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation document.
We’re not necessarily saying don’t join the Greek community. We’re just worried the exception to the First Year Experience program might lead easily-influenced freshmen down a path they would have otherwise steered clear of.
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