Do Fraternity’s/Sororities solve college problems or make college problems?


Are these institutions more good or bad for college life?

Do the Mason’s still have a huge influence on them?



When did you stop beating your wife?


I don’t get it?


Yeah, that’s clear.

  1. There is much to recommend Greek college life. It helps young people built relationships, teaches them how to live in community, encourages academic and philanthropic efforts etc. There is also much bad about Greek life, not the least of which is overuse of alcohol (other substances in some places too) and sex

  2. The Masons have nothing to do with Greek life and never have. So there is no way to answer your question which assumes an incorrect fact, just like there is no way to answer the question “when did you stop beating your wife?” assuming you never beat her.


I see the organizations themselves as neutral. The individuals in them can choose to act well or badly.
I do think some (not all) overemphasize alcohol use/ abuse and this, along with hazing, is a problem and needs to be policed. However, not all Greek organizations have these problems, and alcohol abuse is also a big problem for many college students who don’t join the organizations.


Vox implies the Mason’s formed the fraternities.


I think he’s thinking about certain Ivy-League societies which do have some historic ties to Freemasonry. While those are distinct from the standard Fraternity / Sorority on most campuses, there are similarities, so the confusion isn’t totally unfounded.


That depends on the sorority or fraternity and the individual person. This is all opinion only, I’m not sure what you want to accomplish with this question.

I am unaware of a Mason connection to fraternities and sororities.


I’ve known a lot of people who were active in Greek life and none of them ever had anything to do with the Masons. The Masons in USA are pretty much considered like the Kiwanis, Moose, or Elks…a businessmen’s networking and booster club. College students couldn’t care less about that.

The “secret societies” at Ivy League schools seem more “Masonic” to me, due to all the secretive rituals, but they aren’t really considered frats or sororities.


Uhh, no it doesn’t. It merely compares “adult secret societies” with “college secret societies”. There is absolutely no implication that the Masons had anything to do with starting the college fraternity system, and if there were it would be wrong. Those who suggest otherwise also often cling to the old “its the Illuminati” conspiracy hogwash.

(that’s seven minutes of my life I won’t ever get back)

BTW, “Vox” is an incredibly unreliable source. They print more retractions and corrections than pretty much any "news’ site out there. I could give you a link verifying this but the title is offensive, in that it uses the “f-word” to describe Vox’s errors.

EDIT: found a workaround. Take a look at footnotes 41 and 42 to this wiki article:


Let me re-direct please.

I’m worried my nephew is going to college next year and keep reading about hazing leading to death.


I recommend you sit your nephew down, perhaps including his parents, and you give him a frank talk about the dangers of hazing, drinking etc. Tell him that if he is asked to break the law, engage in physically dangerous activities, or submit to physical or mental abuse, or physically beat/ harass someone else, he should say no and leave whatever social group he is with who is pressuring him to do this stuff. Stress that he could end up not only kicked out of school, but in jail or even dead.

It would also be a good idea to remind him how much quantity of alcohol can be lethal. There are kids out there who do not realize drinking X number of shots in a row can kill you. I had a younger friend who had to be rushed to hospital for a stomach pump because he had one too many at a party. Fortunately the party was full of many older twenty and thirty-somethings who realized the need to get him medical attention and did not just leave him to “sleep it off”.


That is quite a different issue and a valid concern. Statistically there has been at least one fraternity related hazing death in the United States every year since the 1950s. It was a concern of mine when I started college oh so many years ago.

I suggest that if your nephew is interested in pledging a fraternity, he do a little research on the chapters at his college ahead of time. Many national fraternities now have anti-hazing policies in place, although the local chapters are not always in line, but that is a good place to start. The houses that haze are generally pretty well known among the student population and can be avoided - I did.

The recruitment period for Greek organizations is a time for prospective members to flesh out concerns. This is generally known as “RUSH”. Your nephew should be careful about selecting which houses to visit based on information generally knowable before Rush begins.


I went to a private college that had no “frats” at all. A selling point for me. College is stressful enough. I am sure it is a big draw for others.


On hazing, I’d also make the suggestion that anyone who wants you to do something you’re not comfortable with is not your friend. Also, hazing is also illegal in most states and if it happens it should be reported.

Just to emphasize too that hazing and binge drinking are two different problems, although related. Even without fraternities, where you have a lot of young men away from home for the first time in their lives, who haven’t been taught the dangers of “drinking to get drunk,” you’ve got the possibility of problems. I still remember “freshman drink night” and people being rushed to the hospital.


I really have no opinion because I didn’t go to college and I can’t say.


In my experience, frats and sororities do both good and bad, but it has always seemed that they cause more problems than they solve.

They also tend to have a sort of culture which repels me. But, to each their own.


I thought of them as on a scale from useless to harmful.

Then I had a kid in my office with a shaved head, and I asked why.

One of the other guys in his fraternity was in chemo, so they all shaved their heads in support of him.

And then I got the string of kids coming in with grade sheets for me to sign, as their fraternities had mandatory study periods and monitored freshman grades for potential further intervention . . .



I’ve seen everything in my area from guys committing assault, to guys surprising the local police department with a free lunch.
They are really all over the map.


I cannot speak to every university, but I know at the university where I went to grad school hazing was NEVER tolerated. If your fraternity/sorority was caught hazing you lost your charter. End of.

(I was never in Greek life as the university where I went for undergrad did not have it. The university I describe above is the one I attended for graduate school.)

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