Here's an argument I'm quite tired of:
1. Kid who didn't like getting hazed comes forward and talks about it.
2. Liberal media latches on and takes the story national in a wildly detailed editorial with basically zero fact-checking.
3. Liberal media simultaneously points out that fraternity hazing is awful while also describing a laundry list of high-powered execs and politicians that came from fraternities.
See what they did there? They pointed out that all these somehow all these people who networked and connected through the Greek System are bad because they are successful. You never see an article in Rolling Stone that points out the huge amount of time frat boys spend on philanthropy, then describes a laundry list of billionaires that came from the Greek System. Nyet, it's always "look, fraternities are evil because of X, here's a list of people that went to fraternities, therefore those people are probably evil too."
It's no secret that my fraternity banned hazing before I got there. And by banned I really do mean banned. A couple fraternities on campus had gotten in big [expensive] trouble for hazing in the late 90's, and my fraternity had taken the pre-emptive action of banning the practice in more than just the public eye. We had a couple of things we did to the pledges that were demeaning, sure. But those were things like making them clean the house every weekday morning (upperclassmen who created an intentional biological mess were fined), or forcing them to sober drive us home from the bars on Thursday nights. We never made them circle jerk, or eat vomit, or roll around in feces. And while I cannot comment on whether we let underclassmen drink...if we did we were extremely responsible and both controlled it as well as never forced it on them. Perhaps that is why my fraternities roll call swelled by 50% while I was there, and remains a strong house on campus a decade later.
On the flip side, we practiced mandatory study hours for freshman, did not allow drugs in the house, and had a pretty strict curfew. Our pledges regularly got the best grades in the Greek system, and the Greek system at The University of Missouri regularly had a higher average GPA than the non-Greeks. Go figure.
So these smear articles really rub me the wrong way. Not because I'm in favor of hazing but because as an "insider" I was privy to exactly how hard Greeks worked both for the local community but also for each other. When I joined the fraternity, I was accused by non-Greeks of "buying friends." Turned out living at a frat was a little cheaper per month than living in a dorm. So really I was getting discount friends.
The liberal media likes to portray the Greek network as some sort of Evil League of Evil. "Look at all these upper echelon scumbags that came out of the Greek system" they extol in article after article. Nothing like envy to drive liberal media into a frenzy. But the truth of it is the network I developed has lasted and I've benefited. Yesterday I was across town at a subcontractor's office, discussing the timeline for a project and another company's engineers showed up for a similar meeting. One of them, just by chance, was my pledge brother Tim. Minutes after I wrote the previous article about engineers (with a mild pot shot at lawyers) my pledge brother/groomsman/lawyer Adam called. Adam is an IP attorney, and has offered several times to help me navigate the turbid waters of submitting and defending patents.
Look, here's my point. Rolling Stone uses the fraternity hazing situation at Dartmouth to essentially argue that not only are all fraternities corrupted by evil, but that their networking churns out evil people who now run the upper echelons of society. Example:
Last spring, Yale became the subject of a federal Title IX investigation after a group of 16 current and former students accused the school of creating a "hostile environment" for women, citing a prank in which the pledges of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the same fraternity that boasted both Bush presidents as members, paraded outside the Yale campus chanting, "No means yes! Yes means anal!"Oh well both Bush presidents must be rapists then.
And yet these exposes are universally based on anecdotal evidence:
"It's depressing coming of age here," says Deanna Portero, a senior from New York. While Dartmouth has an equal ratio of men to women, she says, it often feels as though nothing has changed since the 1970s.By my count, Deanna Portero was born in the 1990s. Her insider information into Dartmouth culture in the 1970's is unexplained.
There's no statistical information in this trash. There's no objectivity. The author almost exclusively goes after the Fraternities at Ivy League Schools, name-dropping conservative 'elites' with reckless aplomb. The author offers absolutely no defense for Fraternities, never once explains why Lohse' brothers were so loyal to SAE. The author mentions zero good things that happen because of the network frat boys develop. This article is nonsense.