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Candy: It’s time to ban fraternities

(Dean Hochman, Creative Commons)

Washington State University Alpha Tau Omega member, Samuel Martinez, of Bellevue died of a likely accidental overdose. Sam was 19 years old.

San Diego State has placed 14 fraternities on suspension after the death of a Phi Gamma Delta pledge, Dylan Hernandez. He was 19 years old. Police are investigating the death of an Arizona State University student after a Greek event. He was 19 years old. These deaths have all occurred just in the last few days.

These are three sad stories of unimaginable loss, but the more you think about the modern college landscape, the more you have to wonder, have we outgrown Greek life?

I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with Greek rows around here, unless you count the time I had to push a frat-bro off a girl at a party with his bro’s cheering him on, or the time a friend came to me in tears after a sorority circled her imperfections with a sharpie (classic), or the time a frat-bro told a co-worker, “My friend’s dad gave me the hook up, so I didn’t even interview for this.”

Out of the classroom, we want these young adults to take risks, not kill each other, we want them to make reasonable mistakes, not ruin lives, we want them to build foundations for success, not failure.

Greek life, at it’s best, is about social identity, professional opportunity, and support. At its worst, people die, get sexually assaulted, or are traumatized victims of hazing.

Cocaine or Sex Toy
Water overdoses
Vodka push ups
Paddling Until You Pass Out

That’s how multiple college students died or were sent to the emergency room last year in the U.S.

It’s not just about parties. Here’s what they all had in common, they were convinced to participate in activities under the lie of “building trust and bonding” when in reality, it’s just because the idiot before you did it and he/she’s still traumatized so they are making you do it Drink more, take another hit, let’s force feed them an entire bottle of bourbon — that’s how 19-year-old Collin Wiant died in Arizona.

Young men and women have died as the result of Greek activities every year for two decades. It keeps happening because we’ve created these college marketing props that happen to be houses. They have a separate set of rules for men and women. They encourage secrecy, the biggest party wins, and they have little to no meaningful oversight.

At 18, 19, 20, man or woman — you don’t handle yourself very well in an emergency. Most of these deaths happen because rather than the hospital, that 19-year-old is dragged back to their room to sleep it off and they never wake up.

All Greek rows everywhere should be shut down. We’ve outgrown the system. Tell me I’m wrong.

Tell Me I’m Wrong” airs every day on the Candy, Mike and Todd Show at 3:30. The Candy, Mike and Todd Show airs every weekday afternoon from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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