Fraternities are an integral part of campus life. There are 75 national and international fraternities with 397,000 members nationwide. Over 800 college campuses participate in Greek life, 85 percent of Fortune 500 company executives are part of a fraternity, and since the founding of the first social fraternity, every United States President and Vice President has been a part of one.
So it may surprise you to learn that fraternity members are marginalized and oppressed even within their own campus. That’s right, I’m talking about the word “frat.” A word that has been used to degrade fraternity brothers for years and yet is still a common part of modern-day vernacular.
According to Senior Chad Hemmingsworth, “people just don’t understand how hurtful it can be when they use the word frat. My father, grandfather and great grandfather have all been affected by this hate-filled behaviour, and it’s time it stopped.” Hemmingsworth then re-tucked his polo shirt into his pastel pink shorts and continued to polish his BMW.
“Yeah, when people hear frat, all they think about is binge drinking and hazing,” chimed in Chris Johnson, as he unloaded kegs of low-point beer from his car. “Really it’s all about leadership and community service. It’s not fair that we’re constantly being associated with these negative behaviors.”
Throughout history fraternities have been given the short end of the stick because of outdated stereotypes they have done absolutely nothing to earn. It’s time to say enough is enough and show a little respect. With the cooperation of the general population, it is believed that someday the world may be free of the oppression experienced by fraternity brothers.
It’s time to look more critically at the way we misrepresent privileged groups in the media and in our everyday speech.
Take the pledge. Stop using the word frat, and make your University a safer, more accepting place, bro.