My dearest daughter,
The action of joining a fraternity does not make a man a monster, despite media telling you otherwise.
If a man is going to commit heinous acts against a woman, he will do so regardless of his fraternal involvement.
However, the sad truth is that we as a nation have allowed “fraternity” and “rape” to become correlated words.
Do not allow your peers and the media to skew your perception of these men. Fraternities are not a place of rape and sexual abuse. There are exceptions to this, unfortunately, and the men involved in those atrocious cases deserve Hell. They deserve every legal punishment inflicted on them and I would not wish the emotional distraught they have caused their victims on my worst enemies. With that, please know that these awful men are not an accurate representation of fraternities.
Monsters like them are the exception; they are not the rule.
Fraternities are a place of brotherhood, and often build a boy into a man. These brothers spend countless hours planning philanthropic events that raise outstanding funds for national organizations. A fraternity at the University of Alabama raised tens of thousands of dollars for suicide awareness within a week of the tragic death of a brother this past fall. They walked in a suicide awareness walk that next Sunday, showing their unfaltering sense of brotherhood.
These men not only spend time supporting their own philanthropic causes, but extend their generosity to other organizations as well. A sorority here organizes a 5K each year with all proceeds supporting the domestic violence campaign Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Participants are fraternity men that have willingly chosen to walk a mile in heels.
I hope your generation will work to correlate the word “fraternity” with “brotherhood” and “philanthropy.” These two examples I have given you- these men are the rule.
These men spend their four collegiate years actively involved in campus events and activities. They exemplify many of the characteristics our generation needs in order to succeed.
Places of employment often look highly upon fraternal involvement post-graduation, but now the same involvement is frowned upon during the collegiate years themselves.
The next time you see a college-aged man on the news for a vulgar crime, use the sense of judgment I hope I have instilled in you. If he is in a fraternity, the main headline will say so. However no news site will tell you if this man is in any other college organization, because it is not considered a “scandal.”
Men without fraternal association follow the standard “innocent until proven guilty,” so why have we allowed fraternity men to become “guilty until proven innocent?”
Do not let the pattern of Greek shaming continue. Separate the monsters from the men, and the fraternity name from the crime.
When a man inflicts harm (physically or mentally) on a woman, do not stand idly by and let your peers look down upon his fraternal affiliation. Remind everyone who will listen that the emphasis should be placed upon the victim and her healing, not on what organizations her attacker was involved with.
Like any other organization, you will find both good and bad men in fraternities. Not every chapter of every fraternity will exemplify their national standard. It is up to you to separate the boys from the men and the crime from the fraternity.