Animal House(s)

Katie McDonough on why American fraternities are awful, and why they’ll never change (hint — it’s the money, stupid):

“And a mass defection of the good old boys with fond memories of their days spent crushing beers (and hey, maybe singing racist chants) in a frat house could spell financial trouble for universities — or career trouble for university presidents — serious about reform. In 2013, 60 percent of donations to universities that topped $100 million came from fraternity alumni. Data shows that fraternity men account for 85 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, and they populate other powerful institutions — from Wall Street to the White House.

Until colleges start finding the prospect of preventable death, rape and assault more frightening than a network of angry donors, nothing will change in the Greek system. And while fraternities are not singularly responsible for — or home to — a culture of violence, white privilege and male entitlement, a long tradition of permissiveness around dangerous and bigoted frat ‘antics’ has allowed these problems to continue largely unchallenged at an institutional level. Discipline is often administered whack-a-mole-style rather than going at the roots of a system of class privilege, misogyny and racism. A system that is propped up by wealthy donors.”

It’s funny and sad that people who have to pay for friends as young men go on to pretty much run our economy.

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