Free Market Frats: Why Greek Life Should Be Privatized

After the tragic death of Timothy Piazza at Beta Theta Pi (BTP) fraternity in February, Penn State has been waging an all-out war on Greek Life. The University has set restrictive new policies on Greek Life, including banning hard alcohol and kegs, requiring third party bartenders, banning first semester rushing for freshmen, policing frats during parties’ w/administrators, banning fraternity BTP and ending ‘daylongs’. These harsh restrictions show that Penn State is playing into the same leftist logic as those aboard the gun control train. The University administration know that banning frats will not lead to any real change in terms of sexual assault or alcohol consumption, and are only doing these things in order that they could make it appear to the public as though they care. After all, Penn State is still recovering from the Sandusky scandal. In the next five years, I would not be surprised if Greek Life either is eliminated or watered down to the point of obscurity. The one way that that Greek Life can stay alive is to privatize, thus making them immune from the Universities’ authoritarian fist.

The benefits to privatization are enormous for Greek Life. This would allow fraternities and sororities to ignore the ultimately useless restrictions that Penn State has placed upon them, as well as give Greek Life members the opportunity to develop their own, private IFC (intra-fraternity council) if they so choose. While the fraternities may lose preferential status within THON and similar on-campus events, there is nothing stopping them from hosting their own. Perhaps we could even see a new set of intramural sports in this new IFC system, such as a pistol shooting league, or a beer pong league. Heck, if the fraternities on campus really wish to get revenge on the University, they could theoretically open a small pistol range inside their fraternity and open it to the public. If I were the leader of one of those few remaining fraternities, I would privatize and do that in a heartbeat.

More importantly, privatizing allows these members to be treated like real adults, not like the children Penn State views its students as. There will be more legal ramifications if a fraternity is caught serving alcohol to underage people, but from the looks of it the University will be cracking down on that anyway. Removing themselves from Penn State will also help the fraternities and sororities gain more recognition, independent of the University. This new found independence could help foster a more cohesive atmosphere within the fraternities and sororities. Since they would be independent these organizations would have some unique opportunities, such as allowing non-PSU students to join if they so choose.

Even if the Greek system at Penn State does die, the problems associated with them will live on. but with none of the advantages. If a student wants to consume alcohol and have sex, they will do so off campus, with even less administrative oversight than the fraternities already have. Privatized fraternities will get a bad reputation if they are known to have sexual assaults happen at them, and the free market (as well as law enforcement) will punish them. If the University continues to degrade Greek Life, there will be more, small house parties, and it will be harder to know which places are safe to go. All that stamping on fraternities and sororities accomplishes is to upset donors, prospective students, and current Greek Life members for this reason I recommend that the Penn State fraternities privatize and form independent of the University.


Drew P.

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