Economy

This University President Has a Grim Prediction About Greek Life

October 7th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel is not very optimistic about the future of Greek life at his institution, and his recent remarks indicate that the Greek system as a whole could crumble if fraternities and sororities continue getting into trouble due to reprimandable behavior.

"It's not my ambition to get rid of fraternities and sororities," Schlissel told reporters after speaking to the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"There's a tremendous amount of positive they bring to our campus," he continued. "[But unless] the students moderate some of the risky behavior ... they may naturally wither and people may want to stop joining them."

Schlissel added that alcohol abuse in Greek life is cause for concern. According to the Detroit Free Press, liquor law arrests at the university increased from 202 in 2013 to 254 in 2014.

"There is a culture problem not only among students of Greek life but significantly inside of Greek life having to do with the overuse of alcohol, which really does need to be moderated," he said.

Greek life makes up close to a quarter of the University of Michigan undergraduate population, and Schlissel has repeatedly said that instances of Greek life partying can hurt the university's esteemed academic reputation. The University of Michigan Greek system was the subject of major controversy earlier this year when multiple university sororities and fraternities trashed two ski resorts and reportedly caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage along the way.

Several Greek organizations have recently made headlines for negative reasons. In August, the University of Alabama's Alpha Phi chapter went viral for their recruitment video, which many criticized. The sorority swiftly deleted the video, which featured lots of blond white women dancing around in a whimsical manner, but many YouTube accounts reposted the clip.

In March, the University of Oklahoma made news when a disturbing video surfaced online of its Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity singing racial slurs on a bus. The clip was posted on YouTube by the Black student community organization, Unheard, to expose racism at the school.