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The 1972 Movie Animal House Is

The 1972 movie Animal House is a comedy about the members of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity. Even if some situations may be over-exaggerated, Delta’s parties, alcohol/drug abuse issues, and struggles to stay on campus, reflect what life in a fraternity is like today. Towards the end of the movie, Eric “Otter” Stratton, the Rush Chairman of the fraternity, gives a short speech when the fraternity is put on trial by the disgruntled Dean Vernon Wormer. “Ladies and gentlemen, I\’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did. But you can\’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn\’t we blame the whole fraternity system?” (Animal House IMDb) This portion of the speech specifically narrows in on the on-going problems in the fraternity system. For years, fraternities have completely controlled the social scene on college campuses, to the extent in which some schools have completely disbanded Greek life due to the problems with alcohol and assault. Yes, the social scene is an integral part of college life, but putting a group of college aged males into a powerful social group has proven disastrous time and time again. Male college students involved in Greek life are more likely to sexually assault an individual than any independent male student because of the history and ideology of fraternity men.

Title IX is an act in the United States Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s gender. It states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (Wikipedia) Contrary to popular belief, the act is not solely athletics related, but protects any student from sexual harassment (schools that receive federal funding are subjected to this law). Since Title IX was passed, there has been a significant transformation in the perception of college-aged women and more and more universities are taking steps to prevent gender discrimination in all aspects of college life. However, the issue of sexual assault continues to be a suppressed subject by many universities.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) is America’s largest anti-sexual violence network. The website provides facts, statistics, and infographics that inform readers about sexual assault in the US. The infographic under the section Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics, illustrates the consequences of sexual assault in the collegiate system. The results are simply appalling: 1 in every 4 college women will be sexually assaulted during their four years on campus. In cases of completed rape, 33% were women in sororities compared to 6% who are not a part of Greek life, proving that the more closely tied a female is to fraternities, the higher the risk is of being a victim of an assault. Even with the high number of sexual assaults, “only 20% of female student victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement.” (RAINN) Why is the number of reporting sexual assault so low? It may have to do with the fact that victims are afraid that they may be blamed, that no support will be given to them, or that they may be punished for the assault by none other than the place they call home (i.e. university administration)

Baylor University is a private Baptist university located in Waco, Texas, a small rural town where the football team is the apple of the town’s eye. Unfortunately, in 2015, this all changed. The Dallas Morning News breaks down what took place within the Baylor football department from 2011 to 2015. Since 2011, more than 125 cases of sexual assault have been reported accusing at least 19 football players of everything from stalking to rape. Considering the massive number of cases, one would think that Baylor would have dealt with these in a hasty manner as to show that they were serious about these type of allegations; sadly, this is not true. Over the course of four years, every single of the over 125 cases were either completely ignored, covered up, or the department blamed the victims. These events shine a light on how sexual assault is handled even at the highest levels of administration in colleges across the nation. Consequently, the head football coach, Art Briles, was fired because it was revealed that he was at the root of the victim blaming in multiple occasions. For example, a masseuse who was sexually harassed by one of the players, came to the coaching staff to see that the player was reprimanded. Briles reportedly responded with, “What kind of discipline…She a stripper?” The Dallas New reports that there are still multiple cases of all areas of sexual assault being reported. Regrettably, Baylor University is just one example of a very common occurrence within university departments. With laws like Title IX and such, there should be much more effort put forth by universities to end sexual assault in college, but alas, there is not. Even though Baylor’s sexual assault investigation surrounds the football department, athletes are not the only ones taking part in these wicked acts.

In Nicholas Syrett’s book, The Company He Keeps, he outlines the history of American fraternities from their days in Antebellum all-male colleges to modern-day college campuses, shedding light to how brotherhoods around the country have defined masculinity over the course of a 180-year history. Syrett conducted extensive research at twelve different schools across the country, focusing on how the ideology behind fraternity men came to be. Analyzing at least twenty fraternities, he explores what he calls “fraternal masculinity.” The term illustrates how men gain respect from other men through hyper masculinity. Many factors such as class, race, sexuality, athleticism, intelligence, and recklessness have contributed to this historical occurrence among fraternal men. Because of this hyper masculinity occurring primarily in brotherhoods across the country, Syrett describes the consequences suffered by men and women in and out of Greek life, primarily emphasizing the issue of the measureless number of sexual assaults throughout history. Even though sexual assault scandal has always clouded fraternities, little to nothing has been done at the national level of all male fraternities.

Kansas State University’s Sigma Nu and Phi Delta Theta underwent sexual assault claims within 2016. The university not only was faced with lawsuits against its fraternities, but also against its own, once again, administration for how these cases were handled. New York Times editor Stephanie Saul’s article Raped at Off-Campus Frat Houses and Ignored by University details two women, Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer’s, allegations against the university based on how poorly their claims had been handled. Saul scrutinizes the way the administration handled the allegations because, ironically enough, KSU has a very strong policy that prohibits sexual violence or any type of harassment.

In both cases, the young women woke up to unknown men raping them after a night of heavy drinking. When they reported what had happened, little to nothing was done to investigate what had happened by either the police or the university; this is a complete parallel to what happened at Baylor and so many more universities around the country. “In their legal complaints, they express frustration at the university’s unwillingness to investigate their accusations as well as fear of running into the men on campus.” (Saul) Within days of these two real accounts surfacing, multiple more women came forward with their own accounts of how they were sexually assaulted in different KSU fraternities. With more and more people coming forward and being open about their experiences with sexual assault, it is time universities and fraternities at a national level took a stand against sexual assault.

For a long period of time, and even now at times, proved by Baylor and KSU, sexual assault cases were kept a secret by colleges around the country. With so much new legislation, personal accounts, and headlines about sexual assault scandals in America, it is much, much harder to get away with keeping it under wraps. The Hunting Ground is a documentary released in 2015 about sexual assault scandals on multiple college campuses. The movie can be divided into three parts: the first introduces the two girls who are pushing universities to talk about and prevent sexual assault, the second introduces a variety of victims who tell their side of the story, and the last argues features many individuals who believe that men in fraternities are at the root of the problem.

Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, who have started the revolution and reform of college stances on sexual assault, were both victims of sexual assault at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A few grades apart, both girls were sexually assaulted within the few months of their freshmen year; when they reported the assaults, they were met with little to no help and no action being taken by the university against their rapists. After meeting in a support group, they bonded and decided to begin a nationwide campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. Going on, the documentary then interviews girls from other schools who had similar encounters. These victims share stories of their experiences and their rapists, ranging from random fraternity males to famous college athletes, and how, once again, their universities’ administrations took no action. The last part of the documentary divulges into the social scene in fraternities. There are professors, counselors, and other adults who are interviewed speaking on the threat that the Greek system poses to college students.

The movie also highlights reasons why universities want to keep sexual assault allegations secretive: reputation, a waste of time, and alumnae ties with Greek life. Many of the victims in the documentary attended Ivy League schools. Ivy Leagues are the most esteemed schools in the country, therefore, helping a victim could lead to people realizing they have a real problem with sexual assault on their campus, ultimately ruining their reputations. Even if the college did investigate the victim\’s case, the time used to figure out an appropriate punishment for the assailant and then looking for ways to prevent sexual assaults from happening again, is looked at as useless waste of time. Finally, to maintain college campuses is a big deal. Most universities get their endowments from large alumni donations, a lot of whom were once involved in Greek life, so punishing fraternities could potentially hurt the universities ties with its alumnae. With the multitude of cases of sexual assault, one may start to wonder why individuals, specifically men in fraternities, even decide to ruin their victims’ lives.

There is a well-known statistic about Greek life: “All but two presidents born since 1825 have been members of a fraternity”. It has been debunked as being an over exaggerated fact, but at one point the statement was true (now only 20 presidents have been associated with a fraternity) (Becque). The collegiate Greek system is one of the most well-known and powerful organizations in higher education, yet, as shown in previous paragraphs, there have always been endless scandals surrounding it. Nonetheless, according to Fran Becque, who has a Ph.D. in fraternity and sorority history, many men and women who were involved in Greek life, have had greater success later in life than their non-Greek counterparts. 85% of Fortune 500 company executives were involved in Greek life, 76% of Congressmen and Senators have belonged to a fraternity, 70% of college students who join a fraternity or sorority are likely to graduate compared to only 50% of non-Greek students, and the list goes on. In the U.S., there are over 9 million college men and women who are Greek. These students contribute over 850,000 hours and raise over 9 million dollars to each of their philanthropies, have higher GPAs than non-Greeks, and are more likely to become successful later in life because Greek life provides them with the leadership skills that are needed to thrive. With all the damaging scandals, these facts are completely overlooked by the media who is set on ruining the image of the Greeks. Where are the movies that show Greeks raising money, campaigning for their philanthropy, studying, etc.? It is a shame that the media does not tell this side of the story, but, for now at least, the drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault will be highlighted by the media.

Fraternities have been present on college campuses for 180 years. During this time, they have grown to be the most powerful, yet feared organizations on campus. Fraternal masculinity, the belief that a young man needs to be hyper masculine to deserve respect, has manifested in the form of sexual assault for years, and only recently is this being exposed. Not only do fraternities silence and blame victims, but university administrations also contribute to these horrific scandals. More and more individuals are starting to take a stand through protests, legislation, and sharing stories, but action needs to be taken at the university and national level of fraternities if sexual assault on college campuses will ever end.The 1972 movie Animal House is a comedy about the members of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity. Even if some situations may be over-exaggerated, Delta’s parties, alcohol/drug abuse issues, and struggles to stay on campus, reflect what life in a fraternity is like today. Towards the end of the movie, Eric “Otter” Stratton, the Rush Chairman of the fraternity, gives a short speech when the fraternity is put on trial by the disgruntled Dean Vernon Wormer. “Ladies and gentlemen, I\’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did. But you can\’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn\’t we blame the whole fraternity system?” (Animal House IMDb) This portion of the speech specifically narrows in on the on-going problems in the fraternity system. For years, fraternities have completely controlled the social scene on college campuses, to the extent in which some schools have completely disbanded Greek life due to the problems with alcohol and assault. Yes, the social scene is an integral part of college life, but putting a group of college aged males into a powerful social group has proven disastrous time and time again. Male college students involved in Greek life are more likely to sexually assault an individual than any independent male student because of the history and ideology of fraternity men.

Title IX is an act in the United States Education Amendments of 1972 that prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s gender. It states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (Wikipedia) Contrary to popular belief, the act is not solely athletics related, but protects any student from sexual harassment (schools that receive federal funding are subjected to this law). Since Title IX was passed, there has been a significant transformation in the perception of college-aged women and more and more universities are taking steps to prevent gender discrimination in all aspects of college life. However, the issue of sexual assault continues to be a suppressed subject by many universities.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) is America’s largest anti-sexual violence network. The website provides facts, statistics, and infographics that inform readers about sexual assault in the US. The infographic under the section Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics, illustrates the consequences of sexual assault in the collegiate system. The results are simply appalling: 1 in every 4 college women will be sexually assaulted during their four years on campus. In cases of completed rape, 33% were women in sororities compared to 6% who are not a part of Greek life, proving that the more closely tied a female is to fraternities, the higher the risk is of being a victim of an assault. Even with the high number of sexual assaults, “only 20% of female student victims, age 18-24, report to law enforcement.” (RAINN) Why is the number of reporting sexual assault so low? It may have to do with the fact that victims are afraid that they may be blamed, that no support will be given to them, or that they may be punished for the assault by none other than the place they call home (i.e. university administration)

Baylor University is a private Baptist university located in Waco, Texas, a small rural town where the football team is the apple of the town’s eye. Unfortunately, in 2015, this all changed. The Dallas Morning News breaks down what took place within the Baylor football department from 2011 to 2015. Since 2011, more than 125 cases of sexual assault have been reported accusing at least 19 football players of everything from stalking to rape. Considering the massive number of cases, one would think that Baylor would have dealt with these in a hasty manner as to show that they were serious about these type of allegations; sadly, this is not true. Over the course of four years, every single of the over 125 cases were either completely ignored, covered up, or the department blamed the victims. These events shine a light on how sexual assault is handled even at the highest levels of administration in colleges across the nation. Consequently, the head football coach, Art Briles, was fired because it was revealed that he was at the root of the victim blaming in multiple occasions. For example, a masseuse who was sexually harassed by one of the players, came to the coaching staff to see that the player was reprimanded. Briles reportedly responded with, “What kind of discipline…She a stripper?” The Dallas New reports that there are still multiple cases of all areas of sexual assault being reported. Regrettably, Baylor University is just one example of a very common occurrence within university departments. With laws like Title IX and such, there should be much more effort put forth by universities to end sexual assault in college, but alas, there is not. Even though Baylor’s sexual assault investigation surrounds the football department, athletes are not the only ones taking part in these wicked acts.

In Nicholas Syrett’s book, The Company He Keeps, he outlines the history of American fraternities from their days in Antebellum all-male colleges to modern-day college campuses, shedding light to how brotherhoods around the country have defined masculinity over the course of a 180-year history. Syrett conducted extensive research at twelve different schools across the country, focusing on how the ideology behind fraternity men came to be. Analyzing at least twenty fraternities, he explores what he calls “fraternal masculinity.” The term illustrates how men gain respect from other men through hyper masculinity. Many factors such as class, race, sexuality, athleticism, intelligence, and recklessness have contributed to this historical occurrence among fraternal men. Because of this hyper masculinity occurring primarily in brotherhoods across the country, Syrett describes the consequences suffered by men and women in and out of Greek life, primarily emphasizing the issue of the measureless number of sexual assaults throughout history. Even though sexual assault scandal has always clouded fraternities, little to nothing has been done at the national level of all male fraternities.

Kansas State University’s Sigma Nu and Phi Delta Theta underwent sexual assault claims within 2016. The university not only was faced with lawsuits against its fraternities, but also against its own, once again, administration for how these cases were handled. New York Times editor Stephanie Saul’s article Raped at Off-Campus Frat Houses and Ignored by University details two women, Sara Weckhorst and Tessa Farmer’s, allegations against the university based on how poorly their claims had been handled. Saul scrutinizes the way the administration handled the allegations because, ironically enough, KSU has a very strong policy that prohibits sexual violence or any type of harassment.

In both cases, the young women woke up to unknown men raping them after a night of heavy drinking. When they reported what had happened, little to nothing was done to investigate what had happened by either the police or the university; this is a complete parallel to what happened at Baylor and so many more universities around the country. “In their legal complaints, they express frustration at the university’s unwillingness to investigate their accusations as well as fear of running into the men on campus.” (Saul) Within days of these two real accounts surfacing, multiple more women came forward with their own accounts of how they were sexually assaulted in different KSU fraternities. With more and more people coming forward and being open about their experiences with sexual assault, it is time universities and fraternities at a national level took a stand against sexual assault.

For a long period of time, and even now at times, proved by Baylor and KSU, sexual assault cases were kept a secret by colleges around the country. With so much new legislation, personal accounts, and headlines about sexual assault scandals in America, it is much, much harder to get away with keeping it under wraps. The Hunting Ground is a documentary released in 2015 about sexual assault scandals on multiple college campuses. The movie can be divided into three parts: the first introduces the two girls who are pushing universities to talk about and prevent sexual assault, the second introduces a variety of victims who tell their side of the story, and the last argues features many individuals who believe that men in fraternities are at the root of the problem.

Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, who have started the revolution and reform of college stances on sexual assault, were both victims of sexual assault at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A few grades apart, both girls were sexually assaulted within the few months of their freshmen year; when they reported the assaults, they were met with little to no help and no action being taken by the university against their rapists. After meeting in a support group, they bonded and decided to begin a nationwide campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. Going on, the documentary then interviews girls from other schools who had similar encounters. These victims share stories of their experiences and their rapists, ranging from random fraternity males to famous college athletes, and how, once again, their universities’ administrations took no action. The last part of the documentary divulges into the social scene in fraternities. There are professors, counselors, and other adults who are interviewed speaking on the threat that the Greek system poses to college students.

The movie also highlights reasons why universities want to keep sexual assault allegations secretive: reputation, a waste of time, and alumnae ties with Greek life. Many of the victims in the documentary attended Ivy League schools. Ivy Leagues are the most esteemed schools in the country, therefore, helping a victim could lead to people realizing they have a real problem with sexual assault on their campus, ultimately ruining their reputations. Even if the college did investigate the victim\’s case, the time used to figure out an appropriate punishment for the assailant and then looking for ways to prevent sexual assaults from happening again, is looked at as useless waste of time. Finally, to maintain college campuses is a big deal. Most universities get their endowments from large alumni donations, a lot of whom were once involved in Greek life, so punishing fraternities could potentially hurt the universities ties with its alumnae. With the multitude of cases of sexual assault, one may start to wonder why individuals, specifically men in fraternities, even decide to ruin their victims’ lives.

There is a well-known statistic about Greek life: “All but two presidents born since 1825 have been members of a fraternity”. It has been debunked as being an over exaggerated fact, but at one point the statement was true (now only 20 presidents have been associated with a fraternity) (Becque). The collegiate Greek system is one of the most well-known and powerful organizations in higher education, yet, as shown in previous paragraphs, there have always been endless scandals surrounding it. Nonetheless, according to Fran Becque, who has a Ph.D. in fraternity and sorority history, many men and women who were involved in Greek life, have had greater success later in life than their non-Greek counterparts. 85% of Fortune 500 company executives were involved in Greek life, 76% of Congressmen and Senators have belonged to a fraternity, 70% of college students who join a fraternity or sorority are likely to graduate compared to only 50% of non-Greek students, and the list goes on. In the U.S., there are over 9 million college men and women who are Greek. These students contribute over 850,000 hours and raise over 9 million dollars to each of their philanthropies, have higher GPAs than non-Greeks, and are more likely to become successful later in life because Greek life provides them with the leadership skills that are needed to thrive. With all the damaging scandals, these facts are completely overlooked by the media who is set on ruining the image of the Greeks. Where are the movies that show Greeks raising money, campaigning for their philanthropy, studying, etc.? It is a shame that the media does not tell this side of the story, but, for now at least, the drugs, alcohol, and sexual assault will be highlighted by the media.

Fraternities have been present on college campuses for 180 years. During this time, they have grown to be the most powerful, yet feared organizations on campus. Fraternal masculinity, the belief that a young man needs to be hyper masculine to deserve respect, has manifested in the form of sexual assault for years, and only recently is this being exposed. Not only do fraternities silence and blame victims, but university administrations also contribute to these horrific scandals. More and more individuals are starting to take a stand through protests, legislation, and sharing stories, but action needs to be taken at the university and national level of fraternities if sexual assault on college campuses will ever end.