Bad behavior at fraternities has some questioning the system

By: Franco Ordonez, McClatchy Washington Bureau AND Mara Rose Williams, The Kansas City Star » 3/20/2015 » Articles, Background Checks, Social Media

The secret Facebook page where members of Kappa Delta Rho at Penn State University allegedly posted and commented on pictures of naked, unconscious women is just the latest in a spate of publicized incidents that have cast a shadow over fraternities nationwide.

The controversies, including racist singing at the University of Oklahoma and allegations of hazing at the University of Houston, have triggered deep soul-searching on campuses in recent days as administrators and students seek answers to stop the bad behavior.

But they’ve also led to larger questions about Greek life itself, whether the campus organizations have become incubators for dangerous behavior and whether the problem has gotten so bad that some students should rethink membership — or at least drop the Greek letters from their resumes.

Marc Bourne, vice president of Know It All Intelligence Group, a Philadelphia-area firm that offers employment screening, said companies are looking more closely at the activities students are involved in. Even a distant association with one of these fraternities in the news can have a detrimental impact on a job candidate, he said.

“We’d like to say in a perfect world that you wouldn’t judge someone at a different campus based on what happened at another campus,” Bourne said in an interview. “However, we know that’s not true. You hear of SAE and the first thing you think of is the incident of the chanting and racist remarks.”

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